Check out pictures of our new exhibition on the historic town of New Castle. All publications in the exhibition are available to view and purchase.
Click here to see a list of all books in the exhibition.
New Castle, Delaware, was founded in 1651 by the Dutch as Fort Casimir. It was built to purposely pose a threat to the Swedish colony that had been established in the Wilmington area in 1638. The Swedes captured the town in 1654 and renamed it Fort Trinity but the Dutch quickly took the town back the next year. In 1663 it became part of the English colonies in the New World and was named New Amstel, and in 1664 the name was changed to New Castle. Other than a brief period in 1673 when it became Dutch again, it remained under English control until 1776.
Its location had much to do with its early success. New Castle was a port city on the Delaware River and was the landing point for the 14 mile journey overland to the Chesapeake Bay. It was the center of government for the Three Lower Counties on the Delaware River and served as the first seat of Delaware’s government upon the beginning of the Revolutionary War.
Now, this new exhibition located on the stage of The Bookshop in Old New Castle, also the second floor of Oak Knoll, will represent all aspects of New Castle life and history. (Even Oak Knoll’s building is historic as it was once the Opera House where many famous singers and actors performed!) Historical books on the city such as our recently published New Castle, Delaware: A Walk Through Time will be showcased, and other glimpses of the city will be featured in the books including:
- Local businesses and town organizations: Armitage Inn (no longer an inn), Goodwill Fire Company, church history, Day in Old New Castle
- Local people: Robert Montgomery Bird (author born at 212 Delaware Street), George Read (signer of the Declaration), Richard S. Rodney (Judge and Mayor of New Castle).
- Publishing in New Castle: New Amstel Magazine, Paul Wakeman’s private press called the Plough Press which printed a book by hand in a New Castle garage.
- Images: New Castle Whipping Post, Beers Atlas plates showing New Castle
- And the beautifully printed private press book by Miriam Macgregor including her pochoir plates illustrating New Castle scenes. Inspired by her visit to New Castle during an Oak Knoll Fest
Click here for a catalogue of the books that will be on exhibition.
The newest exhibition at The Bookshop in Old New Castle includes baseball material from the personal collection of the owner of the Old Bookshop of Bordentown. Materials include How to Play Base-Ball by Connie Mack, America’s National Game by A.G. Spalding, The Mickey Mantle Story by Mickey Mantle as told by Ben Epstein, and more. The display also includes an 1877 issue of “Base Ball News” and the Slide Kelly Slide songster inspired by Mike “King” Kelly. This exhibition is for display only, but other books about baseball are available for purchase at the Bookshop. We hope to see you swing on by!
Association copies are truly unique books because they have been signed and/or presented by the author, editor, or someone closely related. The books on display cover a broad range of topics including bookbinding, poetry, bibliography, libraries, publishing, and others. Some of the books are inscribed to bibliophiles Henry Stevens and Frank Altshul, while others contain presentations with letters and presentations written by the editor. Stop by the bookshop to see the rare inscriptions on these books. All books are available for purchase. Click here to see the complete list of exhibition books.
During the month of March, Between the Covers Rare Books is presenting an exhibition of rare Tennessee Williams books, play scripts, and assorted memorabilia at The Bookshop in Old New Castle in honor of the playwright’s 100th birthday. Tennessee Williams, who would be 100 on March 26th, is considered the greatest Southern playwright and one of the most important of the 20th Century, with a body of work that still resonates with American audiences today in revival after revival. Among the notable and rare items included in the exhibition are original scripts for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire bearing its original title, The Poker Night, and a beautiful copy of Weird Tales magazine from 1928, which contains Williams’ first published story.
Starting February 1, The Bookshop in Old New Castle will host its first exhibition on the stage of the historic opera house at 308 Delaware Street.
Oak Knoll will be the first of the four booksellers associated with the Bookshop to showcase its material. During the month of February, four display cases located on the stage of the bookshop will be filled with a sampling of various works from Ann Baker, a twentieth-century painter from Rhode Island revered for her vibrant depictions of American country life. The entire collection consists of 700
items relating to Baker’s work as a country painter, tin ware artist, and gold-leaf painter and teacher. The designs are on glazed cardboard or acetate and architect’s linen, and range in size from very small to elaborate, multicolored works. The archive illustrates the original designs and colors and identifies the source of many works. All materials on exhibit and in the collection are available for purchase as a collection.
The exhibition will continue in March as Between the Covers Rare Books displays its Tennessee Williams exhibition including original early typescripts of The Poker Night (A Streetcar Named Desire), The Gentleman Caller (The Glass Menagerie), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, and other first editions and rare items.
As The Bookshop in Old New Castle is a combination store between Oak Knoll Books, Between the Covers Rare Books, The Kelmscott Bookshop, and the Old Bookshop of Bordentown, the exhibitions will alternate monthly with each store taking turns showcasing different collections of their finest material.