The Pete du Pont Papers Are Available for Viewing in Delaware

If you're interested in learning about Pete du Pont, you can now read the collection of public and private papers.

The collection of public and private papers of one of Delaware’s most famous politicians and business philosophers, Pete du Pont, has now been catalogued by Hagley Museum and Library and is open to scholars and interested members of the general public, according to Erik Rau, Hagley’s director of library services.

“We received the collection in late 2021 and spent most of 2022 getting it in order,” Rau says, adding the papers to Hagley’s extensive document collections of former business leaders, private corporations and business associations. The collection was assembled in cooperation with the Pete du Pont Freedom Foundation, established in 2003 to honor du Pont’s accomplishments and to further his political and business objectives.

Pierre S. “Pete” du Pont IV had a stellar political career, first as the state’s representative to Congress (1971–1977), then as Delaware governor (1977–1985) and finally as a U.S. presidential candidate for the Republican nomination in 1988. He died in 2021 at age 86.

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Gov. Pete du Pont is inaugurated in 1977.
Gov. Pete du Pont is inaugurated in 1977. Courtesy of Hagley Museum and Library.

“The collection of Gov. du Pont’s papers will add significantly to our considerable collection of papers of conservative thought leaders from the last part of the 20th century,” Rau says, also noting videotapes and other recordings, photographs, and scrapbooks in the du Pont collection.

In addition to their historic value, collections are measured in terms of linear feet of boxes they contain. “We have more than 45,000 linear feet of collections at Hagley,” Rau says, “and Gov. du Pont’s represents about 28 feet.”

Related: A History of the du Pont Family in Delaware

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