Skip to main content
Notice: The Library is open for research by appointment only, please visit our research services page for more information.

Rockland oral history interview transcripts

Creation: 1999-2011
Accession: 2264


Rockland is an unincorporated old mill village in New Castle County, Delaware, and was later surrounded by du Pont family estates. The collection contains twelve edited oral history transcripts by Mary Laird Silvia (1938-2013) with people who lived in Rockland.


  • Creation: 1999-2011



12 volume(s)

Biographical Note

Mary Laird Silvia (1938-2013) was a historian interested in the people and events that shaped the Brandywine Valley.

Silvia was born March 26, 1938, the eldest child of William Winder "Chick" Laird (1910-1989) and Winnifred Moreton Laird (1912-1996). She grew up on the banks of the Brandywine, opposite the Hagley Powder Yards. She graduated from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Following graduation, Silvia and a Radcliffe classmate traveled the world, including visits to Hawaii, Afghanistan, Egypt, Malaysia, and Lebanon. She worked as a licensed interpreter/translator for the United Nations, an assignment working for Sergeant Shriver at the Peace Corps in Washington, DC, Director of American Studies at the French International Lycée in Washington, and bi-lingual guide in the nation's capitol.

In 1975, she married Peter A. Silvia, a nautical architect-engineer for the U.S. Navy.

After her father's death in 1989, Silvia discovered boxes of family papers that she used to tell the story of the area where she had grown up. This soon expanded into a series of oral histories based on interviews with former DuPont Powder Mill workers and their descendants and a monograph on the settlement of Rockland and its many families.

Scope and Contents

Twelve edited interview transcripts by Mary Laird Silvia (1938-2013) with people who lived in Rockland, an old mill village that was later surrounded by du Pont family estates. See individual interviews for a more detailed description.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

May be used for research only. Not to be quoted or reproduced without permission of donor.

Language of Materials


Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Rockland oral history interview transcripts
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Ashley Williams

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA