Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is the purpose of this project ?

This project is for making Delaware biographies available to the public. The biographies are to be of Delaware citizens and settlers. This includes people who were born in Delaware, or whose parents might have also been born in Delaware.

This is accomplished by listing biographies from various sources. By making these biographies available to the public, it allows people to learn more about their ancestors than they might have ever known otherwise.

2. Who is managing the biographies project ?

The current coordinator of the Delaware Biography Project is Nathan Zipfel.

3. What are the copyright restrictions for books ?

In 1909 the copyright law stated that a copyright was for a period of 28 years. This could be renewed for an additional 47 year period, making a total of 75 years of copyright protection.

In 1976 the copyright law was changed. Copyrights are now for the period of the creator's life plus 50 years. Anything copyrighted before 1976 falls under the 1909 law.

This means that anything published prior to about 1927 has no further copyright protection, and can be published freely by anyone. The same would apply to reprint copies of that material, or reprints of books originally published prior to that time. The mere reprinting of material does not extend the copyright beyond the 75 year period, unless additional material has been added, and even then only the additions may be copyrighted.

More information on copyright rules can be found here.

4. Who holds the copyright to the submitted biographies ?

The submitter of the biography retains the rights to it.  If you should ever (we hope you won't) request that a biography be removed, please contact me.  

5. How will the biographies be stored ?

Currently automated submission boards are being used to submit and to display the biographies.  The project retains the rights to reformat and display the biographies in alternate format.

6. Will my submissions ever be sold ?

No - this project is committed to the free access of genealogical material.

7. What can I do to help ?

We need volunteers to transcribe existing biographies from various sources  and to submit living biographies.

For any other questions, please email Nathan Zipfel.