Delmarva Poultry Industry Inc. (DPI) and the Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture at Salisbury University have joined forces to preserve the history of Delmarva’s chicken industry. 

DPI is the 1,800-member non-profit trade association for the meat chicken industry in Delaware, the Eastern Shore of Maryland, and the Eastern Shore of Virginia. The Nabb Research Center at Salisbury University works to cultivate and sustain the advancement of scholarly research through collecting, preserving, disseminating and providing access to records and artifacts which illustrate the rich historical and cultural heritage of the greater Delmarva region.


DPI’s collection of tens of thousands of newspaper and magazine stories from the early 1950s to 2001 has been transferred to the Nabb Center for proper storage and accessibility to the general public. These clippings contain countless stories about chicken industry events, news, activities, recipes, and much more in which DPI is mentioned.  This collection provides a tremendous history of the local chicken industry. Due to the lack of space and proper storage conditions needed to avoid deterioration, DPI approached the Nabb Center about taking the collection. It readily agreed.

Additionally, the Nabb Center has agreed to help preserve mementos from the Delmarva Chicken Festivals from 1948 until 2014. Annually, DPI displayed at the Delmarva Chicken Festival historical memorabilia from prior festivals. With the elimination of the DPI-sponsored Delmarva Chicken Festival, there are limited opportunities to share these memorabilia with interested persons. The Nabb Center has taken ownership of the original materials on the large display easels familiar to many chicken festival visitors. Following accessioning of the materials, they will be available to researchers at the center. 

“The history of Delmarva’s chicken industry reflects the history of the entire peninsula and is worthy of preservation,” noted DPI Executive Director Bill Satterfield. “We do not have the facilities or ability to preserve these documents as they should be preserved and we are delighted that the Nabb Research Center was anxious to take custody of them.” 

Nabb Research Center Director Dr. Ray Thompson said: “The Nabb Center is pleased to receive the significant Delmarva Poultry Industry, Inc. collection. Both students and extra-mural researchers will find the materials to be of great value in documenting an important era in Delmarva’s economic history.”

Once the documents have been organized and preserved, they will be available for viewing at the Nabb Research Center on the campus of Salisbury University.