Library News and Updates 2012


12/20/12 - Hundreds of Civil War pamphlets now available.

Over 700 pamphlets on the Civil War have been added to the library catalog. They cover everything war-related from speeches given in Congress, executive orders, and battle accounts to reflections written by veterans and battlefield commemorations. 

12/12/12 - Four manuscript collections newly processed and available to the public.

The John Ford Sollers Collection (MS 3114) contains personal items of John T. Ford and his theater business, as well as material related to his descendants and family friends.

The John K. Ruppert Collection (MS 3115) holds personal items and memorabilia from Ruppert’s time in Italy as a soldier during World War II.

The Wetherall Family Collection (MS 3117) includes deeds, memorabilia, and family correspondence of the Wetherall and related families of Maryland.

The Sonia Cohen Ballet and Theater Ephemera Collection (MS 3118) contains ballet and theater programs of various productions from 1937 to 1962 in Baltimore (Md.), Washington, D.C., and New York (N.Y.), including those performed at the Lyric, Ford’s Theatre, and many others.

11/15/12 - Hambleton Theatrical Collections now available to the public.

The Hambleton Theatrical Collections documents theater from the late 1700’s to the 1940’s with a focus on Baltimore-area playhouses and productions. MS 3099 and PP 271 hold playbills and programs from Maryland, Washington D. C. and Pennsylvania theaters, annotated copies of plays, photographs of famous performers, and material from an exhibit on theater history from the Peale Museum (Baltimore, Md.).

08/15/12 - PP30 Hughes Studio Photograph Collection Inventory available once again!

The inventory of the massive Hughes Photograph Collection has finally been been reformatted and migrated from our old site. Once again, this collection of 61 boxes and over 36,000 negatives, documenting Baltimore business and industry from 1940-1956 is available for  researchers online.


08/01/12 - New finding aid available for the Society of the War of 1812 Scrapbook

A finding aid for the scrapbook of the Society of the War of 1812 in Maryland is now available online. Veterans of the battles of Baltimore and North Point began meeting in 1841 to honor the battles they fought to protect Maryland from the British. These meetings evolved into a society for the direct descendants of 1812 veterans, which still convenes today. The scrapbook covers events from 1891 to 1928, such as society meetings and Jackson Day celebrations. The biggest event hosted by the society was the Defenders Day parade, which occurred each year on September 12 at Fort McHenry, to commemorate the Battle of Baltimore. Check out the finding aid to learn more about this important group in Baltimore history!


07/31/12 - Now inventoried! The Eubie Blake Sheet Music Collection (MS 2800.1)

Alongside names such as Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, and Duke Ellington, Eubie Blake, was one of the most accomplished black composers of the early 20th century. While his origins began in ragtime, by the end of his career Blake’s oeuvre expanded into jazz, classical, and pop genres. His show Shuffle Along (1921) was one of the first musicals on Broadway written and performed by African-Americans. Donated by the Blake estate, this collection encompasses Blake’s entire musical career from his early rags to Broadway hits like “I’m Just Wild About Harry” and “Bandana Days.” In addition to the sheet music personally marked and edited by Blake, the collection also includes arrangements of other contemporary songs, Broadway play bills, and drills in composition and performance techniques.



07/11/12 - Now Available: PP179 The Great Baltimore Fire Photograph Collection inventory list

The Great Baltimore Fire of 1904 devasted 86 blocks of downtown Baltimore. This collection contains over 700 items, mostly photographic prints, but also including negatives and periodicals. This is an extraordinary collection of the pictorial devastation Baltimore faces from February 7, 1904 through February 8, 1904. Take a look at the inventory list and Burnt District map to learn more. 

06/15/12 - Source Guide to the Civil Rights Movement is available

There is a Source Guide to the Civil Rights Movement now available. This is an updated and expanded listing of what can be found in the Guide to African American Sources.

06/07/12 - 27 more oral histories are now available for public use


There are 27 more oral histories inventoried and available for public use consisting of two projects and three individual oral histories.

The Baltimore Gas and Electric Corporate History Project conducted in 1982-1983, contains interviews with 20 employees and former employees of the company. Interviews focus primarily on employment experiences. Some discuss their military service during World War II. Interviewee Anton Endler relates his experiences as a National Guardsman during the 1963 Cambridge riots and the Baltimore Riots of 1968.

Saving a Community's Recollections: Takoma Park Oral History Project is a series of three interviews with longtime residents of Takoma Park conducted in 2001. Located just outside Washington DC in Montgomery County, Takoma Park was established in 1883 as one of the first planned commuter suburbs.

There is also an interview with composer and pianist Eubie Blake conducted in 1972.

06/05/12 - 3 photograph collections are processed and now available for public use

Three photograph collections have been processed and are now available for public use.

The Leo J. Beachy Photograph Collection, PP235 contains over 2000 portraits, landscapes, still-lifes, and other images made by Garrett County photographer Leo Beachy.

There are also two collections relating to the Rieman family now available: The Rieman Family Photograph Collection, PP252 is a small collection of images relating to the Rieman family of Baltimore. The Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club Photograph Collection, PP233 contains photographs and negatives relating to the Elk Ridge Fox Hunting Club, the Elkridge Hounds, Inc., the Harford Hunt Club, and the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club.

05/16/12 - Peale/Baltimore City Life Museum Photograph Collection Inventory Lists Update: New inventories added to web

The Peale/BCLM Photograph Collection is slowly making it's way to the website. So far, you can view the complete Photographic Prints inventory, 6x8 in. Glass Negatives, Odd Size Negatives, 5x7 in. Glass Negatives, and a few boxes from the 8x10 in. Film Negatives. Right now we're focusing on finishing up the 8x10 Film Negatives portion of the collection where there are roughly 50 boxes with thousands of negatives. Stay tuned for more updates regarding this collection!

05/10/12 - We Had a Job to Do: Marylanders at Home and Abroad during World War II Oral History collection is available for public use

This collection of 12 oral histories was a joint endeavor between MdHS and students at Doris M. Johnson High School in Baltimore. Interviewees include Tuskegee Airmen, Rosie the Riveters, and Merchant Marines. The collection also contains one of the last interviews with historian and activist Howard Zinn. Please visit the Project page for more information on the collection includeing a list of interviewees.

04/23/12 - Maryland World War II Photograph Collection just posted!

Over 2,000 images pertaining to Maryland during WW2 - click here

04/17/12 - Peale/BCLM photographic prints inventory lists now available

Ninety boxes of photographic prints from the Peale/Baltimore City Life Museum (BCLM) collection are now available in inventory lists! While this is only just a fraction of the Peale/BCLM photograph collection, it consists of hundreds of photographs. Take a look at the inventory lists under the Photographic Prints category on the Peale/BCLM Photographs Collection main page. We're working on the inventory lists for all of the Peale/BCLM glass negatives. Everything that we currently have is uploaded to the main collection page. 

04/04/12 - Harry Sythe Cummings Photographs Collection inventory list now available

Harry Sythe Cummings (1866-1917) was a lawyer, first black Baltimore City Councilman, and fraternal leader. In 1887, he entered University of Maryland School of Law as one of the first two African Americans to finish the program. He was admitted to the practice of law on May 30, 1889 and continued actively in that profession. At the age of 26 in 1890, he was the first African American to serve in the City Council of Baltimore. He was reelected in 1891, 1896, and again in 1907, serving until his death in 1917. (PP240) Harry Sythe Cummings Photographs Collection consists of three boxes and includes photographic prints, framed photographs, and postcards. 

03/27/12 - Sidney Hollander Photograph Collection inventory list now available

The Sidney Hollander Photograph Collection, PP256, (which was originally housed with the Hollander Collection, MS 2044) is now available to the public. The collection consists of one box and 42 photographs, including prints, negatives, and one 35mm color slide. 

03/22/12 - Paul Henderson Manuscript & Ephemera Collection inventory list now available

The Paul Henderson Manuscript and Ephemera Collection (MS 3089) consists of four boxes and contains material related to the Afro-American newspaper, Morgan State College, Henderson's freelance photography business, Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson Henderson and the Department of Education, personal papers and letters, and many booklets for the DuBois Circle. See also: Paul Henderson Photograph Collection

02/23/12 - Paul Henderson Photograph Collection now on exhibit!

After two years of processing by staff, volunteers, and interns, the Paul Henderson Photograph Collection is now available to the public as well as on exhibit outside of the library. The collection consists of over 6,000 images by Paul Henderson (1899 — 1988), freelance photographer and staff photographer for the Afro-American newspaper. Twenty-six of his photographs are highlighted in the exhibition titled, "Paul Henderson: Baltimore's Civil Rights Era in Photographs, ca. 1940-1960". Take a look at the exhibit's accompanying blog for photographs, topics, and videos. The exhibit will be on display until the end of 2012. 


01/30/12 - Boyd Family Civil War Photo Collection and Battle Monument Papers now available

A new Civil War photo collection as well as a War of 1812 collection are now available to researchers.

The Boyd Family Civil War Photograph Collection, PP230 -
 consists of 975 Civil War photographs broken into eight series.

The Battle Monument Papers, 1814-1820, MS 1198 - contains material related to the architecture and construction of one of Baltimore's most well known commemorative structures.

01/23/12 - Staff beginning to upload Baltimore City Life Museum Photograph Collection inventory lists

The substantial photograph collection transferred from the Peale/Baltimore City Life Museum (BCLM) to MdHS is finally being uploaded to the MdHS website. As inventory lists are completed for each box of photographs, the inventory lists will be uploaded to the Peale/Baltimore City Life Museum Photograph Collection page. The collection consists of well over 100,000 photographs from circa 1848 through the 1980s. 

01/27/12 - MdHs requests proposals from graduate students for a new research fellowship in Chesapeake colonial history.

The Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) is pleased to announce a new research fellowship in Chesapeake colonial history and requests proposals from graduate students for the 2012–2013 academic year. The $5,000 fellowship is funded by a grant from John and Barbara Wing.

The purpose of the Wing Fellowship is to assist a graduate student in undertaking a significant project in Chesapeake colonial history. Areas of research, which are of particular interest, include maritime history, the arts, economic development, archeology, and life in the early Chesapeake Bay region. Proposals for other subjects and themes of colonial history are also welcome.

Proposals should describe the intended project, the research approach, expected results, the applicant’s curriculum vitae, professional references, and how the funds will be used. In addition to submitting periodic progress reports, the fellow will provide the library with an annotated bibliography and research summary and deliver a presentation at the conclusion of the project.

Evaluation of proposals will consider uniqueness and importance of the proposed project, soundness of the research approach, professional qualifications, and financial need. Please direct questions to Patricia Dockman Anderson,

Submission deadline is March 15, 2012. The MdHS will announce the recipient May 1. The award will be payable in installments through the 2012–2013 academic year.

Please send cover letter, C.V., references, and three-to-five page proposal citing relevant MdHS collections:

Patricia Dockman Anderson, Ph.D.

Director of Publications & Library Services

Maryland Historical Society

201 West Monument Street

Baltimore, MD 21201

410-685-3750 x 317

01/26/12 - 150 additional oral histories are now available for public use.

150 oral histories from the MdHS collection are now available for public use for the first time. Most of the interviews are part of three collections: The Civilian Conservation Corps Veterans Project, 1980, which contains interviews with enrollees in the CCC program during the years of the Great Depression; The U.S. Frigate Constellation Series, 1975-1980, which deals with the acquisition and restoration of the U.S. Constellation by the city of Baltimore; and the Generation to Generation Project: The Living Legacy of Older People, 1979-1980 which consists of 77 interviews with senior citizens from the Homewood Community of Baltimore. Please click on the links provided to visit each the project page for each collection of oral histories.

01/13/12 - Hughes Studio Photograph Collection inventory list now available as one PDF

Not only has the Hughes Studio Photograph Collection (PP30) inventory list been transferred from the previous MdHS website to this current website, we also made it available as one single PDF. Previously, the inventory list was only searchable by box number, making it difficult for researchers who were searching for one particular topic to find all possible entries without clicking on all sixty-one inventory lists. The collection consists of thousands of negatives and the PDF itself is roughly 1,000 pages. While this isn't ideal for printing, the PDF is ideal for searching through this vast collection. You can view the PDF on the Hughes Studio Photograph Collection page or view it here as a PDF. Note: There is a second Hughes Photograph Collection known as PP8 which is not included in the PP30 PDF. 

1/05/12 - Oral History of the Month for January is online: OH 8080, Hartigan, 1975

The January Oral History of the Month, featuring OH 8080, an interview with artist Grace Hartigan, is now online. This interview conducted in 1975 explores the life and work of Hartigan, an Abstract Expressionist painter during the 1950's and Graduate Instructor at the Maryland Institute College of Art from 1965-2007. Topics include the New York art scene of the 1950's, relationships with Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and other artists, and the Baltimore Art community of the 1960s and early 1970s.