Maryland Center for History and Culture

Maryland Center for History and Culture The Maryland Center for History and Culture collects, preserves, and interprets the history, art, and culture of Maryland. Founded in 1844, originally as the Maryland Historical Society, the Maryland Center for History and Culture is the state’s oldest continuously operating cultural institution.

We serve upwards of 100,000 people through our museum, library, press, and education programs. The MCHC is located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland.

Mission: The Maryland Center for History and Culture collects, preserves, and interprets the history, art, and culture of Maryland. By exploring multiple perspectives and sharing national stories through the lens of Maryland, the MCHC inspires critical thinking, creativity, and community.

Operating as usual

Last week, Maryland joined a growing number of states with the establishment of its Semiquincentennial Commission via an...
01/22/2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Governor Hogan Announces Maryland Semiquincentennial Commission

Last week, Maryland joined a growing number of states with the establishment of its Semiquincentennial Commission via an executive order from Governor Larry Hogan. As part of larger federal efforts known as "America 250," this group is tasked with planning local commemorative activities leading up to the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution in 2026.

The Maryland Center for History and Culture's 1844 founding was spurred in part by a desire to preserve the remnants of the fight for independence and it is honored to be named as one of the commission's statewide nonprofit partners. Guided by our core values of Community, Authenticity, Dialogue, and Discovery, we are excited for this opportunity to explore the American legacy and Maryland's critical role as one of the founding colonies.

(January 14, 2021) ANNAPOLIS, MD–Governor Larry Hogan today announced Executive Order 01.01.2021.03, establishing the Maryland Semiquincentennial Commission, to coordinate the commemoration and observance of the 250th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Revolutionary War, and founding ...

#OnThisDay in 1648, Margaret Brent went to the Maryland General Assembly and asked for the right to vote. As the appoint...
01/21/2021

#OnThisDay in 1648, Margaret Brent went to the Maryland General Assembly and asked for the right to vote. As the appointed executor of the estate of Leonard Calvert (1606–1647), the deceased former Governor of the Maryland Colony, she appealed to the all-male body:

“I’ve come to seek a voice in this assembly. And yet because I am a woman, forsooth I must stand idly by and not even have a voice in the framing of your laws.” Her request would be denied. It would take another 272 years before women would gain the right to vote in the United States.

K-12 audiences and parents can download our “Margaret Brent and the Right to Vote” printable activity here: https://bit.ly/35Xbpcz

School and adult audiences can also schedule the “Votes for Women” Virtual Field Trip for a live learning experience: https://bit.ly/39PaLzb

And adult learners can access more information about the continued struggle for suffrage beyond the colonial period by visiting our virtual exhibition, “Forgotten Fight: The Struggle for Voting Rights in Maryland" - https://www.mdhistory.org/virtual-exhibit/forgotten-fight/

Image: Margaret Brent Comes Before the Maryland Colonial Council. Painted by J. Carroll Mansfield, 1942, 1988.53.14, oil on plywood, Museum Collection, Maryland Center for History and Culture.

In honor of today's presidential inauguration, we share an item in our collection tied to another inauguration — the ver...
01/20/2021

In honor of today's presidential inauguration, we share an item in our collection tied to another inauguration — the very first.

Sally Adams Hollingsworth wore this embroidered silk dress in 1789 when she and her husband Samuel traveled to New York City and attended a ball honoring George Washington’s presidential inauguration. The original coral-pink quilted silk petticoat worn with this dress survives, but a descendant transformed it into an evening cape in the 1920s. The cape is also in the Fashion Archives at the Maryland Center for History and Culture.

While there is no inaugural ball today, we can imagine the fashionable celebration of the first through the story of this gown, currently on view in the Spectrum of Fashion exhibition, through March 28: https://www.mdhistory.org/exhibitions/spectrum-of-fashion/

You can also learn more about the dress in our digital collections portal: https://www.mdhistory.org/digital-resource/186/

Image: Silk Dress, unknown maker, 1789. Maryland Center for the History and Culture, The Anne Cheston Murray Collection from Ivy Neck, Cumberstone, Maryland.

The Maryland Center for History and Culture has learned a contractor onsite at our building last week received a positiv...
01/20/2021

The Maryland Center for History and Culture has learned a contractor onsite at our building last week received a positive COVID-19 test on January 19. The contractor had minimal contact with guests and staff. Out of an abundance of caution, the museum will be closed through Friday, January 22, for thorough cleaning and disinfecting to take place.

Please check back here or mdhistory.org/visit for updated information.

"Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!" - Edgar Allan Poe. Happy birthday #OnThisDay to one of Baltimore's most n...
01/19/2021

"Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream!" - Edgar Allan Poe. Happy birthday #OnThisDay to one of Baltimore's most notorious and beloved scribes.

A few eagle-eyed (no pun intended) bird watchers have spotted ravens in Baltimore City over this past year. As we look to the skies we'll be sending up a toast to Poe, whose poem, "The Raven," has forever changed our view of this fowl friend.

Image: Portrait of Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849), image undated, print from a daguerreotype, MD1045. Works on Paper, Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Center for History and Culture.

To honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we highlight resources for studying civil rights activism. Marylander...
01/18/2021

To honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we highlight resources for studying civil rights activism. Marylanders pioneered strategies to push for greater access and opportunity, including during the Ford’s Theatre protest, during which King’s associate Bayard Rustin picketed alongside local activists. The six-year campaign, led by the Baltimore branch of the NAACP, ultimately led to the business ending its discriminatory seating policy in 1952.

School and adult groups can schedule live Virtual Field Trips such as “Protesting Segregation in Maryland” for synchronous learning with a museum educator: https://www.cilc.org/ContentProvider/Program.aspx?id=7773

Students in 5th to 12th grade and other learners can also explore FREE digital lessons in the Historical Investigations Portal curriculum for asynchronous learning. Lessons examine these and other related events with primary sources from the MCHC library collection. See “Protesting: Maryland and the Long Civil Rights Movement" - https://hip.coursearc.com/content/8-10-grade/protesting-long-civil-rights-movement-maryland/introduction/

Image: Street scene: Mrs. Bowen Jackson, Bayard Rustin with others protesting Ford's Theatre Jim Crow admission policy, photograph by Paul Henderson, circa 1948, HEN.00.A2-155, Paul Henderson Photograph Collection.Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Center for History and Culture.

01/17/2021
MCHC Core Conversations - Community

Last month, Dr. Porchia Moore and Nina Simon joined our virtual program stage to discuss how museums can make steps towards becoming more inclusive, relevant, and representative of their community.

Watch the recorded program on our Vimeo channel: https://vimeo.com/498457004.

The MCHC Core Conversation Series celebrates our newly crafted core values: Discovery, Dialogue, Authenticity, and Community. Dr. Porchia Moore and Nina Simon join…

The Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC) joins Marylanders everywhere in mourning the death of Senate Presiden...
01/16/2021

The Maryland Center for History and Culture (MCHC) joins Marylanders everywhere in mourning the death of Senate President Emeritus Thomas V. "Mike" Miller, Jr. (1942–2021).

Of his many passions and accomplishments, Miller held Maryland history close to his heart and was a staunch advocate of the MCHC and myriad other heritage organizations throughout the statewide. In addition to a collector's eye for the aesthetics of Maryland's cultural treasures, Miller believed that an understanding of history could help inform critical thinking and decision making. More recently, Miller passed legislation that made the MCHC's Pathways Grant Program possible, providing state funds to build the capacity of historical sites and museums statewide (he is pictured here signing the legislation with Governor Larry Hogan in 2018)

Miller will go down in history as the longest serving state Senate President in the nation. The MCHC will remember him as a candid orator and friend who shared our belief in the power of historical thinking.

As we enter a new year, the United States continues to face trying circumstances that play out live for students and tea...
01/14/2021

As we enter a new year, the United States continues to face trying circumstances that play out live for students and teachers to see. We know that critical thinking is crucial, and historical perspective is paramount.

Our country has often been shaped by political upheaval, divisions and violence. Going back to the American Revolution and the U.S. Civil War, there are instructive examples of how the nation has dealt with these challenges and moved forward. We study and teach history to make sense of challenging times like these, providing learners with the necessary perspectives to examine current events in context.

Explore FREE digital lessons in the Historical Investigations Portal (HIP), which examine perspectives about local divisions during the Civil War and debates on the framing of the U.S. Constitution: “The Constitution and Common Americans,” and “Civil War Maryland: Martial Law in Baltimore.”

https://www.mdhistory.org/learn/educator-resources/historical-investigations-portal/

Image: "Military Occupation of Monument Square, Baltimore, MD, by United States Artillery, by Order of Major-General Banks." Created by William H. Weaver, in Harper's Weekly, July 24, 1861. Medium Prints Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Center for History and Culture.

Looking for a good fireside read? Explore interesting and thought-provoking research articles on Maryland’s social, poli...
01/11/2021

Looking for a good fireside read? Explore interesting and thought-provoking research articles on Maryland’s social, political, and cultural history with the MCHC’s biannual peer-reviewed journal, the Maryland Historical Magazine, mailed directly to you. A great read for any history lover!

Renew or become a member today to get access to this MCHC membership perk by clicking here: https://www.mdhistory.org/join/become-a-member.

Learn more about the magazine: https://www.mdhistory.org/publications/mdhs-magazine/

We are sad to learn George F. Goebel, owner of A.T. Jones & Sons, Baltimore's oldest theatrical costumers, passed away t...
01/09/2021

We are sad to learn George F. Goebel, owner of A.T. Jones & Sons, Baltimore's oldest theatrical costumers, passed away this week. The shop has been a neighbor and friend to the Maryland Center for History and Culture. Photographer A. Aubrey Bodine captured the shop in 1944 with this image, now in our collection.

Here is The Baltimore Sun's obituary of George Goebel: https://bit.ly/2XnztRh

Image: Jones Costumers, 823 N. Howard Street, photograph by A. Aubrey Bodine, March 1, 1944, B380. A. Aubrey Bodine Collection, Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Center for History and Culture.

A T Jones & Sons Inc. - The Baltimore Costumers since 1868

We've extended our popular "Spectrum of Fashion" exhibition through March. Stroll through 400 years of fashion history t...
01/06/2021

We've extended our popular "Spectrum of Fashion" exhibition through March. Stroll through 400 years of fashion history tomorrow on Free First Thursday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

The library remains closed but our museum exhibitions — featuring touchless interactives and plenty of room to safely explore — are open. Reserve your free ticket ahead of time: https://www.mdhistory.org/visit/hours-admission/

We are saddened by the recent passing of George D. Mitchell, a longtime community leader in Baltimore and a passionate a...
01/05/2021

We are saddened by the recent passing of George D. Mitchell, a longtime community leader in Baltimore and a passionate advocate for voter registration. George was a member of Baltimore’s illustrious Mitchell family, a dynasty of civil rights leaders. He was not yet born when this photo was taken of his mother Juanita Jackson Mitchell, father Clarence M. Mitchell Jr., and brothers, Michael, Keiffer, and Clarence III.

Juanita was the first African-American woman to practice law in Baltimore and father Clarence M. Jr. was chief lobbyist for the NAACP for nearly 30 years. Following in the footsteps of his family, George got an early start in politics, handing out paper handbills as a child in the 1950s for Judge Harry A. Cole, then a Maryland state Senate candidate. He was later a founding member of the Jackie Robinson Youth Council of the Baltimore Chapter of the NAACP.

Read George Mitchell's obituary here: https://bit.ly/3bbEdSo

Image: Group portrait of the Mitchell family, featuring Juanita Jackson Mitchell, Michael Mitchell, Clarence Mitchell, Keiffer Mitchell, and Clarence Mitchell III, photograph by Paul Henderson, c. 1950. Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Center for History and Culture. HEN.02.09-044

From everyone at the Maryland Center for History and Culture, thank you for your support and engagement in 2020! We can’...
12/31/2020

From everyone at the Maryland Center for History and Culture, thank you for your support and engagement in 2020! We can’t wait to continue to grow with you in 2021.

If you haven’t done so already, make an impact with a 100% tax-deductible 2020 year-end donation — mdhistory.org/year-end. Thank you. Every gift makes a difference!

We can’t wait to raise a glass and say goodbye to 2020, but before we do, YOU deserve our whole-hearted thanks. Despite ...
12/30/2020

We can’t wait to raise a glass and say goodbye to 2020, but before we do, YOU deserve our whole-hearted thanks. Despite a difficult year, the Maryland Center for History and Culture was able to engage with thousands of individuals across Maryland, the US, and around the world — because of your support. We couldn’t have done this without you.

If you haven’t done so already, make an impact with a 100% tax-deductible 2020 year-end donation: mdhistory.org/year-end. Thank you!

Image: Group portrait, promotional photo for Hals Beer Baltimore, Maryland, circa 1953, Paul Henderson, Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, Maryland Center for History and Culture.

Have you visited our new or permanent museum exhibitions? We are open this week (beginning tomorrow) except New Year's D...
12/29/2020

Have you visited our new or permanent museum exhibitions? We are open this week (beginning tomorrow) except New Year's Day. Stop by for a visit. Capacity is limited and masks required. Purchase tickets in advance: https://www.mdhistory.org/visit/hours-admission.

12/27/2020
Discovering Benjamin Henry Latrobe (FSK from Home)

Have extra time this holiday week? You can view 30, hour-long virtual programs presented by the Maryland Center for History and Culture over the past year, including the recent conversation, "Discovering Benjamin Henry Latrobe." Peruse our full virtual program archive: https://www.mdhistory.org/online-resources/virtual-public-program-archive/

In 1796 a 32-year-old, Moravian-educated Benjamin Henry Latrobe arrived in America with eclectic interests, financial difficulties, and a reputation for extravagance.…

Brought over by immigrants from southern Germany, the tradition of the train garden has become a Baltimore staple. Initi...
12/24/2020

Brought over by immigrants from southern Germany, the tradition of the train garden has become a Baltimore staple. Initially religious in nature, Christmas gardens have changed over time to become train gardens, first incorporating wooden trains and then electric trains as technology evolved. In 1917, the first train garden appeared in a Baltimore firehouse, starting a tradition that continues through today. Learn more about train and Christmas gardens on our library blog — https://bit.ly/37GQbRS
and from our friends at the Fire Museum of Maryland: https://www.firemuseummd.org/train-garden

Image Citation: Children, Christmas Tree, and Train Garden, Mr. H. Wilhelm, December 28, 1944, PP 30 810-44, Hughes Studio Photograph Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Center for History and Culture.

#OnThisDay in 1783, George Washington stood before Congress in the Senate Chamber at the Maryland State House in Annapol...
12/23/2020

#OnThisDay in 1783, George Washington stood before Congress in the Senate Chamber at the Maryland State House in Annapolis to resign his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army. Months after the Treaty of Paris and the official end of the American Revolutionary War, the exalted general felt the time was right to return to his estate at Mount Vernon and resume civilian life.

Washington expressed his devotion to the country he had served with such constancy, “bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body, under whose orders I have so long acted…” His address was well-received, and he left for home the next day to join his family for Christmas. But Washington’s respite from public life was brief, as he returned just years later as the first President of the United States, a post to which he had been unanimously elected.

Image: “George Washington Resigns His Commission, Annapolis,” engraving by the National Bank Note Co., New York, undated, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Center for History and Culture.

Season's Greetings from all of us at the Maryland Center for History and Culture. We are closed Christmas Day and New Ye...
12/23/2020

Season's Greetings from all of us at the Maryland Center for History and Culture. We are closed Christmas Day and New Year's Day, but operating normally all other days, Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Spend a morning or afternoon walking through our spacious museum exhibition galleries. Capacity is limited and masks are required. Advanced museum ticket purchases are strongly advised: https://www.mdhistory.org/visit/hours-admission. The library remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to seeing you!

It's #TurnBackTuesday — Not long ago, holiday travelers making their way north and south along the East Coast had to nav...
12/22/2020

It's #TurnBackTuesday — Not long ago, holiday travelers making their way north and south along the East Coast had to navigate Baltimore’s city streets — and 51 traffic lights — to reach their destination. To break this through-traffic congestion known as the “Baltimore bottleneck,” the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel was opened in 1957. This 1.4-mile, four-lane tunnel carries Interstate 895 under the Patapsco River and connects the Canton and Fairfield areas of southeast Baltimore.

At the time of its opening, the facility was the fifth longest underwater vehicular tunnel in the world and the initial toll for cars was just 40 cents. Within 12 hours of operation, the tunnel handled an estimated 10,000 vehicles and witnessed its first collision, flat tire, and stalled vehicle. Annually, more than 27.6 million vehicles use the tunnel for local and interstate travel.

Image: Baltimore, Md. – Harbor Tunnel – Entrance, unidentified photographer, 1957. Subject Vertical File, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Center for History and Culture.

Address

610 Park Avenue
Baltimore, MD
21201

Light Rail: Centre Street stop MTA Bus #27: Madison Street stop Charm City Circulator: Purple Route, stop #307, Washington Monument (N. Charles St. & E. Mt. Vernon Pl.).

Opening Hours

Wednesday 10:00 - 15:00
Thursday 10:00 - 15:00
Friday 10:00 - 15:00
Saturday 10:00 - 15:00

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(410) 685-3750

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Comments

For Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, my family read about the life of Black Americans in Maryland from 1634-1868. Feel free to use it as a teaching tool.
listen to this recording that is a piece of Maryland music history.
Happy Repudiation Day!
Maryland based storyteller Peter Brooks recites the Yoruba tale of the "Children of the Sun and Moon"
TEEN SUICIDE! We go through many stages in life. During your teen years, it's the "Imaginary Audience" : This makes you think everyone is laughing at you, making fun of you. The BULLIES, especially with the internet, take a long look in the MIRROR. The good news, the next stage of life: "Mate Search & Selection". Please send this to any TEEN's you Know Jonathan HELP IS A PHONE CALL AWAY. 301 475-2000 if the hotline was useless. The average COLLEGE GRAD makes $1,000,000 more in their life, than a HS Degree.
I am interested in learning more about the Baltimore Clipper passenger ships used around the time of the Civil War for folks heading to California either via the isthmus or the horn. Everything from deck and cabin layout to ports of call and encounters with Confederate blockades, cost of passage, and information about the land crossing which took about 2 weeks but apparently saved more than double that time sailing around South America. Do you have any of these documents (original, facsimile, or--ideally, for research purposes--online)? Thank you!