Maryland Historical Society

Maryland Historical Society Gifts of any size support the Maryland Historical Society as we continue to creatively share Maryland’s stories during these difficult times. Give at www.mdhs.org/MarylandDay.
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Founded in 1844, MdHS is the state’s oldest continuously operating cultural institution. We serve upwards of 100,000 people through our museum, library, press, and education programs. MdHS is located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland.

Mission: The Maryland Historical Society seeks to illuminate the past, lend perspective to the present, and inform the future through the acquisition, preservation, and interpretation of manuscripts, archives, and objects that together form the fabric of Maryland History.

Show your Maryland pride during #socialdistancing! Maryland flag and crab face masks are now available from our Museum S...
07/10/2020

Show your Maryland pride during #socialdistancing! Maryland flag and crab face masks are now available from our Museum Store. Check them out today: http://ow.ly/CsT050At7jn

All orders of $25 or more will receive a FREE Pratt House ornament!*

*No code necessary. One per customer while supplies last.

A century from now, what will people remember about life during Covid-19? Allison Tolman, VP of Collections at the Maryl...
07/09/2020
Stories For The Future: Documenting The Pandemic

A century from now, what will people remember about life during Covid-19? Allison Tolman, VP of Collections at the Maryland Historical Society, spoke with WYPR today about our new project, "Collecting In Quarantine."

A century from now, what will people remember about life during Covid-19? Allison Tolman of the Maryland Historical Society talks about the new project,

Baltimore’s rich maritime history helped the city boom in the early nineteenth century. Its population and shipyards gre...
07/09/2020
Early Baltimore

Baltimore’s rich maritime history helped the city boom in the early nineteenth century. Its population and shipyards grew rapidly and the city exploded from a small town to the third largest city in the young United States. This growth also brought on its own challenges and made the city a target, especially in 1814. As the news of the war with Britain in 1812 reached Baltimore, many merchants began turning their Baltimore Clippers into privateers, or legal pirates, leading the British to call Baltimore a “nest of pirates.” On September 13, 1814, the Royal Navy began a 25-hour bombardment on Fort McHenry. Unable to break through the defenses at the fort and around the city, the Royal Navy and the British Army, left Baltimore.
At the Maryland Historical Society, we house an interactive touchscreen map, developed by the Imaging Research Center (IRC) at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) of Baltimore, of Baltimore in 1815 a few months after the famous bombardment.
While you may not be able to visit MdHS to see the map, it is accessible online! Check out the map here https://bearings.earlybaltimore.org/ and see if you can answer the questions below!
1. What is a fort, and what purpose do they have for communities or cities around the world?
2. Why do you think Fort McHenry is placed where it is, in relation to the rest of Baltimore?
3. Why do you think the British attacked Baltimore during the War of 1812?
4. Were the British able to defeat the Americans, by capturing Fort McHenry and the city of Baltimore?
5. Who observed the battle, and how did that person document what they saw?

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07/07/2020
Ask a Historian: Maritime History

You asked questions. Now we have answers. Watch our fourth #AskaHistorian video where Katie Brown, Digital Projects Specialist, answers some of your most pressing questions about American maritime history.
Have more questions? Leave them in the comments or email them to [email protected]. Check back next Tuesday for another #AskaHistorian call for questions.”

Are you a new member, a long-standing member, or somewhere in between? We want to hear from you! Direct message us your ...
07/06/2020

Are you a new member, a long-standing member, or somewhere in between? We want to hear from you! Direct message us your story - why did you join MdHS, what do you love about history, what do you enjoy about being a member?

#MembershipMonday #MarylandHistory

We talked about the constitution! In this virtual program, our guest, Dr. Richard Bell, provides a fascinating look into...
07/05/2020

We talked about the constitution! In this virtual program, our guest, Dr. Richard Bell, provides a fascinating look into the text of the 1787 federal Constitution and demonstrates how the Three-Fifths Clause wove slaveholder power into the fabric of each of the three branches of government – executive, legislative, and judicial – shaping every aspect of federal policy regarding slavery for decades to come. Check out the recording on our Vimeo page: https://vimeo.com/432860491

Boredom in online class led this #LetterfromtheHomefront contributor to searching for a job with the Baltimore County Fi...
07/05/2020

Boredom in online class led this #LetterfromtheHomefront contributor to searching for a job with the Baltimore County Fire Department. Owen Sahnow from Baltimore writes, "I got firsthand experience dealing with big city emergencies, the homeless population, and inefficient bureaucracy. We were supposed to wear goggles, an N95 mask, and a surgical mask to extend the life of the N95 on every single patient interaction."

Read more from this submission: http://ow.ly/BsAj50AfOlH

Submit your own letter to our Collecting in Quarantine initiative at [email protected].

Image: Anderson Co. Fire Truck. Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department Inc. #2, 1951, PP30-160-51. Hughes Studio Photograph Collection, PP30, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society.

#CollectingInQuarantineMD #LettersFromtheHomeFrontMD

What does the pop culture of 1790s’ Maryland reveal about the fledgling American nation? Marylanders played cards, games...
07/04/2020

What does the pop culture of 1790s’ Maryland reveal about the fledgling American nation? Marylanders played cards, games, and music. They took dance classes and watched traveling theatrical companies’ performances. Most prominently, their entertainment reflected the new sense of nationhood in toasts to the 13 colonies, veneration of George Washington, fireworks, and parades.

Read about how July 4 was celebrated over 200 years ago in Jean B. Russo’s article “The Wonderful Lady and the Fourth of July: Popular Culture in the Early National Period” (90.2, Summer 1995, 181-193), with the article starting on p. 181. http://ow.ly/qGvr50Anf3b

The Maryland Historical Magazine remains your source of Maryland and U.S. history: all issues are available free of charge at http://ow.ly/CdjI50Anf3c.

Get ‘em while they last! Merchandise from the exhibit, Structure and Perspective: David Brewster Explores Maryland’s Soc...
07/03/2020

Get ‘em while they last! Merchandise from the exhibit, Structure and Perspective: David Brewster Explores Maryland’s Social Landscape, on sale now. https://maryland-historical-society.shoplightspeed.com/sale-2170976/

All orders of $25 or more will receive a FREE Pratt House ornament*

*No code necessary. One per customer while supplies last.

#shopMDhistory

07/03/2020

Happy (early) Fourth of July and #FilmFriday! Enjoy this July 4, 1934 film from the Maryland Historical Society archives showing the northwestern section of Baltimore buzzing with activity as military, school, and civic units took part in the celebrations.

According to an article in the Baltimore Sun from that day, Bluejackets from the U.S.S. Northampton represented the Navy, while detachments from the Fifth Regiment, Maryland National Guard and the Twelfth Infantry represented the land forces. Elsewhere in the city were assorted races and swimming events, with fireworks extending into the evening.

#OnThisDay, July 2,1908, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland. In Marshall’s prolific...
07/02/2020

#OnThisDay, July 2,1908, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was born in Baltimore, Maryland. In Marshall’s prolific career as a lawyer and civil rights activist, he successfully argued 29 of 32 cases before the United States Supreme Court, including the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case in 1954. He became the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court in 1967 when he was nominated by President Johnson and confirmed by a Senate vote of 69-11.

Speaking of the nomination, President Johnson remarked that it was "the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place." Thurgood Marshall served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court for 24 years before retiring in 1991. He died in 1993 at the age of 84.

Image: Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson and Thurgood Marshall, photograph by Paul Henderson, 1949, HEN.01.13-010. Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society.

Maryland has always been known for its maritime history. As Baltimore Clipper Ships, in the 1800s, Liberty Ships, in the...
07/02/2020

Maryland has always been known for its maritime history. As Baltimore Clipper Ships, in the 1800s, Liberty Ships, in the 1940s, and oyster vessels sailed in and out of Maryland and around the world, they would raise maritime signal flags. These signal flags represented letters and numbers and could be used to spell out specific messages. Below we have a message spelled out using these signal flags! See if you can figure out what is says using online resources!

Want to check out some cool images of Maryland’s maritime history, visit http://www.mdhs.org/digital-images and search under the maritime tag!

Salons and barber shops are reopening, but during quarantine, home haircuts were the norm. Jesse Gardner from Towson was...
07/01/2020

Salons and barber shops are reopening, but during quarantine, home haircuts were the norm. Jesse Gardner from Towson was pleasantly surprised by his wife's clippers skills. "She watched a video about giving haircuts and joked that she should wear a black leather bodysuit like the stylist in the film. We laughed for the first time in days. She went to work on my head. When she finished, I had to admit it looked pretty good."

Read more from this submission: http://ow.ly/1ew350AfNvN

Submit your own letter to our Collecting in Quarantine initiative at [email protected].

Image: Group portrait. Unidentified man and young boys getting their haircut in barber shop, photograph by Paul S. Henderson, circa 1949, HEN.00.B2-266. Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society.

Today's calendar date may read July 1, but others have known it to be the "Thirsty-First" of June. #OTD in 1919, the War...
07/01/2020

Today's calendar date may read July 1, but others have known it to be the "Thirsty-First" of June. #OTD in 1919, the Wartime Prohibition Act took effect, whittling down the production of alcohol in the United States.

Read more about prohibition in Maryland: http://ow.ly/mB0C50Aaieb

Image: Jefferson Liquor Company storefront with customers, 15 North Liberty Street, Baltimore, Maryland, photograph by unidentified photographer, June 1919, Subject Vertical File, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society.

#MarylandHistory

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, we continue to carry out our mission to educate people of all ages about t...
06/30/2020

Despite the challenges presented by COVID-19, we continue to carry out our mission to educate people of all ages about the rich history of Maryland. We are committed to collecting the stories of today to share with the historians of tomorrow. The dedication of our donors and members has enabled us to launch a new initiative, Collecting in Quarantine, and reinvigorate a past project, Preserve the Baltimore Uprising Archive.

Help us continue this important work. Donate at the link below to support history education today: https://secure.mdhs.org/contribute-mdhs/

Have you ever wanted to know more about pirates off the Chesapeake Bay? What about shipwrecks in the Bay? Or the shift f...
06/30/2020

Have you ever wanted to know more about pirates off the Chesapeake Bay? What about shipwrecks in the Bay? Or the shift from wind power to steam power in ocean navigation? Ask us your most pressing questions about American maritime history in the comments, and check back next Tuesday for our next #AskaHistorian video with answers from our Digital Projects Specialist, Katie Brown.

Image Source: Schooner Patapsco Making Escape, watercolor on paper by unidentified artist, September 21, 1814, M1986.88. Museum Department, Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore.

We are pleased to share that our Senior Reference Librarian, Francis O'Neill, has a reached a historic milestone of his ...
06/29/2020
A 40-year career spent identifying lost lives in Baltimore

We are pleased to share that our Senior Reference Librarian, Francis O'Neill, has a reached a historic milestone of his own this week as he celebrates 40 years at the Maryland Historical Society. Francis has helped so many library patrons over the years. Are you one of them? Share a memory of something Francis helped you discover about Maryland history or your personal history in the comments below.

In 40 years at the Maryland Historical Society, Francis O'Neill has tracked Baltimore's residents through their streets.

Quarantine and social distancing guidelines have changed the way families are mourning their loved ones. In this #Letter...
06/28/2020

Quarantine and social distancing guidelines have changed the way families are mourning their loved ones. In this #LetterfromtheHomefront, Denise from White Marsh says, "My brother died on Saturday March 7, 2020, following surgery. We had a big turnout at the viewing and the funeral, but still within guidelines. I grieve along with the families whose loved ones died, from whatever cause, during this pandemic who did not get that opportunity."

Submit your own letter to our Collecting in Quarantine initiative at [email protected].

Image: “Entrance Gateway to Greenmount Cemetery,” print by Edward Weber & Co., circa 1851, H120. Hambleton Print Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society.

#CollectingInQuarantineMD #LettersFromtheHomeFrontMD

#OnThisDay, June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village, setting off confrontati...
06/28/2020

#OnThisDay, June 28, 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village, setting off confrontations that would become known as the Stonewall riots. While police raids were common at gay bars such as the Stonewall, on June 28 patrons of the bar and others in the neighborhood fought back. The uprising would serve as a pivotal moment in the history of the gay rights movement.

Gay bars have long been places of refuge, and organization, for the LGBTQ+ community. In Baltimore, the club known as the Hippo was one such refuge. After it closed in 2015, its owner entrusted the Hippo sign, seen here, to MdHS. Help us continue to document the history of the LGBTQ+ community in Maryland. If you have photographs, objects, clothing, personal or organizational papers, or other materials to help tell the story of the struggles and accomplishments of LGBTQ+ Marylanders, please reach out to us at [email protected].

Image: Club Hippo sign, unknown maker, Baltimore, 1980s, Gift of Mr. Charles L. Bower, 2015.19

In this #MuseumMomentofZen, enter into an enchanting and dreamy world, lush with rich lyrical colors of blues and greens...
06/27/2020

In this #MuseumMomentofZen, enter into an enchanting and dreamy world, lush with rich lyrical colors of blues and greens. In 1955, Fuller Fabrics invited five of the 20th century’s most distinguished artists to collaborate on a line of textiles to be called the Modern Master Series. The cotton fabrics were accurately rendered and produced into repeating patterns then sold for less than $2 a yard, making it accessible for mass production and sewing at home.

The Modern Master Series also featured a museum exhibition, documentary film and original works of art. Marylander Claire McCardell (1905-1958) designed a wardrobe of separates and dresses using these fabrics.

The detailed imagery you see here is from a dress McCardell designed using the Modern Master Series fabric. Inspired by the source motif Evening Enchantment, a painting by Marc Chagall, McCardell cleverly pleated the fabric to best highlight Chagall’s artwork, particularly the violinist. The flowers and the violinist were reoccurring symbols used by Chagall, referencing his childhood and the joyful life of a Russian shtetl.

Image: 1998.19 a-b. Printed Cotton and Wool Knit Dress
1955. Designed by Claire McCardell (1905-1958). Worn by Natalie Mendeloff. Maryland Historical Society. Gift of Natalie Mendeloff.

Curious about the exhibitions we are unveiling later this fall? You’ll learn the answers to these questions and more int...
06/27/2020

Curious about the exhibitions we are unveiling later this fall? You’ll learn the answers to these questions and more interesting information about MdHS when you watch our 176th annual meeting (our first ever virtual annual meeting!) on our Vimeo page: https://vimeo.com/432142876

Our president and CEO, Mark Letzer, and Vice President of Education and Strategic Engagement, Katie Caljean, talk about where MdHS is headed and answer questions about the organization from our members. You’ll also hear from outgoing board chair, Louise Lake Hayman, and incoming board chair, Clinton Daly.

We typically know summer as the time for outdoor festivals and concerts, but all that has changed this year. Mallory fro...
06/26/2020

We typically know summer as the time for outdoor festivals and concerts, but all that has changed this year. Mallory from Fells Point shared this photo to our underbelly blog and said, "The live music industry, like most other industries, is having to find ways to adapt to the present circumstances."

Submit your own images to our Collecting in Quarantine initiative at [email protected].

06/26/2020
NEH Announces $40 million in CARES Act Grants

We are honored to be selected for an award from the National Endowment for the Humanities CARES program. This competitive grant is part of the federal response to COVID-19 supporting many museums, libraries, and heritage sites during a period of closure and lost revenue. NEH funding will support our work to connect our audience with engaging history experiences virtually — as we continue to do our best to help flatten the curve and prepare for some exciting new developments later in 2020.

Kudos to the other great Maryland organizations that received this critically needed funding. These are trying times for all cultural organizations that continue to rely on their visitors for support. Out of 2,333 eligible applications, NEH was only able to fund 311 organizations. America's stewards of history and culture need your support now more than ever!

#NEHCARES

Press Release NEH Announces $40 million in CARES Act Grants Emergency relief funding will preserve humanities jobs nationwide TwitterFacebook (June 22, 2020) WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced $40.3 million in new CARES Act economic stabilization gra...

Address

201 W Monument St
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 - 17:00
Thursday 10:00 - 17:00
Friday 10:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 17:00
Sunday 12:00 - 17:00

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(410) 685-3750

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Comments

My ancestors arrived in Maryland in the 1600's from England. It would be fantastic to see any history or connect with descendants in the USA. I have William Burgess born c1622 and Henry Sewall born c1628. Thank you
Meet us in Oakland Maryland at St Marks church side yard on July 6th at 7pm. We have created a safe place for everyone to voice their experiences and get their questions answered. Everyone is welcome, Racists, Antiracists, Black, White, Blue, Gay, Straight, Transgender, cisgender.
"And she's getting threadbare and wearing thin But she's in good shape for the shape she's in 'Cause she's been through the fire before And I believe she can take a whole lot more..." -- Johnny Cash, Ragged Old Flag #FlagDay2020
The first dated printing of The Star Spangled Banner, Francis Scott Key, 20 September 1814. Printed in the Baltimore Patriot and Evening Advertiser, Vol IV, No. 59. (Looks like the first word is "I" and not "Oh".)
Really liked your Partners in Sensuality date night! Learned a lot about chocolate - thank you!
PLEASE SAVE THE DATE!! My name is Patricia McDaniel. I founded and chair the Historic National Road Yard Sale which extends for 824 miles from Baltimore to St. Louis. After concurring with Barbara Ballint, Executive Director of Belmont County (Ohio) Tourism, Nancy Sartain, Leisure and Marketing Director, Old National Road Welcome Center (Richmond, Indiana) and Karen Barber, COO, Heart Of Ohio Antique Center it was decided to continue to host the Historic National Road Yard Sale each year the first Wednesday AFTER Memorial Day. Next year the sale will be held June 2-6, 20021. FOR STRINGENT YARD SALE AFICIONADOS, SUBMIT YOU VACATION DATES FOR JUNE 1-5, 2022!!
Good afternoon I live in Massachusetts and I’m looking for information on my 8x great grandfather William John Patterson born 1715 in Donegal Ireland passed in 17th of April 1782 in Abbeville South Carolina. I found a reference to the Maryland archives volume eight page 328 also the minute men volume 22 number to page 289. Is there any way of getting this information. I know from my research he was part of the continental troops and he was a private
I love the 5 minute mini-history videos by Johns Hopkins on Youtube. Keep it up. I look forward to trying a historic tour when the pandemic is just history.
If this isn't a good place for this question, please direct me me a better site..Is there still a Grand Union Supermarket in Upper Marlboro, Maryland? Is was on a main highway in the 1950's, but not sure of the name? If anyone is aware of it, if it is not there, did another store buy it? I need the name of employees that worked there. Very important. Thank you in advance for any help.