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Through the Lens: Early Photography and the Cased Photograph Collection at the Maryland Historical Society

The Cased Photograph Collection in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library is a remarkable slice of photographic history. The nearly 600 item collection contains daguerreotypes, tintypes, and other examples of the earliest photographic technology. These photographs capture domestic scenes from Maryland life—family portraits, souvenir snapshots, and rare outdoor scenes. In 1839, Louis Daguerre introduced an invention [...]

Miss Szold: A Jewish Idealist in the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore

This summer, under the direction of Loyola University Maryland English Professor Jean Lee Cole, I was part of a group of students who transcribed documents from the papers of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore held at the Maryland Historical Society. The club was founded in 1890 and disbanded in 1920, and over the summer, [...]

Frederick Douglass: Significant Moments in His Life in Maryland in His Words

Two hundred years ago this month, Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey was born at Holmes Hill Farm in Talbot County, Maryland. His mother Harriet Bailey, was a slave, and it is believed that his father was Aaron Anthony, Harriet’s master and an overseer on one of the Lloyd family farms on the Eastern Shore. This child [...]

The Rise of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore and the Bethel A.M.E. Church

The Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church (Bethel A.M.E.) is a Baltimore landmark. It is a tribute to the city’s African American community’s fight for spiritual, as well as social and economic, equality. Methodism was particularly popular in Maryland in its earliest years. The movement’s radical approach to preaching attracted many new congregants, black and white [...]

The Dream of the ‘90s is Alive: Pre-processing the Joseph Kohl Collection

This post originally appeared on December 12, 2013. Whatever you do, don’t mistake the title of this post as a diss. The photographs taken by Joseph Henry Adam Kohl (1957 – 2002), and left on deposit here at MdHS by his friend Carl Clark, capture an era in the greatest sense of that cliche. Best, [...]

“The darkest hours are often the harbingers of a bright dawn:” The Diary of Hester Ann Wilkins Davis

  The library recently acquired a diary kept by Hester Ann Wilkins Davis during the Civil War years. It was an exciting find as it helped complete a series of her diaries from the 1830s through the 1870s donated to the society in 1963. Throughout her adult life, Davis was an avid diarist, who kept [...]

Uncommon Works: The Rare Book Collection at the Maryland Historical Society

Since the Maryland Historical Society’s founding in 1844, the library has amassed a spectacular collection of over seven million items.  MdHS archivists and librarians care for such treasures as Charles Carroll of Carrollton’s copy of the William J. Stone Declaration of Independence, the extensive collection of business and personal papers of Baltimore socialite and businesswoman [...]

Growing Up in Fell’s Point: Jennie Sokolowska’s Stories

My mother Jane Schoeberlein, known in her youth as Jennie Sokolowska, passed away in December 2014. As a means of memorializing her, and also to hold on to her spirit for just a little bit longer, I wrote down some stories and memories that she had shared with me about her youth. Here is a [...]

Staff Favorites: “Behind the Scene’s At Hutzler’s”

As we’ve previously pointed out, choosing a favorite thing among millions of archival materials stored at MdHS is a practically absurd task. While this writer skews toward more modern fare, say for example photography by local heroes Paul Henderson, Robert Kniesche, or Joseph Kohl, it’s still a Sophie’s choice. Finding my arm twisted vigorously by [...]

Staff Favorites: A Mysterious Dispatch

Each Thursday in October, underbelly staff members will highlight their favorite collections items in honor of American Archives Month. Choosing a favorite item from a collection of over seven million manuscripts, photographs, maps, rare books, prints, and more can pose a challenge. From the most famous documents, including Francis Scott Key’s original manuscript for “The [...]

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