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Researching Curious Revolutionaries at MdHS

The Lord Baltimore Fellowship was a wonderful way to expand my own research on the history of fossil display in museums, and curatorial research on the Peale family for the American Philosophical Society Museum’s newest exhibition. In my own work, I had the wonderful opportunity to browse the MdHS’s Museum curatorial files on Peale’s epic [...]

Scattered across the Globe and the Political Spectrum: The Tilghman Family in the Revolutionary War

On March 16, 1777, twenty-seven year old Anna Maria Tilghman wrote to her father, James, “I was made happy by the appearance of a Letter from my Brother Tench but when I came to open it it almost broke my heart. He talks of never seeing us again and says if he should fall it [...]

Photo Mystery: The Investigation

A few weeks ago, we shared a photograph of an unidentified building which had long stumped the Library staff. We are grateful for the myriad of suggestions from our readers, and we’ve been busy investigating them by digging into our Passano-O’Neill file and photograph collections. Several readers suggested that the date of the ambrotype was [...]

Carlin’s Park: “Baltimore’s Million Dollar Playground”

On August 13, 1919, John J. Carlin advertised the opening night of his latest business venture—an amusement park he billed as “Baltimore’s Million-Dollar Playground.” Liberty Heights Park only featured a carousel, “Dip the Dips,” and a few other rides, but major plans were underway. He promised that his park when completed would be “an amusement [...]

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 [...]

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