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Damon Talbot

This tag is associated with 34 posts

The Tale of John Brown’s Letter Book

The Maryland Historical Society has in its collection a small, tattered letter book written in the hand of famed abolitionist John Brown. In October 1859, Brown led a raid of a federal arsenal in Harper’s Ferry, Virginia in the hopes of igniting a nationwide slave revolt. The failed raid and Brown’s subsequent execution by hanging [...]

Photo Mystery: A Stumped Sleuth

One of the best parts about working in the Special Collections Department is trying to identify subjects in old photographs. It requires a certain amount of detective work – a keen eye, dedicated research, and a lot of reasonable deduction. While it is often impossible to determine the identity of an anonymous subject from a [...]

“Happy play in grassy places:” Baltimore’s Playgrounds in Photographs, 1911-1936

Happy play in grassy places; That was how in ancient ages Children grew to kings and sages. (1) As the nineteenth century gave way to the twentieth, the nation’s park system underwent a radical transformation. The park as a bucolic escape from the buzz and bustle of urban life defined the ideal of public parks [...]

The History of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library

1844 – Alarmed by the disgraceful condition of the state’s historical documents, Brantz Mayer and twenty-two civic-minded Baltimoreans organized the Maryland Historical Society in 1844 to collect “the scattered materials of the early history of the state” and preserve its heritage through research, writing, and publications. 1845 – In a joint venture with the Library [...]

Leonora Jackson: “A Name that Will Live in Musical History”

Although largely forgotten today, violinist Leonora Jackson was among a group of pioneering female classical musicians who broke down a number of barriers for women in the late nineteenth century. One of the first female American solo violinists to gain international acclaim, Leonora Jackson dazzled crowds throughout Europe and the United States with her virtuoso [...]

An American Tragedy

Originally posted on November 29, 2012 Many who devote their lives to bringing about social change can recall a single incident or episode that altered their perceptions and determined their path in life. Civil rights activist Rosa Parks recalls that one of the first ways she realized the difference between “a black world and a [...]

The Baltimore Chronicle: Baltimore’s Community Newspaper

In the late 1960s—late 1970s, a number of alternative and underground newspapers sprang up in Baltimore. These papers intended to fill a news void with coverage of subject matter—the counterculture, radical politics, local artists and musicians, avant-garde theatre, community news—largely ignored by mainstream publications, notably the Baltimore Sun and the Baltimore News-American. The publications ranged from cultural and literary magazines [...]

The Prints of Joseph St. Lawerence

The Maryland Historical Society’s print collection numbers more than 5,000 lithographs, etchings and engravings spanning over 250 years of Maryland history. These include a large number of prints by major nineteenth century lithographers, including E. Sachse & Company and A. Hoen and Company, engravings from newspapers such as Harper’s Weekly, advertisements, and frakturs. The collection [...]

The Oldest Known Photographs of Ellicott City

Institutional memory is a vital component of any organization. Today, with increasing turnover rates and the decreasing probability of employees remaining with one employer for the duration of their working career, that memory is a dwindling resource. In an archive, where an in depth knowledge of objects that may number into the millions can only [...]

The Chocolate Dandies: Blake and Sissle’s other Musical

On April 28 of this year, Baltimore born ragtime and jazz pianist and composer Eubie Blake and his partner Noble Sissles’ most famous work, Shuffle Along, will open on Broadway, nearly 100 years after its initial run. In 1921, Shuffle Along transformed Broadway and left a far reaching cultural and social legacy. But the pair also produced [...]

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