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Francis O’Neill

This tag is associated with 6 posts

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 [...]

Cathy McDermott: A Remembrance

Last July 14, longtime MdHS volunteer and member of the library committee Cathy M. McDermott passed away. On April 14, 2018 the Special Collections Department was named in her honor. Reference librarian Francis O’Neill provides the following remembrance: At this point I’m a little vague on the “when”, but I’m very clear on the “why” [...]

The Blair Witch is Back!

Maryland’s most famous witch, Elly Kedward, also known as the Blair Witch, returns to the big screen this Friday, September 16, in “Blair Witch,” the direct sequel to 1999′s “The Blair Witch Project.” “The Blair Witch Project” supposedly featured the footage left behind by three student filmmakers who disappeared after venturing into the Black Hills, [...]

Double, Double Toil and Trouble: Witchcraft in Maryland

The perilous waters of the Atlantic Ocean condemned Maryland’s first witch. The Charity of London set sail for the New World in 1654 from England with her crew and small group of passengers looking to settle the new colony. Mary Lee was one such passenger, but she never set foot on Maryland’s shores. Travelers knew [...]

From Slabtown to Hampden

As I was inventorying some of our maps a couple months ago, I was very excited to stumble across a crumbly, crusty, and torn map of Hampden from 1857. Though we have an absolutely staggering amount of material in our collection, we do not have a lot from the community that almost half of our [...]

The Passano Files*

The most valuable resource for studying the buildings of Baltimore is not Google Maps—in fact, it isn’t online at all. It is an index card collection of historic structures known as the Passano File that lives in the H. Furlong Baldwin Library at the Maryland Historical Society. Edited and overseen by Francis O’Neill, a reference [...]

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