George L. Van Bibber IV Photograph Collection, PP323

Finding Aid to the George L. Van Bibber IV Photograph Collection, PP323

H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society

Download a PDF version of the finding aid

Collection summary

Title

George L. Van Bibber IV Photograph Collection

Creator

Stockton Todd Holden

Call number

PP323

Inclusive dates

1976, 1979, ca 1970s

Extent

1 box

Abstract

The George L. Van Bibber IV Photograph Collection consists of one box of 18 photographs related to George L. Van Bibber IV taken by photographer Stockton Todd Holden, a friend of Van Bibber’s.

Administrative summary

Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library

Maryland Historical Society

201 W. Monument St.

Baltimore, MD 21201

www.mdhs.org

specialcollections@mdhs.org

Access restrictions

Open to the public without restrictions.

Use restrictions

For information about how to purchase digital reproductions and for permission information, please visit the Rights and Reproductions page

Provenance

Gift of Stockton Todd Holden, June 2017

Accession number

Acc# 2017-029-LIB

Processing note

Processed by Damon Talbot, June 2017

Related Collections

George L. Van Bibber IV Diary, 1926-1979, MS 2409

Highland Society of Harford County Papers, MS 3205

 

Biographical Note

George Lindenburger Van Bibber IV was born on March 12, 1906, in Harford County, Maryland. He was the son of Armfield Franklin Van Bibber (d.1953) and Susanna Rebecca [Michael] Van Bibber (d.1955). He had one brother Edwin M. (d.1967) and two sisters Katherine and Ann (Mrs. William T. Whitney).

Van Bibber was a life-long resident of Bel Air, living at 303 Main Street, his childhood home. He graduated from the University of Virginia in 1929 with a degree in architecture and was employed as a draftsman in the Edgewood Arsenal from 1936-1960. His real interests lay however in local history, travel, literature and the cinema. He made numerous trips abroad, culminating in a five-month round-the-world voyage in 1975.

Van Bibber was active in the Harford County Historical Society, serving on its Bicentennial Commission and writing a monograph “Notes on Bel Air - a character sketch of our county seat.” He designed the seal for Harford County and the town seals for Bel Air, Aberdeen and Havre de Grace. Van Bibber was also a charter member of the Highland Society of Harford County and designed the shield that is part of the official seal of the organization.

Over the years Van Bibber contributed numerous columns to local newspapers. He wrote “Crazy Horse Spoke” for the News Advertiser and the Havre de Grace Record and “Henry Harf Hath Hearde” published in the Bel Air Aegis. He illustrated his columns with drawings and caricatures.

Van Bibber never married. After the death of his mother in 1955, he began renting rooms in his house to boarders and having all his meals in the restaurants and cafes of Bel Air. This habit ensured that Van Bibber was a familiar personage in the town and his diaries are full of references to pedestrians or motorists hailing him during his perambulations.

Throughout much of his life Van Bibber was plagued by insomnia and many of the later volumes of his diary record his efforts to occupy the hours of sleeplessness. Many of these hours were spent on the diary itself with its time-consuming transcriptions, amendments, indexing and the like. Indeed it occasionally seems as if the diary were the focus and raison d’être of Van Bibber's life with many of the elaborations of style, annotations etc. growing out of a need to occupy his thoughts and time. The days were structured by the grooves of habits and patterns repeated over the years but Van Bibber's relatively unfettered and solitary existence was made even more inward-directed and solitary by the regimen of keeping his diary.

Van Bibber also suffered from alcoholism. The gradual progression from the exuberant drinking of a college youth to social drinking as a young adult to dependence and abuse of alcohol in maturity is evident in the pages of the diary -- indeed, there must exist few autobiographical accounts of the disease as meticulous as this one. In 1968 Van Bibber was hospitalized for several weeks in a state of near physical collapse after one particularly severe period of abuse. As a result of this episode, with its attendant warnings of fatality, Van Bibber embarked on a period of abstinence which lasted ten years. He frequented the same familiar cafes and kept the same company without jeopardizing his own resolution.

Van Bibber died on March 26, 1979, after an illness of several weeks.

Scope and Content

The George L. Van Bibber IV Photograph Collection consists of one box of 18 photographs related to George L. Van Bibber IV taken by photographer Stockton Todd Holden, a friend of Van Bibber’s. The collection includes a portrait of Van Bibber, exterior photographs of Van Bibber’s home at 303 S. Main Street, Bel Air, and interior photographs of the home taken on March 29, 1979, a few days after his death. There is also a portrait of Harford Circuit Court Judge Edward D. Higinbothom.

The collection also contains eight pieces of poetry by Van Bibber and a program for a 2006 exhibition of Van Bibber’s artworks at the Liriodendron gallery in Bel Air, Maryland.

Container List

Description

Date

Photographer

Format

Image ID

Poetry by George L. Van Bibber IV

not dated

n/a

manuscript

n/a

"An Evening Highlighting the Artwork and life of George L. Van Bibber," program for a 2006 exhibition of Van Bibber’s artworks at the Liriodendron gallery in Bel Air, Maryland.

2006

n/a

Program

n/a

George L. Van Bibber IV

1976

Stockton Todd Holden

Print

PP323.01

Judge Edward D. Higinbothom

ca 1970s

Stockton Todd Holden

Print

PP323.02

[Home of George L. Van Bibber IV, 303 S. Main Street, Bel Air, Maryland, exterior]

ca 1970s

Stockton Todd Holden

Prints

PP323.03 - .06

The Book Bag [Home of Georg L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Mounted Print

PP323.07

[The Book Bag] [Home of Georg L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Matted Print

PP323.08

Den GLVB [Home of Georg L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Mounted Print

PP323.09

Living Room GLVB [Home of Georg L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Mounted Print

PP323.10

Van Bibber Bedroom [Home of Georg L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Mounted Print

PP323.11

John Carver, Garland Green, Executors [Home of Georg L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Mounted Print

PP323.12

GLVB Home [Home of Georg L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Mounted Print

PP323.13

[Books on shelf in home of George L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Mounted Print

PP323.14

[George L. Van Bibber IV's hat on windowsill in his home]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Matted Print

PP323.15

[Books and telephone in home of George L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Mounted Print

PP323.16

[Door in home of George L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Matted Print

PP323.17

[Open door to bedroom in home of George L. Van Bibber IV]

March 29, 1979

Stockton Todd Holden

Matted Print

PP323.18

Games