Merle M. Chelf Collection - PP67

Collection finding aids of Photograph Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Maryland Historical Society Library

Not dated and 1923-1933

Prints and Photographs Division, Maryland Historical Society
201 W. Monument St.
Baltimore, MD 21201

Finding aid created by Katherine Cowan with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, July 1999


Merle Velma Martin Chelf was born in Baltimore. An artist and designer, she took evening classes at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, and had lessons with Margie Martinet. She worked in the 1920s and 1930s for the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company, located at 112 South Gay St. in Baltimore. In 1933, she was commissioned to do artwork for a cachet commemorating President James Monroe’s 175th birthday. Merle Chelf lived at 3643 Roland Ave. with her husband, James Irving Chelf (d. 1976), who worked as paymaster for the English American Tailoring Company for forty years, ca. 1926-1966.

Collection Origin

Gift of Merle M. Chelf, 1982 (76405).

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of 1 box with 1 folder containing 17 photoprints, which are undated or from 1923-1933. Most of the photographs are attached to black album sheets, although some have been removed from the sheets and are loose. Two photographs depict Merle M. Chelf and acquaintances; others show a memorial at sea for President Warren Harding, an unidentified ship burning, and other maritime subjects.

Note: There is also 1 folder of printed ephemera, including items designed by Chelf, a menu from the Merchants Club in Baltimore, and items related to the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company.


The photographs are housed in 1 folder, with loose photographs at the front followed by album pages.

Container List

1 Box

Box 1: 1 Folder

Box 1, Folder 1
Merle Chelf in front of Monroe’s law office (Fredericksburg, Va.) (ca. 1933). 1 item.

Judge and Mrs. Huisler, n.d. 1 item.

Exchanging lighthouse personnel at Cape Hatteras, n.d. 2 items.

Album pages, n.d. unless noted otherwise. 3 items (13 images). Memorial held at sea for President Harding, 1923, aboard the steamer Alleghany; unidentified people on a boat, at the seashore and in the city; unidentified maritime subjects including a burning ship. © 2001 Maryland Historical Society - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
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