Maryland History Collections

Special Collections has a growing number of photographs, publications, archival collections and personal papers that document the history and culture of Maryland's people and communities. Although materials from the Baltimore metro region dominate our holdings, other collections, such as the Folklife and Maryland Traditions records, have a statewide scope. On this page you will find research guides and infomation about conducting research with varied regional holdings.

Research Guides

Special Collections and Reference have assembled several research guides about Maryland and Baltimore history:

Archival collections

Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Glee Club collection, The Photography Collections, Collection 147

Baltimore Camera Club records, Collection 46

Barbara Young papers, Collection 5

Dorothy Howard papers, Collection 121

Ernest Kempe collection, Collection 25

F. Belle Devilbiss journal of school lessons, Collection 126

Ferdinand C. Latrobe papers, Collection 4

Harold A. McDougall papers, Collection 99

Henry Clay B. Norris diary, Collection 49

Hugh Bolton Jones letters, Collection 20

James Hall Bready collection, Collection 201

Jason Pate collection, Collection 123

John H. B. Latrobe letter, Collection 167

John Lofland manuscript, Collection 164

Joseph L. Arnold papers, Collection 111

Kathleen Skullney collection, Collection 37

Left Bank Jazz Society Inc. collection, Collection 312

Lynne Sachs papers, Collection 114

Margaret J. Bennett Home ledger, Collection 31

Maryland Folklife Program records, Collection 116

Maryland Traditions records, Collection 120

Marvin Mandel collection, Collection 47

Michael J. Geraghty manuscript, Collection 159

O'Donnell family papers, Collection 100

Ola Belle Reed collection, Collection 122

Perry Hall Improvement Association records, Collection 2

Philip M. Wagner papers, Collection 1

Stabler family papers, Collection 27

W. Edward Orser papers, University Archives, Collection 196

Baltimore Sun Archives

Special Collections maintains a growing Baltimore Sun archives which includes approximately 750,000 photographs, negatives, transperencies, and archival collections documenting the Sun's history dating to 1837. Learn more...

Folklife Archives

Beginning in 2013, the UMBC Special Collections department began a partnership with Maryland Traditions, the state folklife program that is a part of the Maryland State Arts Council. This growing collection area is one result of this partnership. Learn more...


The nucleus of this 3,000 volume collection was purchased from the estate of the late Edward G. Howard. Included are a great number of 18th and 19th century accounts of travel through Maryland which are described in a printed catalogue, Next Stop Baltimore. Numerous local histories are represented as well. Books are catalogued and appear in the catalogusmai with the location name Special Collections - Howard. Following the unexpected death of Professor Joseph Arnold, noted Baltimore historian, in 2004 the collection was renamed the Arnold Collection in his honor. Works added thereafter appear in the catalog with the location name Special Collections--Arnold.

Search tip: When searching the Library Catalog (catalogusmai), use the Named Collection menu and select Arnold/Howard (Maryland history) to limit your search.

New in 2015: "History of Baltimore: 1729-1920" by Dr. Joseph L. Arnold is now available through UMBC's Digital Collections, with chapter introductions by Dr. Elizabeth M. Nix.


Search for and browse all photographs in the Special Collections Search. Under "Content to search," check off the box next to Photos. Then enter your search terms. You can search by collection, creator (e.g. photographer), title, subjects, format, description, location, and accession number. Please use quotes for phrases. Use AND if you want both words. Ex: "Hine, Lewis" Ex: Robert AND Frank. If there is a digital version, your results will have a link to the digital image. Learn more...

Selected local photography collections

  • Hughes Company Glass Negatives
  • Hughes Company Cirkut Negatives Collection - [457] panoramic views - Baltimore and environs - Industrial parks - Military installations - City skylines - Company photographs - Other - 1916-1949
  • Baltimore Sun photographs
  • Baltimore Collection - Baltimore Fire - Baltimore Sesquicentennial - E.A. Poe memorabilia - Portraits, City scenes, miscellaneous - c.1850-1910
  • Baltimore - "Orlinsky gift" - 200 [5 boxes] Lantern slides, glass plate negatives, stereo views [many with captions] - Portraits (Mayors of Baltimore) - Scenic views - City Improvements - Architecture - c.1890-1930
  • Baltimore & Ohio Glee Club - Group portraits (Baltimore & Ohio Railroad personnel) - 1915-1965
  • Baltimore News-American Collection - Prints and negatives from the newspaper archive [incomplete] - c.1920-1960's
  • East Baltimore Documentary Photography Project
  • Nationsbank Collection
  • Chesapeake - "Images of the Chesapeake 1612-1984" copy prints from the exhibition - Sailing ships - Steamships - Aerial views - Portraits - 1612-1984
  • Jack Engeman collection
  • Horse Racing Collection - Exhibition prints from "Maryland Racing - To be the Best" - Racing history 1920-1930 - Pimlico - 1988
  • Lavine Collection - David S. Lavine Archive - [36,000+]negatives and transparencies, [1,000+] contact prints and photographs - Scenic views - Maryland - c.1970-
  • Maryland Photographs Collection - Maryland cities, towns, neighborhoods - Inidvidual and group portraits - Civic events - Historic sites - c.1870-1998
  • Maryland Illustrative Photographers Association - Exhibition prints - Photographs of Maryland - Portraits - 1971


Historical and contemporary maps are available. Coverage of the Baltimore metro area and Maryland primarily, but national and international coverage is included. In 2000, the Library significantly increased its map holdings by adding over 15,000 USGS topographic 7.5 minute series (1:24,000) maps donated by the Department of Geography and Environmental Systems. The maps are housed with the Government Documents collection in the Lower Level.

Return to top

Special Collections Services


Reading Room open by appointment

Read our blog