Maryland Historical Society
Founded in 1844, the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS) is the state’s oldest continuously operating cultural institution. In keeping with the founders’ commitment to preserve the remnants of Maryland’s past, MdHS remains the premier institution for state history. With over 350,000 objects and seven million books and documents, this institution now serves upward of 100,000 people through its museum, library, press, and educational programs.
Mission & Vision
The Maryland Historical Society seeks to illuminate the past, lend perspective to the present, and inform the future through the acquisition, preservation, and interpretation of manuscripts, archives, and objects that together form the fabric of Maryland History.
The H. Furlong Baldwin Library’s collections are both diverse and substantive. The library enables researchers, teachers, and students to see for themselves the records of the past, and to study and learn from its many treasures. The library’s collections include 60,000 books, 800,000 photographs, 5 million manuscripts, 6,500 prints and broadsides, 1 million pieces of printed ephemera, extensive genealogy indexes, and more, reflecting the history of Maryland and its people. These collections are accessible to visitors on-line and at the MdHS campus in Baltimore.
The MdHS museum features an incredible collection that celebrates Maryland’s rich and diverse history, from 18th- and 19th-century paintings and silver to 20th-century objects of everyday life. Among its more than 350,000 objects, the most significant collection of Maryland cultural artifacts in the world, are over 2,000 paintings including the largest collection of works of art by members of the Peale family, a significant collection of maritime-related artifacts, and important collections of 19th-century Maryland painted and inlaid furniture, silver, quilts, costumes, ceramics, dolls and toys.
Maryland Historical Society collections include more than 350,000 objects and 7 million books and documents, ranging from pre-settlement to the present day and representing virtually every aspect of Maryland history and life.
Left: One of only three surviving Revolutionary War officer's uniforms in America. Now on display in Inventing a Nation: Maryland in the Revoluntionary Era
Since its founding in 1844, the society has been committed to publishing new scholarship on the state’s history and material culture. Through books and the quarterly Maryland Historical Magazine, MdHS publications provide a forum for Maryland topics of scholarly and general interest. The society sponsors a dynamic schedule of educational programs and special events to make Maryland’s history come alive for visitors of all ages.
Lectures, symposia, living history performances, weekend programs for children, gallery tours, and many other public programs, held both on- and off-site, promote pride and understanding of Maryland’s rich history. MdHS school based programming provides Maryland teachers and their students with important supplemental materials and experiential learning opportunities to augment classroom teaching on Maryland and United States social studies topics.