Local History



Left Top Rounded Corner     Top Right Corner

Baltimore County History


Maryland and Regional History



Museums and Historic Sites


Local History Materials at BCPL

Left Bottom Corner    



Baltimore County Executives


Service Years




Kevin Kamenetz



James T. Smith



C. A. (Dutch) Ruppersberger III



Roger B. Hayden



Dennis F. Rasmussen



Donald P. Hutchinson



Theodore G. Venetoulis



Frederick L. Dewberry (Acting County Executive)



Dale Anderson



Spiro T. Agnew



Christian H. Kahl



Michael J. Birmingham


Baltimore County was governed by County Commissioners before 1956.


Sources for County Executive information include:

A History of Baltimore County by Neal A. Brooks

Maryland Manuals

Baltimore Sun


Community History


BCPL is pleased to provide these area histories by local contributors. However, the information has not been verified by BCPL for accuracy or omissions.


Eastern Region


Central Region


Western Region


African American Communities


General History

  • Baltimore County This short history includes a color picture of the Baltimore County Seal

  • Bibliography of Baltimore County History [PDF](opens in a new window)  Extensive listing of historic publications available regionally Compiled by the Baltimore County Department of Planning.


Book cover for Essex and Middle River


Book Cover for Towson


Book cover for Halethorpe Heritage: A Story of a Maryland Community

Historical Associations


Historical Society of Baltimore County

Baltimore County Historical Trust, Inc.

Baltimore County Landmarks Preservation Commission

Catonsville Historical Society

Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society, Inc.

Granite Historical Society

Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River, Inc.

Historic Glyndon, Inc.

Maryland Historical Trust: Maryland State Inventory of Historic Properties


Video about Cockeysville limestone

Selected Bibliography for Baltimore County History

(Links to BCPL catalog open in new window)


Anson, Melanie D.  Olmsted's Sudbrook: the Making of a Community.  Baltimore, MD: Sudbrook Park, Inc., 1997 Md 975.271A

Arbutus, a Historical Scrapbook.  Baltimore, MD: Greater Arbutus Community Alliance., 2001. Md (Ref) 975.271A

Baird, Hulett C. Edgemere. 1988. Md (Ref) 975.271B

Bartels, Fran. Violetville, the History of a Neighborhood. Baltimore, MD: Fran Bartels., 2002.  Md (Ref) 975.26.B.

Blum, Gayle Neville. Baltimore County. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press, 2009. Md 975.271B

Board of Education of Baltimore County. Baltimore County in the State and Nation Towson, MD: Board of Education of Baltimore County, 1957 and 1962 Md 975.271 B

Bonnett, Logie. Baltimore County, its history, progress and opportunities.  1916  Md Ref 975.271B

Bready, Mary H.  Through all our days: a history of St. Paul's School for Girls. Baltimore, MD: Braun-Brumfield, 1999.  Md (Ref) 371.822B

Brinkmann, Walter S.  Never-to-be-forgotten tales of Catonsville. 1942  Md (Ref) 975.271B

Brooks, Neal A. and Richard Parsons. Baltimore County Panorama. Towson, MD: Baltimore County Public Library, 1988  Md (Ref) 975.271 B

Brooks, Neal A. History of Baltimore County. Towson, MD: Friends of the Towson Library Inc., 1979.  Md (Ref) 975.271 B

Brooks, E. Nelson. It couldn't have been better than this: memories of the childhood, family, and background of a fortunate boy  MD: E. Nelson Brooks, 1995. Ref B Brooks

Bunting, Elaine. Counties of Northern Maryland. Centerville, MD: Tidewater Publishers., 2000. J Md 975.27B

Clemens, Shirley B. From Marble Hill to Maryland Line: an Informal History of Northern Baltimore County. Baltimore, MD: Professional Printing Services., 1976, 1983, 1999.. Md (Ref) 975.271C

Coale, Joseph M. Middling Planters of Ruxton. Baltimore, MD: Maryland Historical Society., 1996. Md (Ref) 975.271C

County Directories of Maryland, Inc. 300th anniversary book of Baltimore County. 1959. Md (Ref)975.271C

Crewe, Amy Copper. No backward step was taken: highlights in the history of the public elementary schools of Baltimore County.  1949.  Md 379.75271C

Davidson, Isobel. Real Stories  From Baltimore County History. Hatboro, PA: Tradition Press, 1917 and 1967 Md 975.271 D 1967

Diggs, Louis S. From the Meadows to the Point: the Histories of the African American Community of Turner Station and what was the African American Community in Sparrows Point. Baltimore, MD: Louis Diggs., 2003. Md(Ref) 975.271D

Diggs, Louis S. Holding On to Their Heritage. 1996 Md 975.0049 D

Diggs, Louis S. It All Started on Winters Lane: a History of the Black Community in Catonsville, Maryland. 1995 Md 975.271 D

Diggs, Louis S. In Our Voices: a Folk History in Legacy. 1998  Md (Ref) 975.271D

Diggs, Louis S. North County: the History of African American Settlements in Northern Baltimore County's Scenic Horse Country.  Baltimore, MD: Louis S. Diggs., 2005. Md 975.271D

Diggs, Louis S. Our Struggles: Historic African American Communities in Southeast Baltimore County. Owings Mills, MD: Uptown Press., 2007. Md 975.271D

Diggs, Louis S. Since the Beginning: African American Communities in Towson . Owings Mills, MD: Uptown Press., 2000. Md (Ref) 975.271D

Diggs, Louis S. Surviving in America: Histories of 7 Black Communities in Baltimore County. Owings Mills, MD: Uptown Press., 2002. Md (Ref) 975.271D

Dundalk, the First Hundred Years 1895-1995. Baltimore: Patapsco Neck Historical Society., 1997. Md (Ref) 975271D

Essex 1909-1999: 90 Years of Yesterdays. Essex, MD; Essex Revitalization and Community Corporation,Inc. 1999.  Md (Ref) 975.271E

Esslinger, Dean. Towson University. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press, 2005.  Md 975.2E 

Forbes, Marie. Speaking of Our Past (Owings Mills). Baltimore, MD; 1988. Md (Ref) 975.271F

Fox, Jimmy. Legacy of a Country Boy: Life on the Farm. Falcon, CO: Fox Meadow Pub., 2007 B Fox

Frank, Beryl. A Pictorial History of Pikesville, Maryland. Towson, MD: Baltimore County Public Library, 1982 Md 975.271 F

Frank, Beryl. Way Back When in Sudbrook Park. Baltimore, MD: Sudbrook Park, Inc., 1997.  Md 975.271F

Gontrum, Edwin K. Sidelights on the History of Baltimore County. Towson, MD: Edwin K. Gontrum 1966 Md (Ref) 975.271 G

Green Spring Valley, its History and Heritage, vol.1: a History; Historic Homes. Baltimore, MD: Maryland Historical Society 1978 Md (Ref) 975.271 G

Green Spring Valley, its History and Heritage, vol. 2: Genealogies. Baltimore, MD: Maryland Historical Society 1978 Md (Ref) 975.271.G

Hahn, Henry George. Towson, a pictorial history of a Maryland town. Norfolk, VA: The Donning Company, 1977.  Md (Ref) 975.271H

Hastings, Lynne Dakin. Hampton National Historic Site. Baltimore, MD : 1986.  Md ( Ref) 975.271 H

Helton, Gary. Dundalk. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press, 2005. Md 975.271H

Historic Long Green Valley, Baltimore County, Maryland: architecture, history. Cockeysville, MD: Baltimore County Historical Society, 1981.  Md (Ref) 975.271H

Hollifield, William.  Difficulties made easy: history of the turnpikes of Baltimore City & County. 1978. Md (Ref) 388.1H

Horine, Paige. Maryland State Fair: Celebrating 125 Years.  Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press., 2006. Md 975.2H

Huttenhauer, Helen G. Historical Resume: Baltimore County, Md 1659 Towson, MD: Office of Research and Public Affairs. 1977 Md 975.271 H

Jessop, Jennie E.  Origin names in Baltimore County. 1968   Md (Ref) 975.271J

Kaufman, J.G.  Growing Up In Catonsville in the 1940's: a Home in Eden Terrace.  2001.  Md (Ref) 975.271K

Keidel, George C. Early Catonsville and the Caton Family. Baltimore, MD: 1944.  Md (Ref) 975.271K

Keidel, George C. Colonial History of Catonsville. Catonsville, MD: American Bicentennial Committee of Catonsville, Bicentennial Edition 1976 and 1983. Md (Ref) 975.271 K 1983

Lanman, Barry Allen. Baltimore County: Celebrating a Legacy 1659-2009. Cockeysville. MD: Historical Society of Baltimore County, 2009.  Md 975.21 L

Lanman, Barry Allen. Halethorpe Heritage: Story of a Maryland Community. Halethorpe, MD; Halethorpe Improvement Association., 2006. Md (Ref) 975.271L

Leifert, Donald L. Riggie: Journey from 5th Street. Parkville, MD: Donald L. Leifert, 2004. Md (Ref) BM

Marks, David. Crossroads: History of Perry Hall.  Baltimore, MD: Gateway Press, Inc., 1999. Md (Ref) 975.271M

Marks, Lillian Bayly. Reister's Desire. Baltimore, MD: Garamond/Pridemark Press, Inc., 1975 Md (Ref) 975.271 M

Martinak, M. Linda and Angela Martinak Sutherland. Essex and Middle River. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press, 2007. Md (Ref) 975.271M

McGrain, John W. A Glossary of Place Names in Baltimore County. Towson, MD: Baltimore County Office of Planning, 1999 Md (Ref) 917.5271 M 1999

McGrain, John W. Grist Mills in Baltimore County, Maryland. Towson, MD: Baltimore County Public Library, 1980 (Md 664.72 M)

McKee, Ann Milkovich. Hampton National Historic Site. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press, 2007. Md 975.271M

Mueller, Kevin A. Bay Shore Park: Fun on the Chesapeake.  Kevin Mueller., 2001.  Md (Ref) 791.068M

Nickel, Jackie. Essex.  San Francisco, CA: Arcadia Press., 2007. Md 975.217N

Nickel, Jackie. "Old" Middle River: a Loving Look Back. Easton, MD: Chesapeake Publishing Company, 2002 Md (Ref) 975.271 N

Donovan, Molly. Towson and the Villages of  Ruxton and Lutherville. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press, 1999. Md (Ref) 975.2O

Orser, Edward and Joseph Arnold. Catonsville 1880 to 1940 From Village to Suburb. Norfolk, VA: Donning Co., 1989 Md (Ref) 975.271 O

Perkins, I.B. Picturesque Catonsville.  Baltimore, MD: I. B. Perkins, 1895.  Md Ref 975.271P

Perry Hall, reflections from the past.  Perry Hall, MD: Mercantile Bank & Trust, 1979.  Md (Ref) 975.271P

Pollack, Carol.  Reisterstown.  1976 and 1986.  Md (Ref) 975.271P

Reflections, Sparrows Point, Md. 1887-1975. Dundalk, MD: Dundalk-Patapsco Neck Historical Society, 1976 Md (Ref) 975.271 R

Roberts, L. Keith. History of the Back River Neck Peninsula. Baltimore, MD: Best Press, 1993. Md (Ref) 975.271 R

Scharf, John Thomas. History of Baltimore City and County, 2 vols. 1881. Md (Ref) 975.2S.

Seitz, M. Patricia C.  Tanyard, Windsor and beyond, 1702-1989.  MD: M. P. C. Seitz, 1996. Md (Ref) 975.271S

Staab, Bob.  Growing Up in Dundalk: Precious Memories. Baltimore, MD: Bob Staab., 2007. B Staab

Steffen, Charles G. From Gentlemen to Townsmen: the Gentry of Baltimore County, Maryland, 1660-1776. University Press of Kentucky, 1993. Md 975.271 S

Toomey, Daniel Carro.  History of Relay, Md and the Thomas Viaduct. 1975,1984 and 1995. Md (Ref) 975.271T

Villages of Northeast Baltimore County, Origins to c. 1940. Greater Northeast Baltimore County Historical District Committee Md (Ref) 975.271 V

Watson, Jerome.  Turner Station. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press, 2008. Md (Ref) 975.271W

Wise, Marsha Wight. Catonsville. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press, 2005.  Md 975.271W


Book cover for Baltimore County



Book cover for Middling Planters of Ruxton, 1694-1850



Book cover for Towson University



Book cover for The Legacy of a Country Boy: Life on the Farm



Book cover for Dundalk



Book cover for Towson and the Villages of Ruxton and Lutherville



Book cover for Catonsville Then & Now

Associations and Research Facilities


Jewish Museum of MarylandThe Jewish Museum of Maryland
Exhibitions and family history research

Maryland Association of History Museums
Provides very basic info such as hours, location, contact for local museums.

Maryland Department
Comprehensive collection of resources available from the State Library Resource Center (Enoch Pratt Free Library)

Maryland Historical Society
Museum, library, calendar of events, school programs, children's page

Maryland Historical TrustMaryland Historical Trust
Provides over 1145 Maryland listings for the National Register of Historic Places and National Historic Landmarks in addition to related information on archeology, preservation and museums

 Maryland State Archives
"Historical agency for Maryland and serves as the central depository for government records of permanent value. Records date from the founding of the colony in 1634"

Researching the History of Your House
How-To Guide from the Maryland Department of the Enoch Pratt Free Library/State Library Resource Center. Resources for exploring the history of a house, including maps, deed research, and tax assessments.



Book cover for A Primary Source History of the Colony of Maryland



Maryland and Regional History


Baltimore "America's City of Firsts"
Impressive list of "Firsts" in medicine, science & Technology, sports, transportation, military, entertainment, monuments and much more.

Baltimore Neighborhood Histories
From LiveBaltimore

Howard County's History
A brief over view of the development and history of Howard County, MD.

Maryland History
Includes Maryland Historic Figures

Maryland Kids' Page
Lots of info about Maryland's geography, places to visit and counties, brought to you from the Maryland Office of the Secretary of State

Maryland the Seventh State
The website provides basic historic information with some illustrations about Maryland, it's symbols and founders. Also a book by John T. Marck, Maryland The Seventh State can be found in BCPL collections (Md (Ref) 975.2 M) and contains much more including histories of each Maryland County.

Maryland's Regions
and by county within each region; founding and history of each.

The Ma and Pa Railroad Historical Society
The Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad operated in the Baltimore area, including several stations and miles of track in Baltimore County

Maryland Department-Enoch Pratt Free Library
State Library Resource Center's in-depth collection of resources on Maryland and her counties

Maryland State Archives
Official home for all historical records for the State of Maryland including Maryland Manual, Legislative records, Maryland history, elected officials




Book cover for Baltimore Neighborhoods


Book cover for Civil War Maryland: stories from the Old Line State


Quick Facts


Great Seal of Maryland
from Maryland the Seventh State site

History of the State Flag
from Maryland the Seventh State site

Maryland at a Glance
Why the name Maryland, nicknames, statehood, museums, capital and lots more; from the Maryland Archives

Maryland Historical Chronology
Maryland history in a nutshell; from the Maryland Archives

Maryland Facts
Explanations of our state names such as 'America in Miniature', symbols, etc.

State Symbols
Great Seal of Maryland; also State Bird, Flag, Song, Tree and others; from the Maryland Archives

Maryland State Flag
Picture, history, and proper display

Maryland - Kids Page
Interesting facts about Maryland!  From the flag to the state bird--test your knowledge here

Baltimore City Mayors, 1797-
List with dates served, some pictures and biographical info. Md. Archives

Barons of Baltimore and Lords Proprietary

Maryland Governors
1634 - present

Constitutional Convention of 1776
Ninth Convention which framed Maryland 1st state constitution

Delegates to the Continental and Confederation Congresses

Signers of the Declaration of Independence, 1776

Signers of the Articles of Confederation, 1781

Signers of the Federal Constitution, 1787

Maryland Day - March 25
Celebrates the landing of the Ark and the Dove on March 25, 1634 on St. Clement's Island. A Charter was granted to Cecilius Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore on June 20, 1632 and finally the two vessels departed from Cowes, England on November 22, 1633.

Defenders' Day - September 12
Anniversary of the Battle of North Point, September 12, 1814 during the War of 1812.


Book cover for Maryland Facts and Symbols



Book cover for Maryland



Book cover for Maryland

Museums and Historic Sites


  • African American


African American Civil War Memorial Freedom Foundation and Museum
1200 U Street, Northwest
Washington, District of Columbia 20009
The first and only national memorial and museum honoring African Americans who fought in the Civil War

African American Heritage Guide, Washington County, Maryland
from Hagerstown Convention Visitors Bureau
There are many historic African American sites in Washington County, Maryland.

African Art Museum of Maryland
5430 Vantage Point Road
in Historic Oakland at Town Center
Post Office Box 1105
Columbia, Maryland 21044
Call ahead for hours.
Exhibits of African art covering a variety of cultures and styles, lectures, workshops and courses for adults, children and families. Holds trips to Africa and hosts Literary Society.

Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum
The Babe Ruth Birthplace Foundation, Inc. is an independent, not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to perpetuating the historic legacy of Babe Ruth, Baltimore’s Orioles, Ravens and Colts, and local and regional sports at the amateur, collegiate and professional levels, by preserving, exhibiting, interpreting and augmenting its collection for a diverse audience.

Baltimore Black Travel Guide
by SoulOfAmerica.com
Check out the listing of cultural sites, historic sites, and historic places of worship.

Baltimore Museum of Art
10 Art Museum Drive
Baltimore, Maryland 21218
One of the earliest and most important collections of African art and works by contemporary African Americans

Banneker-Douglass Museum
84 Franklin Street
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
Dedicated to preserving Maryland's African American heritage. Serves as "State's official repository for African American artifacts".

Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum
300 Oella Avenue (at Old Frederick Road)
Oella, Maryland 21228
Open Tuesday-Saturday: 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
On the Banneker homestead, this 142-acre institution of cultural and natural history is dedicated to the noted colonial mathematician, surveyor, writer and astronomer Benjamin Banneker. Banneker was born in 1731 and was America's first black man of science. The Museum houses a permanent collection of Banneker's artifacts and biographical material.

The Emmart-Pierpont Safe House
3525 North Rolling Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21244
Over 200 years old, a Baltimore County landmark, the Emmart-Pierpont Safe House is an 18th century farm house and a station on the Underground Railroad. See the on-site history and display of the Emmart family, their role in the Underground Railroad, the development of our area of Baltimore County, and its part in our history from colonial days to the present and beyond. Visitors welcome by appointment with lectures available for groups.

Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute and Cultural Center
847 North Howard Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
Exhibits showcase the life and music of jazz legends from Baltimore like Eubie Blake, Billy Holliday and Cab Calloway. Live jazz performances, dance classes, music classes and special events.

Frederick Douglass Isaac Myers Maritime Park
1417 Thames Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Highlights African American maritime history, Douglass's life in Baltimore as a enslaved child and young man working the Baltimore docks and Myers, a free born African American who became a national leader. Find also information about the first African American owned and operated shipyard. Includes artifacts, maps and images, audio, and more.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site
1411 West Street Southeast
Washington, District of Columbia 20020
Cedar Hill, Douglass' former home, has more than a dozen rooms containing a variety of personal items.

Hampton National Park Service Site
535 Hampton Lane
Towson, Maryland 21286
Original slave quarters are dwarfed by this Georgian mansion. When it was finished in 1790, Hampton was the largest house in the United States.

James E Lewis Museum of Art
Morgan State University
Carl J. Murphy Fine Arts Center
2201 Argonne Drive
Baltimore, MD 21251
Collection of African and African American art and art of faculty and students

Lutherville Historical Colored School Number 24 Museum
1426 School Lane
Lutherville, Maryland 21093
Built in the early 1900's, the Lutherville Colored School Number 24 was a grade school for "Colored" children until the 1950's. The Lutherville historical schoolhouse serves as a monument of the rich history of African-Americans in Baltimore County. Artifacts include books original to the school, report cards, oral histories, antique furnishings and oil lamps.

Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site
1318 Vermont Avenue Northwest
Washington, District of Columbia 20005
Permanent exhibits profile influential black women and chronicles Bethune's life as a educator, presidential advisor, and political activist. A separate building houses the National Archives for Black Women's History, one of the country's largest collections of manuscripts relating to African American women.

Maryland's African-American Heritage Guide [PDF](opens in a new window)
from Maryland Office of Tourism Development
Introduce yourself to the Maryland African American experience. Here you'll find museums and other destinations across the state.

National Great Blacks in Wax Museum
1601-3 East North Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21213
First wax museum of African American history in the nation. Exhibit of historical figures presents the struggles and achievements of African people from ancient Egypt to the present.

National Museum of African Art
950 Independence Avenue Southwest
Washington, District of Columbia 20560
Museum and library containing artifacts, photographs and memorabilia on African art from ancient to contemporary times

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture
830 East Pratt Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Three galleries of Maryland’s black heritage

Samuel and Ida Torsell Mini-Museum
79 Winters Lane
Catonsville, Maryland 21228
410-744-9478 for hours and appointment
Presents the history of the Winters Lane community in Baltimore County dating back to the time of slavery. The community grew as freed slaves moved into the area establishing businesses, churches, lodges and schools. Winters Lane is the only black community in Baltimore County that is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum
1901 Fort Place, Southeast
Washington, District of Columbia 20020
Documents and interprets the effect of historical and contemporary social and cultural issues on communities. Major African American historical and cultural artifacts and photographs, documents and other materials relevant to District of Columbia neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River. 



  • Baltimore County


Ballestone Manor Museum of 1780-1880 period. Located at Rocky Point Golf Course, 1935 Back River Neck Rd, Baltimore MD 21221.

Benjamin Banneker Historical Park and Museum

Fire Museum of Maryland Hand-pulled, horse-drawn and motorized fire equipment dating from 1822

Hampton National Historic Site Georgian mansion with original furnishings.

Heritage Society of Essex and Middle River Museum Situated in a 1920 fire house, museum features general store, candle shop, music shop, toy shop, schoolroom, and drug store, 516 Eastern Blvd., Essex, MD 21221

Glenn L. Martin Aviation Museum Aviation history in Maryland

Lutherville Historical Colored School Number 24 Museum
1426 School Lane
Lutherville, Maryland 21093
Built in the early 1900's, the Lutherville Colored School Number 24 was a grade school for "Colored" children until the 1950's. The Lutherville historical schoolhouse serves as a monument of the rich history of African-Americans in Baltimore County. Artifacts include books original to the school, report cards, oral histories, antique furnishings and oil lamps.

Museum of the Historical Society of Baltimore County 1659 to present. Six museum rooms in former Almshouse include country kitchen, bedroom, children's room, country store, schoolroom, as well as agricultural related materials in the Farm Museum.

Townsend House and Pullen Museum Townsend House has an eighteenth century floor plan and includes a variety of antiques from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, historic Homewood replica model dollhouse, Knot Garden. The Pullen Museum is currently the headquarters of the Catonsville Historical Society.



  • Throughout Maryland  


Antietam National Battlefield
Civil War battlefield

B&O Railroad Museum
Birthplace of American Railroading

B&O Railroad Museum


Baltimore: A National Register Travel Itinerary
Two centuries of history in these 40 plus locations

Baltimore Civil War Museum - President Street Station
1849 train station and the role Baltimore played in the Civil War

Baltimore Maritime Museum
Three historic ships:
Coast Guard Cutter Taney, Lightship Chesapeake, WWII submarine Torsk and the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse

Baltimore Museum of Industry
250 years of the industrial or "work" history of Baltimore and surrounding areas

Baltimore Streetcar Museum
On site of the old Maryland and Pennsylvania RR Terminal in Baltimore

Baltimore Streetcar Museum

 Carroll County Farm Museum

Catoctin Mountain Park
Recreation area first developed by the WPA and the CCC in the 1930's

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Site
184.5 mile canal from Washington D.C. to Cumberland Maryland


Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum
Located in historic St. Michaels

Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum


Clara Barton National Historic Site
Home and former headquarters of the founder of the American Red Cross

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
Official National Park site for Fort McHenry, birthplace of the national anthem

Fort Washington Park
Defense for our Nation's Capital

Jewish Museum of Maryland
Exhibitions, programs depicting Jewish history

The Jewish Museum of Maryland


Great Blacks in Wax Museum
Life-size, life-like wax figures depicting African ancestry and history

Lighthouses: Mid Atlantic Coast
Publicly accessible lighthouses in Maryland, Delaware, southern New Jersey, Virginia, North Carolina

Maryland Forts
Brief information on each fort and links when available. From American Forts East

Monocacy National Battlefield
"Battle That Saved Washington"

National Register of Historic Places: Maryland Listing
Select by county. Some are also designated as National Historic Landmarks. From Maryland Historical Trust

Sotterley Plantation
Dates from 1717

Star-Spangled Banner Flag House
and 1812 Museum. 1793 House of Mary Pickersgill, who sewed the flag that flew over Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812

Star-Spangled Banner Flag Housev

Thomas Stone National Historic Site
Plantation of Declaration of Independence signer from Maryland

U.S.S. Constellation
Last surviving ship of the Civil War, the Constellation has returned after two years of restoration to Baltimore's Inner Harbor.


Multi-Site Museum Listings

Listing for each County. From the Maryland Archives




Book cover for Hampton National Historic Site






Book cover for Antietam: a guided tour through history






Book cover for Fort McHenry






Book cover for Lighthouses of the Mid-Atlantic Coast






Local History Materials at BCPL


Local History and Maryland Collection

Whether delving into history, locating government information, answering school assignment questions, or just browsing for photographic albums, and more, this collection includes a broad spectrum of material. All branches have collections of Maryland and some local items.


The Arbutus, Catonsville and Reisterstown Branches maintain historical archives on the local communities they serve. The historical information consists of rare and out-of-print books, newspaper clippings, and occasionally historical prints of local sites. These materials are non-circulating and may be accessible by appointment only; please call the branch to determine whether you need an appointment to use the historical collection.


Historic Newspapers 


The following newspaper databases are available online. Access requires a BCPL library card:


Historic Baltimore Afro-American Newspaper: 1893 to 1988
Founded by former slave John Henry Murphy Sr. when he merged three church publications, The Baltimore Afro-American became one of the most widely circulated African-American newspapers on the Atlantic Coast. In addition to featuring the first black female reporter (Murphy’s daughter) and female sportswriters, the paper’s contributors have included writer Langston Hughes, intellectual J. Saunders Redding, artist Romare Bearden, and sports editor Sam Lacy, whose column influenced the desegregation of professional sports.


Historic Baltimore Sun (1837 to 1991)
Founded by Arunah Shepherdson Abell as a paper devoted to the news that most directly affected the lives of its readers, The Baltimore Sun’s history is among the most distinguished in American journalism. It represented this bustling port city by reporting on pivotal issues and events of the 19th and early 20th centuries: immigration, the slave trade, commerce, the Civil War, Washington D.C. politics (The Baltimore Sun began publishing 40 years before the Washington Post), Americana, and literature. H.L. Mencken, the “Sage of Baltimore,” and one of the most influential American writers of the early 20th century, wrote for this renowned newspaper.


Historical Photographs


Legacy Web

Legacy Web is a digital collection of images selected from a collection of photographic negatives and a smaller collection of photographic prints owned by Baltimore County Public Library (BCPL). The purpose of Legacy Web is to meet the educational and research needs of BCPL’s customers by expanding access to unique photographic images that illustrate the history of Baltimore County.  Customers may access Legacy Web images directly through the online catalog where they are made available as JPEG files attached to bibliographic records.


The unique focus of Legacy Web is Baltimore County and those areas of Baltimore City that historically were considered part of Baltimore County. Legacy Web collects historical images of subjects within this defined geographic area. Themes include the changing landscape and architecture of Baltimore County as depicted in images of buildings and street scenes. The chronological coverage of the collection spans the 20th century, primarily the 1900s through the 1970s. Formats in the collection consist of photographic prints and polyester photographic negatives.


The collection is strictly photographic in nature. Legacy Web does not collect or digitize engravings, paintings or other artwork, glass negatives, articles or images from periodicals, advertisements, maps and atlases, or yearbooks. Realia or 3-dimensional objects are beyond the scope of this collection.

Book cover for Reisterstown


Revised: March 15, 2018