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Learn More about the Collection

See Maryland history as it happened in our collection of more than a million photographs, prints, negatives, and slides.


Images: Mount Vernon Place from southeast, photograph by Henry Rinn, c.1900, PP71.49, Henry Rinn Collection, PP71; “Sport of Kings” (inset), photograph by Robert Kniesche, undated, PP79.2671, Kniesche Photograph Collection, PP79 

Visit our Digital Collections to view a selection of photographs from our extensive collections.

Getting Started Online

Below is a list of the major components of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library’s photograph collections, a good place to start when searching general terms based on subject, name, or location. A general search can also be conducted by searching terms in our Finding Aid Database, beginning with broad terms.

Numbered Photograph Collections (PP)

These collections contain photographs (and some printed materials) provided by one donor or compiled from several donors. Visit our Finding Aid Database for guides and inventories of over 200 photograph collections.

Group Portrait Vertical File (GPVF)

Browse the index of group photographs arranged alphabetically by subject.

Portrait Vertical File (PVF)

Browse the index of images of individuals arranged alphabetically by the subject’s last name (contains over 6,000 names).

Subject Vertical File (SVF)

Browse the index of items arranged by subject in a hierarchy that is alphabetical, geographical, and chronological. The index contains subjects as well as counties or major cities in Maryland. Containing over 17,000 items, this is one of the library's most popular photograph resource tools.

Cased Photographs Collection (CSPH)

Browse the index of over 500 daguerreotypes, tintypes, opalotypes, and other formats, mostly of individuals or groups. Note: some of the items on this list may not be available for requests in the library.

Major Collections with Specific Scopes

Ranging from the late 1840s through the 1980s with particular strength in the first half of the 20th century, the collection focuses specifically on Baltimore’s history including architecture, residents, neighborhoods, businesses, and politics. There are over 60,000 items in this collection. BCLM inventory lists are currently being edited and uploaded as each inventory list becomes available. Browse through BCLM images of all kinds in our Digital Collections.

Both of these collections were acquired from the Hughes Company, a commercial photography company. PP8 ranges from 1910 to 1946 and PP30 ranges from 1940 to 1956. Together, these collections provide a staggering visual depiction of Baltimore City and Maryland history. The collection contains roughly 40,000 photographs of street scenes, architecture, construction, portraits, buildings, shipping, industry, businesses, sports facilities, residences, churches, transportation, and much more. Visit our Digital Collections to view all of the digitized Hughes Studio photographs and Hughes Company photographs.

Over 6,000 negatives and prints from around 1940-1960 depicting prominent and unidentified African Americans of Baltimore and Maryland, churches, and other organizations and clubs, civil rights-related protests, entertainers, Pennsylvania Avenue, Morgan State University (then College), Negro League baseball team Elite Giants, and more. Reference photographs of the negatives are available in the library, and the ones that have been digitized are available in our Digital Collections.

The Eubie Blake collection includes photographs, manuscript items, and sheet music from the estate of James Herbert "Eubie" Blake, the renowned African American jazz and ragtime composer, lyricist, and pianist. The collection comprises three separate collections:

Visit the Digital Collections to view digitized materials related to Eubie Blake.

Your History Lives Here

Since 1844, we have collected, preserved, and interpreted Maryland's diverse history, art, and culture. Visit and see it at the Maryland Center for History and Culture.

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