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Hello from Quarantine

PP79.1812 Henry Louis Mencken

Portrait of Henry Louis Mencken, photograph by Robert Kniesche, undated, PP79-1812. Robert Kniesche Photograph Collection, PP79, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society.

In this post, France-Merrick Director of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Catherine Mayfield introduces the Maryland Historical Society’s new collecting initiative.

Our underbelly blog was created as a place to highlight items and stories from the collections of our incredible library. As you’re staying put over these coming days, we hope you’ll find refuge, intrigue, and interest in the posts archived here. As with everyone else across the country at this moment in time, we’re adapting and refocusing. Most of our staff are working from home. We’re getting accustomed to new software to work collaboratively while remote, we’re planning upcoming exhibitions, and continuing ongoing initiatives aimed at making collections more accessible. Some of us are juggling homeschooling for our children; many of us are worrying about elderly family members. How are you doing at this time? How has your life changed over these past days and weeks? How do you see the world changing around you?

Marylanders are living through a unique moment in history, and our stories need to be captured. As librarians and archivists, we archive the past and actively collect for the future. We’re seeking your help. The Maryland Historical Society has launched a new initiative called Collecting in Quarantine. We invite you to participate and to share in the stories and photos of our collective experience. Click here to learn more about Collecting in Quarantine, then come visit us back here at the underbelly as we share.

P.S. Speaking of working from home and otherwise, we hope you’ll enjoy this trio of photos from our archives. If you have any ideas about who might be pictured in the Paul Henderson photograph, please reach out in the comments or at

HEN.00.A1-027 Portrait. Unidentified man at desk holding Arrow B

Portrait of an unidentified man holding Arrow Beer at desk, photograph by Paul S. Henderson, June 1951, HEN.00.A1-027. Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society.


John Dubas self-portrait, photograph by John Dubas, November 16, 1958, 1977-20-601. John Dubas Collection, Baltimore City Life Museum Collection, H. Furlong Baldwin Library, Maryland Historical Society.