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At a time when few women held prominent state offices, Sallie Webster Dorsey was Maryland’s state librarian from 1912 till 1916, earning her a listing in the Woman’s Who’s Who of America 1914–1915. Dorsey also had an active social presence in the Baltimore community, in part because of her prominent family, but also in her own right as a member of the Woman’s Literary Club of Baltimore, Daughters of the American Revolution, and president of the Cambridge Woman’s Club. Dusters were light-weight coats, typically worn to protect clothing against dirt or dust (hence the name) when the wearer was driving or riding in automobiles. This serviceable linen duster is an unusual garment to be associated with a Baltimore socialite and it is likely connected to Dorsey’s time working as state librarian. The coat was probably new in the early 1900s and is cut like a man’s coat. It has many meticulous mends on the collar, sleeve, and lapel. It is clear that Dorsey put much care into conserving this favorite garment.







45 inches (length), 42 inches (bust), 17 inches (shoulder)

Object ID


Resource ID



Worn by Sallie Webster Dorsey (1860–1937). Dress underneath not worn by Dorsey.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. James Hooper Dorsey

Digital Publisher

Digital resource provided by the Maryland Center for History and Culture


This digital image is made available here for private study, scholarship, and research. Commercial and other uses are prohibited without the permission of the Maryland Center for History and Culture. For more information, visit the MCHC’s Reproductions and Permissions web page.