Maryland Historical Society

Maryland Historical Society
Maryland Historical Society
Abbreviation MHS
Formation 1844
Purpose/focus Education and historical preservation
Location 201 W. Monument Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201-4674
United States
Staff 41

Coordinates: 39°17′49″N 76°37′7″W / 39.29694°N 76.61861°W / 39.29694; -76.61861 The Maryland Historical Society (MdHS), founded in 1844, is the oldest cultural institution in the U.S. state of Maryland. The society "collects, preserves, and interprets objects and materials reflecting Maryland's diverse heritage." MdHS has a museum, library, holds educational programs, and publishes scholarly works on Maryland.

The Society's campus is located in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore, Maryland at 201 West Monument Street. This location is the main building of the Maryland Historical Society, which has been housed at the Enoch Pratt House since 1919. The house was originally built in 1847 and was presented to MdHS in 1916 by Ms Mary Washington Keyser as a tribute to her husband, H. Irvine Keyser who was a member of MdHS from 1873 until his death in 1916. Enoch Pratt (1806-1896) is a well known philanthropist who created the Enoch Pratt Free Library and gave substantial contributions to the First Unitarian Church of Baltimore, the Maryland Science Center, and the Maryland School for the Deaf.

The MdHS has published a quarterly journal, now entering completing its 103 year. The Maryland Historical Magazine is a peer reviewed journal boasting one of the largest readerships among state historical society journals. The society also publishes books on Maryland history that are distributed through a partnership with the Johns Hopkins University Press, including Crime and Punishment in Early Maryland written by former MdHS librarian Raphael Semmes (1890-1952). MdHS has over 100 titles in the Library of Congress.

Notables in exhibition at the MdHS are the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner and the letters and journals of Benjamin Banneker. The MdHS showcases include 231 weapons, 866 pieces of jewelry, 2,200 Native American prehistoric archeological objects, 15,000 musical scores as well as a remarkable collection of 18th and 19th-century paintings and silver, maritime artifacts, Maryland painted and inlaid furniture, quilts, costumes, ceramics, dolls and toys. Exhibits include Maryland's history, Maryland in art and furniture in Maryland life.


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