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Maryland Historical Society
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Maryland Historical Society

201 West Monument St.
Baltimore, Maryland
United States

Contributor

The Maryland Historical Society is a quirky gem, equal parts history and campy good fun. 

It is the oldest continuously operating cultural institution in the state, and features unmatched collections of Revolutionary War and other patriotic memorabilia, but don’t let the stuffy colonial image fool you.

With 2,200 paintings and portraits, the Historical Society functions as a respectable art museum.  It matches these with 2,200 Native American objects, as well as collections of African American and Women’s history items (including the earliest known portrait of a slave), making it uniquely diverse for a colonial museum.  Antique silver, furniture, garments and textiles (including Continental Army uniforms), and toys and dolls further contribute to a well-rounded collection of folk and decorative objects.

Here, one can find hallowed relics like the original manuscript of the Star Spangled Banner.  Lovers of camp and kitsch can view a collection of politically incorrect cigar store Indians.  Those seeking old-timey celebrity gossip can find a tiara belonging to Maryland debutante Betsy Patterson, who eloped with Napoleon’s brother…there she is, Miss Colonial America!

For the scholarly set, the collection includes a staggering 7 million documents, which are available to the public.  Or if you’re an NRA enthusiast, check out the 231 historic weapons.

Admission is a reasonable $9.00 for non-members, and free the first Thursday of every month.  Hours are 10AM to 5PM Wednesday through Saturday, 12PM to 5PM Sunday.  For Maryland’s oldest cultural institution, the MdHS is still with it.  It was trending on social media as Facebook’s “Museum of the Day” on March 13, 2014. 

Featured Content

Here is what Wikipedia says about Maryland Historical Society

The Maryland Historical Society (MdHS), founded on March 1, 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.

History

The campus of the Maryland Historical Society 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.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Maryland Historical Society.