Personal Papers, Photographs, Books...
The linchpins of local history collections are the personal artifacts of people in the community: family histories, photographs, and personal papers. These rare or unique materials are actively sought for the Maryland Room collection, where they can be preserved according to archival standards, and made available for scholarly and other research. When this type of material goes to dealers it is almost immediately placed out of reach of local history institutions, and as a consequence, almost all researchers.
We encourage you to make an investment in our history by donating your valuable historical documents, in original, or copied form, if appropriate. We seek written histories of houses and buildings, doctoral dissertations, family histories, and other similar local information to broaden our collection. The Maryland Room Manager will consult with individuals who wish to donate their family, personal, or institutional papers to the Maryland Room, or any other archival institution.
The Maryland Room, the Historical Society of Frederick County, and Mt. St. Mary's College Archives and Special Collections do not compete for collections. These institutions work collaboratively to ensure that collections relevant to the study of Frederick history and genealogy are deposited at the appropriate institution.
When you are interested in making a donation, consult A Guide for Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository. If you have the archives of a club or civic group in your care, consult A Guide to Donating Your Organizational Records to a Repository . These guides are published by the Society of American Archivists.
The Maryland Room actively collects family histories relating to Maryland, with special emphasis on Frederick and Western Maryland genealogy. These important sources are often only obtainable from the authors. Family histories not only add to our understanding about a particular family, but contribute to the collection of general knowledge that we have about our town, county and our region. Family histories and genealogies plays a part in the large collection that we maintain about this region and enhances the big picture for our researchers by giving us personal detail, facts and information that would otherwise be hidden to them.
All family histories added to the Maryland Room collection are included in a special finding aid dedicated to family histories -- The O’Donoghue Index. A work's inclusion in this heavily used finding aid increases the likelihood that it will be pulled by Maryland Room patrons searching the families covered. Frederick County Public Libraries is also part of the OCLC cataloging network, this means that book titles in the FCPL collection are searchable in WorldCat, a national database. Researchers throughout the world access WorldCat, therefore, a through researcher, no matter where they are located, will encounter any publication relating to a particular family in the Maryland Room collection.
The Maryland Room also collects fiction and poetry by local authors. These materials help to document the activities of Frederick's citizens and also will add to an understanding of our time by later historians
The Maryland Room has the good fortune to be the benefactor of several funds administered by the Community Foundation of Frederick County, Inc. The first of these funds was the Josephine Etchison Memorial Fund. This Fund was established in 1998, by two cousins of Miss Etchison, Eleanor Pearre Abbot and Nancy Pearre Leasure. The Richard T. Lebherz Endowment Fund was provided for in the will of noted Frederick writer, and former Maryland Room volunteer, Richard Lebherz. The “Frances Delaplaine Randall Endowment Fund for Historic Research of Frederick County” supports activities at the both the Maryland Room at the Historical Society of Frederick County. The “Randall Family's Gift to the Maryland Room” provides a significant base to purchase, acquire and maintain materials and equipment for the Maryland Room. The Maryland Room is a gift of the Randall Family.
Other gifts to support the Maryland Room are welcome. Your gift can be designated for a special purpose, or can be undesignated. For more information about giving a gift, contact the Maryland Room Manager.