Guide to Research in the Public Records of Baltimore City

City Archivist William LeFurgy and his staff, building on the work of his predecessor Richard Cox, and supplemented by some later listings by more recent staff, prepared type-written guides to the permanent records of Baltimore City that describe the records brought under archival management through about 1990.

Searchable pdfs of their typescript and printed guides include:

  • the LeFurgy … Guide to the Baltimore City Archives, which provides excellent record group introductions and listings of series within record groups accessioned through 1984
  • the record group/series/series unit shelf listings which for the most part provide more detailed descriptions of record groups and series units (containers), but in some instances give only record group and series unit numbers.  In those cases recourse should be made to the  Guide to the Baltimore City Archives  for the record group and series context of the container listings.  The folder listings for the Mayors’ Papers, BRG 9, covering the administrations from 1904-1971, are available here and are searchable,
  • a current list of the record group and manuscript collection titles
  • the LeFurgy Guide to security microfilm which needs to be used in conjunction with the online Guide to Baltimore City Records which is part of the Maryland State Archives Guide to Government Records. The reorganization of the City Archives under Richard Cox and William LeFurgy included careful attention by William LeFurgy to the creation and maintenance of security microfilm of what were deemed historical records. The resulting manuscript Guide to security microfilm encompasses the filming completed by October 25, 1985. The City Archives has deposited its security microfilm with the Maryland State Archives where it is catalogued as SPECIAL COLLECTIONS (Baltimore City Archives Security and Disaster Recovery Microfilm Collection), msa_sc_5635 . This collection contains the continuation of security microfilm created subsequent to 1985 for which there is a reel inventory on line, but as yet, no reel content descriptions as found in the 1985 Lefurgy Guide to security microfilm . It is hoped that the City or some interested party will fund the scanning and creation of ebooks of this film in an effort to make the records more accessible and to contribute to the preservation of the originals.

The original typescript finding aids, described throughout this guide to research in the public records of Baltimore City, are provided here as hyperlinked individual text searchable pdfs, and are also indexed collectively on the Maryland State Archives web site.  To use the index on the MSA web site, go to the MSA Search Page, select  the pull down menu item, Baltimore City History, and submit a search string.

There are also Records Retention and Disposal schedules for nearly all permanent and temporary records currently housed at the new City Archives location, along with transmittal sheets detailing record transfers.  These are not yet available as pdfs on line, but are available for consultation at the City Archives.