EDWARD C. PAPENFUSE, JR., was born in Toledo, Ohio, on October 15, 1943. He has a B.A. in Political Science from American University (1965), a M.A. in history from the University of Colorado (1967), and a Ph.D. from The Johns Hopkins University (1973), where he completed a dissertation entitled Mercantile Opportunity and Urban Development in a Planting Society.

Since 1968 he has been employed in teaching, archival, library, and museum-related work, beginning as a summer fellow on the Maryland Hall of Records Indexing Project. He has traveled extensively to archival repositories in the United States and abroad looking at how they deal with their archival responsibilities and conducting research on Maryland-related themes. Dr. Papenfuse has held the positions of Maryland State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents since 1975. As director of the extensive activities of the Maryland State Archives in Annapolis, Dr. Papenfuse is responsible for the Archives' vast collection of government and private materials.

Dr. Papenfuse  played a major role in the design of the present Archives building which was completed in 1986, initiated the creation of the award winning Maryland State Archives web site,  and teaches courses at the University of Maryland College Park, the University of Maryland Law School, and the Johns Hopkins University.  He is the author of numerous articles and books, including In Pursuit of Profit: The Annapolis Merchants in the Era of the American Revolution (1975) and, with Joseph M. Coale, The Hammond-Harwood House Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland, 1608-1908 (1982). Most recently, he has developed an approach to providing reference services and teaching courses on the World Wide Web of the Internet (see and

In October 1970, Dr. Papenfuse joined the staff of The American Historical Review as Assistant Editor-Bibliographer, and subsequently was promoted to Associate Editor-Bibliographer. While at the Review he designed and implemented a computer-assisted system of bibliographical control over articles in history and commenced compilation of the new Writings on American History. In August 1973, he became Assistant Archivist of the State of Maryland, and on February 1, 1975, he assumed the post of State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents. In 1978 he was elected a Fellow of the Society of American Archivists and in 1987 he was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society. He has represented the Society of American Archivists on the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and serves on the advisory boards of the University of Maryland College of Library and Information Services (CLIS) and the Johns Hopkins University Medical Archives.

As Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents of Maryland, Dr. Papenfuse has pursued two major professional goals: the implementation of a well organized, cost effective, yet service oriented, state archival program, and the demonstration, through speaking, research and writing, of the importance of Archives to understanding ourselves and our rapidly changing world.

After an apprenticeship as assistant archivist with Dr. Morris L. Radoff, past president of the Society of American Archivists, and upon assuming the post of State Archivist, Dr. Papenfuse outlined a ten-year plan of attacking the major problems confronting the Maryland State Archives.

By 1986 the State Archives was an independent agency in the office of the Governor and occupied a new building devoted exclusively to the care of the archival treasures of Maryland. In helping to design and in managing the new facility, he paid close attention to the related questions of archival function and the allocation of space, maximizing the use of limited resources to shape an institution that has achieved international recognition for economies of scale and quality of service. His innovations in automated management of records have resulted in the first major installation in an archives of compact (mobile) shelving, and in comprehensive guides to holdings that provide unparalleled access to the records. Recent examples of computer-generated guides include the first volume in the new Archives of Maryland series (1990) and A Guide to Government Records at the Maryland State Archives (1992-96), both of which he designed and helped edit. Within the past few years he has shepherded the Maryland State Archives on to the World Wide Web of the Internet, providing access to the most comprehensive and current information on state government, the holdings of the Archives, and a wide range of archival materials in electronic document packets for use in Teaching in the Age of the Internet.  He also serves as publisher and managing editor of the nationally acclaimed about which he has written an article for Uncommon Sense, the newsletter of the Institute of Early American History.

 Besides writing on archival matters, Dr. Papenfuse is an American historian with primary interest in the role cities play in fostering economic growth and social development. He is the author of a study of the economy and society in late 18th century Annapolis (In Pursuit of Profit: The Annapolis Merchants in the Era of the American Revolution, 1975), co-author of a major revision of the WPA tour guide to Maryland, Maryland, A New Guide to the Old Line State (1976), and co-author of an award-winning Atlas of Historical Maps of Maryland, 1608-1908 (1982). His most recent work includes: the design and editing of Charting the Chesapeake (1990), an exhibit catalogue and comprehensive guide to the mapping of the Chesapeake Bay derived from the Huntingfield collection, a recent gift to the Maryland State Archives; The Amending Fathers and the Constitution: Changing Perceptions of Home Rule and Who should Rule At Home, in The South's Role in the Creation of the Bill of Rights (1991), edited by Robert J. Haws; an essay on African American History that serves as a foreword to an autobiography of an AME minister (1994), Doing Good to Posterity, a scholarly pamphlet on the move of the capital from St. Mary's City to Annapolis (1995), and Writing it All Down: The Effort to Make Government Work, a commentary in the Baltimore Sun, December 14, 1991, which outlines his efforts to bring facsimiles of original archival material into the classroom, efforts that have been rewarded with four grants (History Teaching Alliance, 1991, Abell Foundation, 1993, and NEH, 1992 & 1994-95) to co-direct summer institutes for teachers at the Archives.

 Dr. Papenfuse has broad experience with the sources of American history. He has directed a major research project at the Hall of Records for the National Endowment for the Humanities and Historic Annapolis, Inc., co-authoring a 600-page manuscript study of residential and land holding patterns in eighteenth and early nineteenth century Annapolis. Dr. Papenfuse was the Principal Investigator for a major National Endowment for the Humanities grant to research and write a Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635-1789 (2 vols., 1979-1985), and a National Historical Publications and Records Commission finding aids grant, both of which projects have resulted in publications. In 1983 the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission awarded planning grants to the Maryland Hall of Records for the inventory and preservation of newspapers and other historical records in Maryland. This was followed in 1990 with a grant to assist in the microfilming of all Maryland newspapers. He has also been a research fellow of the Wye institute which permitted him to travel to archives in Great Britain and France for research on the early exploration and settlement of Maryland, and the recipient of a Partners of the Americas travel grant which allowed him to visit and use the National Archives of Brazil.

 On March 25, 1985, Dr. Papenfuse was named Marylander of the Year by the Maryland Colonial Society. On August 4, 1985, he received the National Governors' Association's award for Distinguished Service to State Government which commended him for working tirelessly and creatively [to] unveil for our citizens the vibrancy and current pertinence of our shared heritage, and for transforming a little-used, much-ignored state agency, into a highly efficient operation, heavily relied upon by both government and the private sector.

Since 1983 he has been a member of the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University, teaching evening and weekend courses on U.S. History, Maryland History, Baltimore History, and the Philosophy of History. He also gives public lectures on Archives, Maryland Cartography, family history, and Maryland history, and teaches public history at the University of Maryland. Occasionally, in his capacity as Commissioner of Land Patents, he presides as an administrative judge over disputes involving original land grants. His most recent decision was upheld by the appellate courts in Maryland and the Federal courts, with a recorded opinion that commended the decision for its thoroughness, scholarship, and clarity.

As his family and administrative responsibilities permit, he is currently engaged in projects related to Teaching in the Age of the Internet, a series of working papers and document packets which he has published on the Archives Web site (, and a book-length re-interpretation of the role of urban places in the history of the Chesapeake Bay Ecosystem.

He is married to Sallie Craig Fisher, a reading specialist at Boys' Latin School in Baltimore. They have two sons, Eric who is a graduate student in history at Yale, and David, who has an abiding interest in Bob Dylan and Richard Nixon.

 For greater detail relating to the work and interests of Dr. Papenfuse see:

References available on request.

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rev. 8/29/05