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Archives' Bulldog

Newsletter of
The Maryland State Archives
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Vol. 19 No. 8
August 15, 2005
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Standing left to right:   Tim White, Owen Lourie, Kyle McLean, Camille Manganello, Karen Palmer
Sitting left to right:   Lauren Morton, Beth Siekiera, Allison Jordan, Alexis Thompson, Laura Kopp
Each summer the Archives offers paid internships to provide students with an opportunity to learn archival and historical methods in a professional setting.  High school, undergraduate, and graduate students attending Maryland institutions or Maryland residents attending out-of-state schools are eligible to apply.  In addition, students may participate in an abbreviated program for academic or community service credit.  This summer, the Archives hosted sixteen students who worked on eleven diverse projects throughout the agency. The following articles, authored by the students, describe their work which ranged from digitizing indexes and preserving collections both traditionally and electronically to geographical, demographical, and biographical research. We are extremely proud of their significant contributions, and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors.

Underground Railroad Project
by Laura Kopp, Karen Palmer, and Alexis Thompson

For the most of the summer we stripped information from census records of 1850 and 1860 in order to create a database of slaves and free blacks in Frederick, Baltimore, Anne Arundel, and Prince George’s counties. In addition, each of us chose a related topic to research and present.

Laura investigated the experiences of free black women who headed households in Maryland. She focused on the 150 such households listed in the 1860 census for Anne Arundel County. Unlike white women who headed households, these black women encountered restrictive state laws, racism, job competition, limitations on their mobility, and familial separation that often ended in poverty or emigration from the state. The stories of these women came alive through original records such as the censuses, wills, inventories, chattel records, certificates of freedom, and various secondary sources. Although manumitted, free black women fought for the survival of themselves and their children in a state still very much dominated by slavery.

Karen researched women slave holders in ante-bellum Prince George’s County. Despite the traditional association of men with slave ownership, over 150 women in Prince George’s County held slaves in the years 1840, 1850, and 1860. Furthermore, these women played a vital role in the community, often maintaining farms and plantations. They provided significant insight into the breadth of opportunities available to women during one of the most proscribed eras in American history.

Alexis explored the role of the mulatto slave in Maryland. The 1850 U.S. census was the first population count to employ the term mulatto. In looking at the Anne Arundel County slave schedules for 1850 and 1860, mulatto slaves seemed to run away in higher numbers than the black slaves by 1860. With their lighter skin, they blended more easily with the free black population, and their more privileged plantation jobs enabled them to learn the actions of a free person, including the ability to read and write. Significantly, slave owners seemed to expend less effort searching for these slaves; a number of theories can be offered to explain this behavior. Whatever the reason, it still remains that this racial group represented a great change in America's view of race after 1850, which then paved the way for many more cultures to be recognized.

Women's Hall of Fame
by Lauren Morton

With my interest in women’s history, the assignment to this project seemed to mesh well with my work in graduate school. Little did I know, however, the diverse, impressive, and awe-inspiring women to be encountered during the internship. Stretching from B. Olive Cole, known as the First Lady of Maryland Pharmacy, to Dr. Helen Taussig, developer of the ground-breaking surgery to save the lives of blue babies, to Mother Mary Elizabeth Lange, who persevered in the racist, hostile climate of ante-bellum Baltimore to found the Oblate Sisters of Providence, an order devoted to the education of African-American children, the women of the Hall of Fame are remarkable in their accomplishments and enliven the distinct history of Maryland.

Researching these women has given me a great opportunity to familiarize myself with numerous archival resources available to the general public, historians, and students. Reading through various books in the search room of the Archives, fishing through boxes in the stacks, and scrolling through reel upon reel of microfilm sometimes bordered more on the realm of a treasure hunt, which turned out to be both fun and stimulating.

The opportunity to work on the women’s project has been an enjoyable experience, and really expanded my knowledge of Maryland history and honed my research skills. The information provided in these biographies is of great importance, especially in schools, because the roles and accomplishments of women in the past are so often overlooked in general history courses. The biographies in the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame highlight the materials available at the Archives, enhance the overall picture of Maryland history, and provide exciting details about valuable figures, both past and present.  

The Martenet Project
by Anne Leininger, Richard Brown, Benjamin McGinty, and Ronald Owen, Jr.

Martenet interns
Martenet interns: Anne Leininger, Ronald Owen, Jr., Richard Brown, and Benjamin McGinty
During this summer at S.J. Martenet, we have been given the opportunity to help preserve valuable historical documents, specifically maps and plats and related survey materials pertaining to land, mostly in Baltimore City. The procedures for doing the work included opening packets of documents, placing them in acid free folders, counting and numbering each folder, placing them in clamshells, and scanning the documents into an archival format. After image clean up and database  maintenance, the records were shipped to the Archives for storage.

We learned a lot this summer while participating in this internship program. Our expectations were met - we made money, obtained experience, learned to manage time efficiently and work as a team, and preserved historical documents.

Lynching Presentation
by Alexis Thompson

  Speaker Emma Coleman Jordan
Emma Coleman Jordan
On July 18, the interns and several staff members enjoyed a presentation on lynching by Professor Emma Coleman Jordan. She is currently a professor of law at Georgetown, having previously taught for twelve years at the University of California, Davis. One of her most prominent accolades was being a part of Anita Hill’s counsel team during the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. She is also the author of several books and articles, including her upcoming book entitled Lynching and the Dark Metaphor of American Law, which was also the subject of  her speech.

Professor Jordan approached the idea of reparations for slavery in this country. She concluded that it would be impossible to give reparations to all slave descendants due to individual litigation boundaries, and that it would be more realistic to look at events such as lynching in order to agree on a settlement for an individual’s family. In the discussion of lynchings she emphasized the importance of  archival resources. She presented evidence of several periods of black post-slavery oppression, including race riots and lynchings across the country. The research itself has led her to several archival sources, including the county archives in Springfield, Missouri and the Tuskegee Institute news clipping files. It was very interesting to see how important and valuable an archives can be as an individual progresses toward a research goal. 

Destination: Organization, or My Dual Internship
by Beth Siekiera

Following in the footsteps of many an intern before me, my task this summer was to continue the uphill battle of organization. Since the Archives is an ever-changing environment there is a constant struggle to maintain order and efficiency, especially in the library.

The main project was to assist Christine Alvey with a particular problem spot. Recently the library had to downsize to accommodate additional office space, resulting in the relocation of many books. They were placed in clamshells and records center boxes and moved into the stacks in the basement. The aftermath work for the summer involved updating the locations of all of these books in the library catalogue.  After the examination of library materials in 285 clamshells and 126 boxes, database entries for 662 books were updated. I also tackled some of the more common library intern type tasks, like organizing periodicals, shelving books, and inventorying and labeling boxes. While the task of library organization will never end, the work of the past several weeks will help staff and researchers find the library books.

In an attempt to test my overall efficiency and organization skills, I was assigned to help Dottie Zimmerman with publications sold by the Archives, specifically to create an accurate inventory of available stock. To compound matters, copies are kept in three places: lobby, basement stacks area, and security copies (not to be sold) on the third floor stacks area. Coordinating the numbers for all three places was the biggest challenge, especially while trying to keep track of which numbers had already been inventoried. After scrambling around three different floors, I was able to take the inventory counts and enter them into the database for publications. Two hundred titles were inventoried, lobby restocked, and non-sale copies placed in security. Now if the numbers are updated regularly when a book is sold, the inventory can stay current, and books can be removed or reordered when the supply gets low.

Special Collections Report
by Tim White, Allison Jordan, and Owen Lourie

Much of the work done by the interns working in Special Collections this summer focused on the history of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore City, now known as the Circuit Court. Tim and Allison also worked with the photographs of the Darden Collection.

The minute books of the Bench provided a summary record of matters considered by the judges when siting as the Supreme Bench. They also included some background material on the cases discussed during the meetings. Documents such as trial transcripts or petitions for writ of habeas corpus were sometimes found in the books, as well as letters of resignation or appointment. Allison used these records to track issues relating to habeas corpus.

Tim concentrated on scanning the minutes of the Supreme Bench, completing 18 volumes. The records are difficult to use because they were not originally intended to be books and contain no indexes. The pages are all separate documents bound together by year for ease of storage. Some pages were bound impractically or have become fragile, making access difficult. With scanning, researchers are provided with more convenient access. The images were OCRed to create searchable text saved in pdf format. 

Another aspect of the Supreme Bench project involved the creation of biographical sketches of the judges who served on the court. Some research had been conducted earlier, and some biographies already existed in the biographical series. More recent judges had biographies written for the Maryland Manual, some of the female judges had been researched as part of women’s history projects, and judges who had held other public offices often had biographies written as well.  Nevertheless, a the majority of Supreme Bench judges were unresearched. During the course of the summer, Owen was able to research and write about more than two dozen judges spanning from the creation of the court in 1867 to within the last twenty years.

Owen also worked with Chris Kintzel as part of an on-going effort to document the artwork and portraits on display in the Baltimore City Courthouse. Owen designed an online inventory for the judicial photographs in the court as an extension of Chris’s earlier work.

Louis Malick researched the judicial career of Judge Joseph Ulman, 1878-1943, with Dr. Papenfuse and will be providing a fuller overview of his project and Judge Schneider's lecture in the next Bulldog.

Tom Darden Project
by Genevieve Goerling

Genevieve Goerling
Genevieve Goerling
Tom Darden has been the official photographer in the Governor's office for several administrations. Much of his collection has been transferred to the Archives and is being processed through Special Collections. The project for this summer involved photographs taken during Governor Shaefer's administration. Darden is selecting those of interest and making notes on who and what the photos portray. The negatives are then scanned, edited in Adobe Photoshop, and entered into a database along with Darden's comments.

The photographs feature Governor Schaefer meeting with many different people in places throughout Maryland and in Washington, DC, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Others show encounters with animals, including horses at the Preakness Race, dolphins at the National Aquarium in Baltimore, and ducks at the Blackwater Wildlife Preserve. The finished product will be a web site of photos from several gubernatorial administrations to visually illustrate their years of service to the State.

The Emerald Age of Baseball: The Irish Legacy to the Game
by Laura Kopp

Speaker Jerrold Casway
Jerrold Casway
As inherent to Baltimore as steamed crabs, Old Bay, and the Star Spangled Banner, Orioles baseball has intoxicated and sometimes disappointed fans throughout Maryland for years. On August 8 Dr. Jerrold Casway spoke to the interns and members of the Archives staff about his research on the history of the Orioles and his latest book, Ed Delahanty in the Emerald Age of Baseball (University of Notre Dame Press, 2004). Dr. Casway received his Bachelors and Masters Degrees from Temple University and his Doctorate from the University of Maryland, College Park. He has been a Professor of History at Howard Community College in Columbia, Maryland since 1971. He also has published Owen Roe McNeill and the Struggle for Catholic Ireland in 1984.

Dr. Casway painted a vivid portrait of how the sons of Irish famine immigrants revolutionized the game of baseball in the late 19th century. The Irish brought their superb hand/eye coordination to America, acquired by countless hours of bat-ball games in their native country. Add to that a mixture of high-energy antics, strategic small ball playing, and some unique landscaping techniques and one gets “Foxy” Ned Hanlon’s champion Orioles. Players such as John McGraw, Joe Kelley, “Wee Willie” Keeler, “Uncle Robbie” Robinson, and "Hustling Hughie" Jennings invented the game of “disorganizing baseball” that became the model for other teams. Ed Delahanty, although not an Oriole, also exemplified the Irish passion for “The National Pastime.” He represents the only player to win two batting titles in two different leagues, maintained a lifetime batting average of .346, and hit .400 three times. Unfortunately, after fifteen years in baseball, Delahanty’s body was found at the bottom of Niagara Falls and his superb career became overshadowed by his untimely death.

These remarkable Irish ballplayers left a legacy of athleticism and passion that still inspires players and fans today. Although the Orioles’ golden age that Dr. Casway spoke of only lasted from 1894-1898, the influence did not end there. Many of the Emerald Age players became managers who passed on their aggressive tactics to other aspiring sportsmen. Today, baseball has become a hotbed of steroid scandals, commercialism, and hero worship, but the boys of the Emerald Age played for the love of the game. With historians such as Dr. Casway documenting their inspiring stories, these sons of the Emerald Isle will be remembered no matter what the score at Camden Yards.

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Founded 1987
Edward C. Papenfuse, State Archivist
Kathy Beard, Production Editor
Patricia V. Melville, Editor
Mimi Calver, Assistant Editor
Lynne MacAdam, Web Editor

The Maryland State Archives is an independent agency in the Office of the Governor and is advised by the Hall of Records Commission. The Chairman of the Hall of Records Commission is the Honorable Robert M. Bell, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals.

The Archivists' Bulldog is issued monthly to publicize records collections, finding aids, and other activities of the Archives and its staff.

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