Hon. Martin O’Malley


Hon. Anthony G. Brown

Lt. Governor

Edward C. Papenfuse, Ph.D.

State Archivist and

Commissioner of Land Patents

Timothy D. Baker

Deputy State Archivist

Matthew P. Lalumia

Chairman, Maryland Commission on Artistic Property



Hall of Records Commission:

Hon. Robert M. Bell, Chair

    Chief Judge, Court of Appeals

William R. Brody, Ph.D.

Hon. Michael E. Busch

Alvin C. Collins

Hon. Peter V. R. Franchot

William E. Kirwan, Ph.D.

Hon. Nancy K. Kopp

Hon. Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr.

Christopher B. Nelson

Earl S. Richardson, Ph.D.

Henry H. Stansbury

Registration Form


Welcome to the State Archives ,the historical agency and permanent records repository for the State of Maryland.  We are pleased to be able to assist you, whether you are requesting needed governmental documents, performing historical research, or investigating your family heritage.  Our friendly and capable staff will help you find your materials among the nearly four hundred years of recorded history entrusted to us.


Our first duty as public servants is to insure the safety both of the visitors to the Archives and the documents in our care.  We ask that you read and abide by the following regulations governing access to the Archives.  While some of the rules and fees for service may seem at first arbitrary or unusual, they are the result of experience both here and at other archives and libraries around the world.   Our goal is to insure that future citizens of Maryland and the United States will enjoy the same opportunities to use these resources and learn about the past as you have.


I hope your visits here are pleasant and rewarding.  If you have any concerns regarding the operation of the Archives, please do not hesitate to bring them to the attention of the staff or, if necessary, to me.  We look forward to serving you.


Edward C. Papenfuse, Ph.D.
State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents





First Name:    _______________________________ Last Name:  _______________________________


Institution:      _________________________________________________________________________


Address:          _________________________________________________________________________


City/State/Zip: _________________________________________________________________________


Phone - Work: ___________________ Home: ____________________ Cell: ______________________


Email:             _________________________________________________________________________


Patron #          ____________________


ID (including

1 picture ID):  1: __________________________________ 2: ___________________________________



For your safety and convenience please review the following rules and regulations. If you agree to these terms please sign and date this form on the last page.




While using the research facilities of the Maryland State Archives you will be under video and human surveillance for security purposes.   Please note that any video media created is confidential and will not be shared with any private or public parties except by court order.   We appreciate your cooperation and understanding in helping us maintain a secure work place for both researchers and staff.






In conformance with the Archivists’ Code of Ethics and the laws of the State of Maryland and of the United States, the facilities and services of the Maryland State Archives are available to all registered researchers without regard to gender, race, color, creed, or national origin. Sign language interpreters and other appropriate accommodations for individuals with disabilities will be provided upon request with 48 hours advance notice.






In order to effectively select records and manage space the Archives staff reviews usage of the collections.   Please assist us by checking one of the following boxes:


˙ 01 Genealogy/Family History

˙ 02 Maryland History (general)

˙ 03 Maryland History (local)

˙ 04 Land title Search

˙ 05 Court Records (i.e., dockets, case files)

˙ 06 State Employee Using Agency Records 

        Deposited with the Archives

˙ 07 Class Assignment/Term Paper

˙ 08 MA/PhD Thesis/Dissertation/Project

˙ 09 Article/Book/Other Publication

˙ 10 Use State Publications or Printed         


˙ 11 Legislative Intent or History of State


˙ 12 Other (please specify):






Rules and Regulations Governing

Access to the Archives

And Usage of the Collections


I.                   State of Maryland, Department of General Services (DGS), Buildings and Grounds Regulations


Access to the Archives’ facilities is governed by rules set forth in the Code of Maryland Regulations and the Governor’s Executive Order No. 01.01.1992.20, and are incorporated here by reference.  A copy of these regulations is available for inspection during normal business hours in the Archives lobby.  Copies may also be obtained from the Department of General Services, 301 West Preston St., Baltimore, MD 21201 – 2305.  The regulations are also available online at 

II.                Maryland State Archives Searchroom Regulations and Rules for the Usage of the

Collections and Facility


Archival records and special collections are unique (one of a kind) and require special handling and protection.  You, the researcher, are a partner with the Archives in protecting and preserving these materials so that they remain intact and available to future researchers.  Your compliance with these rules and regulations is appreciated.




·        Patrons must present photographic identification upon arrival and upon demand to the Department of General Services police stationed at the Archives.

·        When registering for the first time and upon annual renewal researchers must present two forms of identification, including one official photographic ID (i.e. driver’s license, state identity card, passport, student ID, corporate ID, law enforcement ID, state or federal employment ID or other officially issued identification cards) and a second confirming ID (i.e. library card, credit card, utility bill, health plan card, insurance plan card, vehicle registration, social security card, or any official ID as described above.)  One of these must have residential information and one must have a signature. 

·        This annual registration form must be completed and signed.  The information provided here is subject to verification against the identification presented, particularly the signature and residence.  Personally identifying information shall be kept secure at the Archives and will not be provided to third parties, excepting officials acting under appropriate legal authority.  Signature constitutes acceptance of these regulations.

·        Daily registration requires presentation of photographic ID both to Department of General Services Police personnel and to Archives personnel at the registration desk.  Also, patrons must sign the daily register, including name, arrival time and identification of any vehicles parked in the Archives lot. 

·        Patrons will be assigned lockers in which to store personal possessions not allowed into the searchroom.  Such possessions include, but are not limited to: food, beverages and beverage containers (including baby bottles, “sippy” cups and other “non-spillable” containers), pens or permanent markers, Post-It™ or “sticky” notes, carbon paper, flatbed or hand scanners, floppy disks for insertion in Archives computers, camera or video lights, overcoats, raincoats, suit or sports coats, sweaters with pockets, hats, briefcases, oversized bags or purses, backpacks, belt pouches or “fanny packs”, umbrellas, boxes, bound notebooks and folders. 

·        Materials which may be brought into the searchroom include but are not necessarily limited to: paper for research, #1 or #2 (soft) pencils, laptop computers, and cameras (video or still, digital or film).   The following items may be brought in with specific approval from a reference archivist: floppy disks for usage in personal laptop computers, camera tripods and audio recorders.  All items brought into the searchroom are subject to inspection by the DGS police.  The Maryland State Archives is not responsible for personal property lost or stolen in its facilities.

·        Patrons will be assigned desks to use in the searchroom by Archives registration personnel.  Archival materials (records and papers) must be used at these desks.   

·        No children under age 15 are allowed in the searchroom without permission of a reference archivist.

·        Researchers will be charged $30 for a lost badge, key, and copier button.  In the case of a researcher inadvertently leaving with these items there is a 10 day return period before this charge will be assessed.


Searchroom - Use of Records


·        Searchroom computers are available for the usage of the public.  Internet resources and email may be consulted. 

·        Only soft pencils (#1 and #2) may be used in the searchroom, and are available at the circulation desk.  No pens or markers that could permanently mark paper may be used.

·        Circulation/pull slips must be completed for all records.  Patrons who are unsure of the information that is required may consult the reference archivists for assistance.  However, faster service will be promoted if the researcher learns to utilize the Guide to Government Records, the Special Collections catalog database, and the Library catalog database and supply series and location information on the circulation slip.

·        Rare books and manuscripts may only be used with the approval of the Director of Special Collections or the State Archivist.  Such materials may ONLY be used at desks 5, 6 and 7. 

·        If microfilm or electronic copies of original records are available the copies must be consulted first.  If the copies are illegible or otherwise require closer inspection originals will be made available, but only at the discretion of a reference archivist.

·        No more than three records of any description may be used at a research desk at any one time.  However, archivists or archival assistants have discretion to withhold records if the desk space is so crowded as to interfere with the safe handling of the records.

·        All materials must be used on a desk or table.  No materials may be placed on the floor.

·        Patrons MUST maintain records in EXACTLY the arrangement in which they are received.  Errors and inconsistencies in either arrangement in the boxes or description in guides should be reported to the reference staff.  Patrons MUST NOT attempt to re-arrange records.

·        All materials must be used with the greatest of care.  If a patron is unsure of proper paper handling he or she can request instruction.  Paper, particularly newsprint and other acidic, fragile items, must be handled gently with two hands.  Items should be held at the edges whenever possible.  Materials MUST NOT be marked upon, altered, folded, traced, or handled in any way likely to result in damage.  Archivists and archival assistants may, at their discretion, require that patrons wear gloves when handling materials.  Also, gloves are available upon request.  In all instances patrons’ hands must be clean, to prevent soiling of records.  Documents and volumes must lie flat on the table, or on provided bookstands where appropriate.  They may not be propped upon books, other records, or the edge of the workspace, nor held in the researcher’s lap.

·        Records may only be used by the patron who requested them out, and may not be given to another researcher for usage at another desk. 

·        Researchers are responsible for returning all Archives materials to the circulation desk upon completion of research.  The yellow copy of the circulation slip MUST be returned with the item.

·        Records are retrieved every half an hour, at quarter after and quarter of the hour.  Records WILL NOT be retrieved, except under extraordinary circumstances, after 3:45 PM. 

·        All materials being removed from the Searchroom are subject to inspection by Archives personnel and/or uniformed DGS security personnel. 


Searchroom – Courtesies and Requirements


·        Researchers are requested to remember that the reference archivists must assist all patrons, and to keep questions and conversation with the staff to the necessary minimum when the searchroom is busy.

·        The searchroom is a research and study facility.  Loud conversation is distracting and impolite.  Extensive conversation and cell phone calls should be conducted in the Archives lobby.  Quiet conversation or audio notes may be conducted so long as other patrons are not disturbed.

·        Patrons with disabilities should not hesitate to request the assistance of staff members with carrying heavy volumes or boxes or retrieving books from stacks.

·        Cameras may be used, without flash, to record documents for personal, non-commercial use.  Documents may only be photographed while lying horizontally on a desk or table or supported at an angle on a book cradle.  Tripods may be used with the approval for size by a reference archivist.  Patrons may not stand on chairs or other furniture when performing copy photography.

·        Searchroom copy orders for same day delivery MUST be placed by 4:00 PM with no exceptions.  Orders placed after 4:00 PM must be purchased by check or credit card, no cash, and may be picked up at the Archives upon completion or mailed to the patron.

·        Copy orders that, in the opinion of a reference archivist, violate legitimate copyright or exceed fair use of a copyrighted publication will not be accepted.

·        Researchers must be advised that the Archives retains and asserts the right to inspect any and ALL materials upon exit from the searchroom.


Microfilm Room


·        The microfilm room is a self-service facility.   Whenever possible an Archives volunteer will be available to assist patrons.  However, volunteers may not always be on duty.  The reference archivists are always available to answer questions about using equipment or locating materials.

·        In order to prevent errors in re-filing, patrons may remove only ONE roll of microfilm at a time.  Patrons must place their yellow block on the shelf in place of the film removed, and promptly re-file the film when finished with using it.

·        Patrons using the readers should sign up on the log in sheet.  Readers may be used for two hours.  However, if there is no researcher requiring the use of a machine the current researcher may continue until the reader might be demanded.

·        Reader/printers are primarily intended for usage by persons copying documents from microfilm.  If there is no immediate demand for the reader/printers patrons may use these machines for reading film.  However, these machines MUST be surrendered immediately by readers when needed for copying. 




·        It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint or reproduce recorded materials from the Archives.  The researcher assumes responsibility for conforming with the laws of libel and copyright.  One gratis copy of any publication resulting from extensive research or including documents held at the Archives must be deposited with the Archives.




·        The Archives retains and asserts any and all rights not enumerated in these rules and regulations necessary to protect its holdings which do not violate civil liberties as defined and upheld by the courts of the state of Maryland and the United States.

·        The Archives parking lot is available free of charge to researchers while working in the facility or taking lunch or other breaks during research.  The lot may NOT be used to visit other Annapolis buildings or facilities. 

·        The only public areas in the Archives building are the lobby, coatroom, restrooms, and the searchroom.  All other areas are secured, and only Archives personnel, volunteers on duty and authorized persons are allowed in these spaces.  Visitors to the Archives offices must present photographic ID to the DGS police, sign in on the visitor log, and be escorted by a staff member or volunteer on duty to and from their destination.   Please note that the mezzanine level of the searchroom is NOT public space and books stored there must be retrieved for patrons by Archives staff.


Thank you for your cooperation!


While numerous, these rules are carefully considered and imposed to insure the security of records that date back to the founding of the colony of Maryland in 1634.  Those documents are fundamental, irreplaceable and require great care.  So, too, do many modern records and documents.  Lessons drawn from archives and libraries around the world, including the National Archives and Records Administration, the Library of Congress, and the National Archives: Public Records Office of the United Kingdom, have been incorporated into these regulations


The Archives staff is committed to providing cheerful, friendly and efficient service to the citizens of Maryland.  We welcome your comments.


By signing this application I agree to the attached rules and regulations and will abide by them. I also understand that any of my personal belongings placed in the locker assigned to me are stored there at my own risk.




Signature:       ______________________________________________  Date: _____________________