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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives:
A Guide to Resources in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia

Table of Contents - Preface/Acknowledgements - Abbreviations
Lists of Entries: District of Columbia - Maryland - Virginia

Baptist Convention of Maryland - Delaware

Baptist Center History Library

Address: 10255 Old Columbia Road
Columbia, MD 21046-1716
Telephone Number: 1-800-466-5290 ext. 234
410-667-9169 (home number to make appointments)
Contact Persons: Maryan Brown, Archivist

Access Policies

Hours of Service:
Tuesday--Friday 9:00 a.m.--4:00 p.m.
Open to the public: By appointment only
Photocopying: Yes
Interlibrary loan: No

Photocopying is limited and there is a charge. Librarian works one day a week and must be present the first time a researcher comes to use the library.

Reference Policy:
Telephone and mail reference questions are accepted. Long distance telephone calls are not returned. The Baptist Center History Library cannot do in-depth research, but will answer questions that take one half-hour or less if the researcher sends a self-addressed, stamped envelope. They will also specify related materials on researcher's topic.
Borrowing Privileges:
Not a lending institution.
Background Note:
The Maryland Baptist Union Association (MBUA) was formed on October 27, 1836, by six churches in Maryland and one church in the District of Columbia to "advance the cause of true religion in Maryland and that part of the District of Columbia north of the Potomac." MBUA became the Baptist Convention of Maryland in 1960 and then the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware in 1984.

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Description of Collections

Books and monographs:
Approximately 200 books primarily from the 19th and 20th centuries with scattered earlier printings. Subject areas covered include Baptist history, Southern Baptists, Maryland Baptist history, Delaware Baptist history, history of individual Baptist churches in Maryland and Delaware, Baptist biography, Baptist doctrine, and Baptist missionary biography representing 200 years of mission. Of special note is a Martin Luther translation of the Bible printed in 1546. The History Library also has a small but good collection of hymnals from the 1840s to the present. Most are Baptist hymnals, particularly Maryland hymnals, but other denominations are also represented.

There is a card catalog by subject, and a minister's service catalog for 1837-1989.

Periodicals and newspapers:
Approximately 96 linear feet of serials, newspapers, annuals, and minutes with inclusive dates from 1800 to the present. Six journals form the core of the serial titles: Maryland/Delaware Baptist Life (previously called Maryland Baptist,Baptist True Union; 1800s to present); Baptist History and Heritage (1965 to present); Baptist Heritage Update (1985 to 1996); Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware minutes (1836 to present); Southern Baptist Convention Annuals/Minutes (1860s to present); Maryland/Delaware Association newsletters (1900s to present - scattered dates).

Collection highlights include Baptist state and national news; SBC history articles; church archive information; church statistical information and reports of convention agencies and business transacted at annual meeting of the state Baptist Convention; statistical information, agency reports, and business transacted at annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention; statistical information and promotional material for church and association events. Of particular note are Maryland Baptist convention minutes from 1836 and local Baptist Association Minutes 1920 to present (scattered dates).

Baptist Life offices (in another area of the Baptist Center building) have both a card and computer subject index. The History Library has date and volume listings.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondence, and oral histories:
Approximately 60 linear feet of archival material with inclusive dates from 1836 to the present. Highlights of this collection include church records and minutes primarily from defunct Southern Baptist churches in Maryland; records of the Woman's Missionary Union of Maryland/Delaware (formerly known as Woman's Mission to Woman, the Maryland Baptist Home Mission Society, the Maryland Baptist State Mission Society, and the Maryland Baptist Foreign Mission Society); Rev. Joseph Mettam Marriage Records 1836-1883, which contains marriage records for many slaves and free blacks; Dr. Richard Fuller sermons 1846-1876; Rev. Lawrence A. Free sermons (300 plus); Executive Secretary Files for Joseph Watts, Roy Gresham, and Ken Lyles; Baltimore Church Extension Society Files; Baptist Foundation Minutes; miscellaneous information from the Maryland Baptist College; Baptist Family Children's Aid Society Minutes from 1900s to 1989; United Baptist Women files 1950s-90s (inter-racial group); and a transcript of oral history by Dr. Clyde Atkins, pastor Eutaw Place/Woodbrook Baptist Church, Baltimore.

There is an author/title card catalog for these collections.

Approximately 85 microforms which include newspapers, papers, minutes, and scrapbooks. Highlights of the collection include the following: the Virginia Baptist Religious Herald1828-1900; Minutes Baltimore Baptist Association 1793-1836; Minutes Maryland Baptist Union Association 1837-1958; Saters Baptist Church/Genealogy; Maryland Baptist State papers 1849- present (scattered early dates); Local Baptist Associations; Woman's Baptist Home Mission Society of Maryland Minutes 1886-1911; First Baptist Church of Baltimore scrapbooks 1776-1960s; Gunpowder Baptist Church Minutes 1806-1966; Woman's Mission to Woman Minutes 1872-1898.

There is an author/title/subject card catalog for this collection.

Approximately 35 maps from the 19th and 20th centuries, primarily in books. Highlights include a map describing the location of churches (see Maring, A Denominational History of Maryland Baptists 1742-1882); as well as a 1986 150th Anniversary map location of churches; and a SBC Historical Sites map.

There is often a listing in the card catalog for these maps.

Video and sound recordings:
Approximately 40 videotapes with inclusive dates from 1982 to present. Highlights of the collection include films on the Rwanda Mission Partnership; SBC History Collecting Series; Dr. Roy Gresham; Baptist Beliefs; and BCM/D Promotion tapes. The primary focus of this collection is overseas Baptist missions.

These tapes are listed in the card catalog. Other departments in the Baptist Center also have mission and teaching tapes. Printed catalogs are available.

Vertical files:
15 file cabinet drawers with inclusive dates from the 1800s to the present. Subjects include biographical information about pastors and lay people of the Baptist Church, data on Baptist churches, denominational programs and agencies, and miscellaneous files on the Woman's Missionary Union.

The files are organized alphabetical by subject areas with some help in subject card catalog.

Paintings, photographs, slides, and prints:
Approximately 200 to 300 photographs, with inclusive dates from 1870 to the present. Many are uncataloged. Highlights include photographs and some glass plates (1890s) of Baptist churches and Baptist pastors, Baptist mission work, and Baptist missionaries.

The card catalog covers some of this collection. The librarian will be helpful with the uncataloged material.

Other holdings not listed above:
Artifacts from the Women's Missionary Union including the Armstrong gavel, Armstrong dresses, and prayer altar. There are also missionary artifacts such as craft items from various continents.

Subject Headings

Armstrong, Annie Walker, 1850-1938; Baptist Church--Clergy; Baptist Church--Delaware--History; Baptist Church--History; Baptist Church--Maryland--History; Bible--Versions--Luther; Christian biography--Baptist; Church buildings--Baptist; Church music--Baptist; Church work with orphans--Baptist; Church work with the aged--Baptist; Dixon, A.C., 1854-1925; Fundamentalism; Hymns and hymnals; Marriage records--African American; Missions and missionaries--Baptist; Religious education--Southern Baptist; Sermons; Southern Baptist Convention; Sunday schools--Baptist; Woman's Missionary Union--Southern Baptist Convention--History; Woman's Missionary Union--Maryland--History; Women and religion


Hollowak, Thomas L., ed. Baltimore's Past: A Directory of Historical Sources. Baltimore, MD: History Press, 1995.

Kanely, Edna Agatha. Directory of Maryland Ministers and the Maryland Churches They Served 1634-1990. 2 v. Westminster, MD: Family Line Publications, 1991.

May, Lynn E., Jr., comp./ed. International Directory of Baptist Archives/Libraries. McLean, VA: Baptist World Alliance, Commission on Baptist Heritage, 1990.

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  March 14, 2022
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