The Historical Society of Baltimore County collects, preserves and interprets the rich history of Baltimore County for the education and enjoyment of present and future generations.
Who We Are
The Historical Society is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization, incorporated in 1959, is more than sixty years old; whereas the earliest record of Baltimore County dates to 1659 – making the county itself more than 360 years old.
We continually accomplish our mission through the production of presentations, lectures, workshops, entertaining educational publications, historical tours, and exhibits. We offer weekly hours at our research center. We seek-out and add research and cultural materials related to Baltimore County’s history and heritage to our collections. We partner with other like-minded organizations, and we advocate for a more historically minded, educated and aware society.
As a public history institution, we believe we can and should learn from our collective histories. And, that it is our duty and honor to make it fun and fascinating to do so.
Since our inception in 1959, we have been headquartered in the county’s historic third and last Almshouse, built in 1872 – a beautiful limestone building that originally stood four floors tall on both wings. The Almshouse was built to accommodate 100 poor, indigent, or sick ‘inmates,’ as its inhabitants were called. Almshouses like ours were a precursor to modern social services. Our Almshouse served the county’s needs until 1958. Then, in 1959, the society took-up residence in one room of the building, and has expanded its collections ever since.
At our research center you can take a trip through three and a half centuries of the county’s history. With more than 9,000 museum artifacts, 8,000 historic photographs, a 4,000 volume library, 500 historic maps and atlases, and hundreds of archival collections, you may discover and experience our shared past.
These materials, many once prized possessions, link us to those people who lived and worked in the county. They teach us of the past by offering a direct tangible connection to it.
Within the county, we are defined by a common geography and a shared history that sets us apart from the rest of the mid-Atlantic. From the county’s blue-collar, industrial steel mills of the east, to its western regions, where wealthy businessmen built Victorian summer-homes, to its mill-workers, farmers, and landed gentry exhibited through sites like Hampton Mansion – Baltimore County, just like the state of Maryland, is truly an America in miniature. We were Native Americans, frontiersmen, pioneers, soldiers, slaves, political leaders, farmers, mill workers, industrialists, engineers, teachers, carpenters, rebels, ruffians, and upstarts.
Please consider supporting us with your membership, tax-deductible donations, business partnerships, applying to our ongoing volunteer programs, or simply telling your family, friends and neighbors about us.