Online Resources for Researching Local History
If staying home has left you with some extra time on your hands, maybe now’s the perfect time to undertake that research project you’ve been pondering for a while.
Every researcher contributes in their own way to deepening the knowledge of our heritage community. Whether you’re exploring your family’s past or delving into local history, here are some online tools and resources that can aid you in your task.
Maryland State Archives has a wide variety of digital resources available for researchers. These resources include digital publications, special collections, and image collections, including the Archives of Maryland Online, a collection of historical documents that enables users to research topics on Maryland’s constitutions and proceedings, session laws, proceedings of the General Assembly, governors’ papers, military records and more.
The Annapolis Maritime Heritage Portal is a searchable online collections database of selected photos and archival documents from the Annapolis Maritime Museum & Park’s permanent collection. The selected items reflect the rich maritime heritage of the Annapolis area and the neighborhood of Eastport, including an assemblage of oral histories. This online research portal is made possible by the generous support of the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County.
Interested in local genealogy? The Anne Arundel Genealogical Society wants to help you discover more about your family history. They have online search functions for surname research, Anne Arundel County obituaries, and Anne Arundel County cemeteries.
With your Anne Arundel County Library card you have access to Gale Genealogy Connect. Gale Genealogy Connect includes the “how-to” of genealogy research in addition to the idiosyncrasies of genealogical research in specific subject areas. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced researcher looking for in-depth genealogy data this is the place to start your research. The library also provides an extensive list of local genealogy resources for Annapolis, Anne Arundel County and Maryland, many of which are available online.
The Maryland Historical Society’s Collections Online Database provides access to items in the Museum Department and Special Collections Department of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library that have been previously digitized. Here you will find paintings, photographs, manuscripts, decorative arts pieces, lithographs, and more. You can search such subjects as American Civil War, African American History, War of 1812, Women’s History, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Maritime, and Emigration and Immigration.
Among the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s many resources is the African American Funeral Programs Collection. The Collection consists of more than 1800 funeral service programs dating from the 1960s to the present, collected by the African American Department of the Enoch Pratt Free Library / State Library Resource Center in Baltimore. Included are programs of African Americans from all walks of life, and though most programs are of Marylanders, there are some of African Americans from other states.
The Smithsonian Institution Archives captures, preserves, and makes available to the public the history of the Smithsonian Institution, which is a vital part of the history of the American experience, of scientific exploration, and of international cultural understanding. The records of the history of the Institution have been gathered, organized, and disseminated so that everyone can learn about the Smithsonian.
Have a research project you’d like to share with the public? Consider making a podcast to tell your story. And if you know of any other valuable sources for local history or genealogical research, be sure to share them with us!