Monday: 9:00 AM-2:00 PM
Tuesday and Wednesday: 8:30 AM-4:00 PM
Also by appointment by contacting Archivist, Mary Klein at [email protected]

Note: Most manuscript and many of the printed materials are accessible through a card catalog indexing proper names and subjects. Uncatalogued items are arranged alphabetically by names or subjects. Our collection is only of incidental use for geneological research.

Brief Overview

The Maryland Diocesan Archives contains official records, manuscripts, and related materials about the Church of England in colonial Maryland and its successor, the Episcopal Church in Maryland and the District of Columbia since the Revolution. The Diocese was divided in 1868 when the counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore became the Diocese of Easton. In 1895 the Diocese of Maryland was further divided; the District of Columbia and Montgomery, Prince George’s, Charles and St. Mary’s counties became the Diocese of Washington. The Dioceses of Easton and Washington have their own Archives, but the earlier history of the Church in those areas remains in the Maryland Diocesan Archives.

Our collections are strongest for the period 1730 to 1900 and include official records, correspondence, minutes, and other records of the Diocese of Maryland and its bishops, clergy, churches, institutions, and organizations. These are augmented by colonial manuscripts, many colonial and later sermons, parish histories, registers of closed churches, biographical writings, family papers, educational materials and memorabilia.

Holdings include much information about the social, political and economic history of the United States, including colonial law, the War of 1812, the Civil War, slavery, women’s history, native Americans, and African Americans; church-state relations; and the westward expansion of the Episcopal Church. Our archives collection also documents relations with other denominations, particularly the Roman Catholic, Methodist, and Lutheran Churches, as well as the Greek Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, the Church of Jesus in Mexico, the Old Catholic Church in Europe, and the ecumenical movement. Foreign missions are documented with materials from Greece and the Near East (from 1826), Africa (from 1820), China (from 1835), Cuba from 1869), and Haiti (from 1861).

Manuscript and Archival Collections

The greater part of our archival collections are the papers of the first six Bishops of Maryland:

  • Thomas John Claggett (1742-1816): over 1,000 items about local and parish history, official certificates, and other materials related to Claggett’s ecclesiastical career from 1767 to 1816. The first Bishop of Maryland, he was the first Anglican bishop consecrated on American soil. Topics include: development and administration of the Church and Diocese after the Revolution; politics and social conditions; local and parish history. The Archives also houses the Bishop’s mitre and 42 volumes from his library.
  • James Kemp (1764-1827): over 2,000 items dating from 1784 to 1827, mostly correspondence along with sermons, notes, and official papers. Topics include slavery; the Evangelical Episcopal Church; the War of 1812; and Federalist concerns.
  • William Murray Stone (1779-1838): over 300 items, mostly dating from 1802-38, relating to parish affairs, Stone’s episcopate, and family matters.
  • William R. Whittingham (1805-79): More than 30,000 papers including private family correspondence, official correspondence and journals as Bishop of Maryland, minutes and notes on proceedings of the General Convention, sermons, clippings, pastoral letters, circulars, private diaries, and more. Topics include church affairs throughout the United States; the U.S. Civil War; relations with other denominations in this country and Europe; missions, particularly in the Near East, Greece, and Cuba; educational enterprises; and doctrinal controversies.
    William Pinkney (1810-83): over 800 items, including letters, sermons, addresses, pamphlets, and record books. Topics include canon law and organizational problems; relations with the Methodists, and Church affairs during the U.S. Civil War.
  • William Paret (1826-1911): correspondence, circulars, pastoral letters, sermons, visitation notices, and other materials. Topics include with Church administrationand missions; charities; and rural church work among African Americans.

Papers of Bishops

Official records, journals, reports, minutes, correspondence, photographs, and other materials from and about these Bishops of Maryland:

  • John Gardner Murray (1857-1929)
  • Edward Trail Helfenstein (1865-1947)
  • Noble Cilley Powell (1891-1968)
  • Harry Lee Doll (1903-84)
  • David Keller Leighton, Sr. (b. 1922)
  • Albert Theodore Eastman (b. 1928)
  • Charles Lindsay Longest (b. 1933)

Papers of Rectors

Official papers and correspondence by clergy from all parts of the United States, with particular emphasis on the 18th and 19th centuries.

Additional Archival Collections and Family Papers

  • Cathedral of the Incarnation, Baltimore (from 1911)
  • Corporation for the Relief of Widows and Children of Deceased Clergymen (1783-1989)
  • Girls’ Friendly Society (1892-1958)
  • Hannah More Academy, Reisterstown, MD (1834-1974)
  • Maryland Society for Promoting Useful and Ornamental Knowledge (1798-1806)
  • Protestant Episcopal Brotherhood (1856-1966)
  • Women’s Auxiliary (1926-68)
  • Callister Papers (c. 1741-88): Correspondence and business records concerning mercantile, educational and social affairs on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
  • Chase Papers (c. 1738-1855): Correspondence, estate papers, land records and legal proceedings pertaining to members of the Chase family of Maryland, notably the Rev. Thomas Chase (1700-79); Judge Samuel Chase (1741-1811); and members of the Caton, Carroll, Decatur, Pinkney, Ridout, and Townley families.
  • Goldsborough Papers (1751-1879): Correspondence and legal papers concerning political, economic, church and family affairs of this Eastern Shore family, particularly Charles Goldsborough (1765-1834) Congressman and Governor; Judge Robert Goldsborough IV (1740-98); Senator Robert Henry Goldsborough (1779-1836); and clergymen Robert Lloyd Goldsborough (c. 1811-88) and Robert William Goldsborough (1800-57).

Books and Monographs

Approximately 1300 volumes of books and several thousand pamphlets supplemented by printed ephemera such as circulars, spanning 1588 to the present. Topics include general ecclesiastical history and doctrine, as well as the history of the Church of England; the Anglican Church in the American colonies, and the Episcopal Church since 1780; colonial and state law in Maryland; diocesan and parish histories; religious controversies; relations with the Roman Catholic and Old Catholic Churches; sermons, and works by or about American bishops and Maryland clergy.

Periodicals and Newspapers

Twenty-eight titles and some current subscriptions dating from 1819 to the present. Significant periodical holdings include the Washington Theological Repertory (1819-27); The True Catholic (1843-56) and its successor, American Church Monthly (1857-58); The Maryland Churchman (1892-1913, 1918-58) and its successor, The Communicator (1959-67, incomplete); Maryland Church News (1971-2015); Church Work (1885-89); and The Evergreen (1844-53). Convention journals for the dioceses of Maryland (1780-date), Easton (1882-date, incomplete) and Washington (1905-date, incomplete).

Photographs and Prints

Photographs from the 19th and 20th centuries, with some prints and engravings. Subjects include churches, church events, bishops and other clergy, lay people, and charitable and educational institutions.