The State Archives serves as the central depository for government records of permanent value. Its holdings date from Maryland's founding in 1634, and include colonial and state executive, legislative, and judicial records; county probate, land, and court records; church records; business records; state publications and reports; and special collections of private papers, maps, photographs, and newspapers. These records are kept in a humidity and temperature controlled environment and any necessary preservation measures are conducted in the Archives' conservation laboratory.
Some of the diverse materials in our collections include:
Visitors may use the Guide to Government Records as a finding aid for records which have been created or received by government agencies at the state, county, and municipal level including but not limited to birth, death, marriage, court, land, and legislative. For more information see: http://guide.mdsa.net/viewer.cfm?page=topviewed
Visitors may use the Special Collections Catalog as the finding aid for records acquired as gifts or deposits by private donors and generally consists of personal letters, diaries, organizational records, religious records, newspapers, photographs, maps, and documents.
Governor's Office Photo Gallery
Showcasing photographs taken at special events around the State of Maryland during the current gubernatorial administration. For earlier administrations, see below. See: http://govpics.maryland.gov/pages/Default.aspx
Historical Photographs of Maryland
Highlighting the photographic collections of the Maryland State Archives, including photographs taken at special events around the State of Maryland during previous gubernatorial administrations. See: http://histpics.msa.maryland.gov/pages/Search.aspx
The State Archives operates a non-lending research library. Published sources and records relating to Maryland, its history and government; counties, cities and towns; biographies; institutions; associations; businesses; and genealogies are available for public use.
Also included is the Department of Natural Resources Library containing books, pamphlets and government reports on biology, fisheries, wildlife, water quality, environment, and geology, with special emphasis on the Chesapeake Bay.
The State Archives also collects and makes accessible published sources, from annual and other department and agency reports to newsletters and press releases.
Maryland Land Records
Land records include a variety of types of documents. They are found at the State or Provincial level and at the county or local level. Deeds and similar records pertaining to the owning and buying and selling of land can contain clues to the former places of residence of the buyer (grantee) or seller (grantor), clues to the ancestry of the seller, clues to marriages, and data on the occupations of the parties involved. If the individual could not sign his or her name, the mark he or she made may be compared with similar marks on other deeds, to see if all the deeds involved the same individual. For online land record access, please see: http://v3.mdlandrec.net/main/
For access to Land Survey, Subdivision & Condominium Plats, please see: http://msa.maryland.gov/megafile/msa/stagser/s1500/s1529/html/0000.html
State Art Collection
The Maryland Commission on Artistic Property is the official custodian of all valuable paintings and other decorative arts owned by or loaned to the state. The Commission provides for the acquisition, location, proper care, custody, restoration, display, interpretation and preservation of these paintings and decorative arts. It is a unit of the Maryland State Archives.
Archives of Maryland Online
The Archives of Maryland Online provides direct access to over 471,000 historical documents that form the constitutional, legal, legislative, judicial, and administrative basis of Maryland government.