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Special Collections
Hornbake Library
University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742
Tel: 301-405-9212
Fax: 301-314-2709
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Collections by Subject: Women's Studies

A Selected List of Holdings in Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries

For more information about how to access materials in this guide, please visit the Maryland Room web page or fill out an information request.

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this Subject Guide:

Maryland Manuscripts

For more information, visit Historical Manuscripts

The Maryland Manuscripts grouping consists of a diverse array of materials such as letters, diaries, printed ephemera, and legal records, many of which relate to women's social, political and historical development during the eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth centuries. These documents include family letters, lecture notes on women's topics, records of religious groups, slave manumissions, military bounties, court proceedings, oral history transcripts, and widows' pension records.

There are also items of special interest:

MDMS 5411--Diary kept by Susan Howell, a teenage girl in Baltimore, from January 1-July 31, 1853. This diary contains entries that document in great detail the everyday activities of an average middle-class young woman of the era. Walks, school, and music and dancing lessons are frequently noted by Miss Howell. Also mentioned are the death of a sister and the wedding of a friend.

MDMS 5440--Diary kept by Susan Mathiot Gale, a young widow and mother in Anne Arundel County, spanning 1859, with a special addendum in 1868. Mrs. Gale discussed her day-to-day activities, attendance at social functions, and her many suitors. She talks frankly on the topics of men, marriage, and slavery.

MDMS 5498--Diary kept by Mary Elizabeth Barnes, a student at Dr. and Mrs. Rivers's private boarding school in Govanstown, Baltimore County, Maryland. Mary Elizabeth Barnes was approximately twelve to fourteen years of age at the time the diary was written. Described are lessons, religious services, interactions with schoolmates, and weather conditions.


Among the departmental holdings are scenes and individual portraits of women from the early part of the 20th century onward. The photographs illustrate women's activities and development in the domestic, social, cultural, industrial, and educational spheres. Depicted are advertisements in which women appear; clubs, churches, hospitals, schools, and orphanages which they founded, administered, and supported; homesteads they helped build; Works Projects Association projects and labor unions in which they participated; social affairs they organized; and artistic interests they pursued. Photographs of women students, faculty, and administrators of the University of Maryland also figure prominently in the collection.


The memorabilia collection consists of more than 900 individually described pieces of realia. Among the items relating to women are embroidery; commemorative plaques, trophies, pennants and awards; posters; theatrical programs; dance cards; needle-point pins; and a 1920s style gymsuit used at the University of Maryland.