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J. Gilman D'Arcy Paul photograph collection

Identifier: PP 0078


This collection contains photographs made or collected by J. Gilman D'Arcy Paul, depicting rural scenes and historic estates and houses in Baltimore city and Baltimore County, Maryland, as well as twelve other Maryland counties.


  • 1893-1960


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

J. Gilman D'Arcy Paul (1887-1972) was the only child of D'Arcy Paul (1854-1890, born Petersburg, Virginia) and Charlotte Abbott Gilman Paul (died 1954). Charlotte Paul was the daughter of John Stratton Gilman, a financial leader of Baltimore in the 19th century and partner in the Abbott Iron Works in Canton. The Gilman family estate was called Woodlands, located on Gorsuch Avenue where City College was later built. An adjoining property, extending east to Harford Road, was Abbottston, the home of Horace Abbott (1806-1887), founder of the Abbott Iron Works.

Gilman Paul attended Gilman School, Harvard and Johns Hopkins Universities, taking a Master of Arts degree from Harvard in 1914. He worked first as a journalist, editor and translator, then became involved in foreign affairs around the time of World War I, working for the United States government in diplomatic capacities from circa 1915-1922, and again during World War II. In Baltimore, Paul was a trustee of the Johns Hopkins University, Peabody Institute, the Peale Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. He served as vice-president of the Maryland Historical Society, and contributed articles and reviews to the Maryland Historical Magazine. Well known as an authority on Maryland history and architecture, Paul strongly advocated architectural preservation of downtown Baltimore, especially the Mount Vernon neighborhood. In the early 1920s, Gilman Paul resided with his mother at the Woodlands house on Gorsuch Avenue. Beginning circa 1925, they lived in a home with elaborate gardens at 16 Blythewood Road in north Baltimore (this latter residence seems also to have been called "Woodlands").

Paul also owned and operated a farm near Havre de Grace (Harford County) called Land of Promise, near the outlet of Deer Creek into the Susquehanna River. A nearby property was Rock Run Mill, owned by Henry Archer at the end of the 19th century, a photographer whose pictures are part of the present collection. This area later became part of Susquehanna State Park, the establishment of which was accomplished partly through Mr. Paul's influence. Also living in the area was Samuel Mason, Jr. (1888-1957, born Philadelphia) who resided on Little Pines Farm in Darlington, and produced some photographs in the present collection. Gilman Paul shared his interest in Maryland history with J. Alexis Shriver (1872-1951) and William B. Marye (1886-1979), who made or are pictured in some of these photographs.


2.79 Linear Feet (2 full Hollinger boxes; 1 half Hollinger box; 1 Oversize flat box)

Language of Materials



The modern photoprints in Box one are arranged according to PP catalog numbers. Boxes two and three are arranged alphabetically by subject title, which is a location name in most cases. Box four is a large flat box containing sets of folders and envelopes in a variety of shapes and sizes; these were not numbered due to variable arrangement within the box.

Negatives are arranged according to negative catalog numbers, the scheme for which incorporates the size and material of the negative. Nitrate negatives are stored in the nitrate storage area; duplicate/copy negatives are stored in the Photographic Services department of the Maryland Historical Society.

Because this collection was formerly known as B6, all negative numbers have "B6" as a suffix; e.g., Z6.1504.B6. Photoprints are also labelled as B6.5, B6.6, etc.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. Allen W. Dulles, 1972.

Related Materials

MS 1920, John Gilman D'Arcy Paul collection, 1788-1970

MS 1920.1, Archer Family letters, 1846-1871

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of four boxes of photographic materials, with approximately 1000 photoprints altogether. Of these, one box contains 111 modern photoprints made during the 1980s at the Maryland Historical Society from glass and film negatives created circa 1893-1910 or undated. Three additional boxes contain 868 photoprints and 18 slides which are undated or from circa 1922-1960. There are 70 vintage negatives for which we do not have prints, which are undated or from 1905-1929.

The collection depicts rural scenes and historic houses and estates in Baltimore City and County, and twelve other Maryland counties, especially Harford County. These include Gilman and Paul family homes. Among the Harford County subjects is the Susquehanna River prior to construction of the Conowingo Dam. Another subject in the collection is arboriculture, with a survey of trees in Baltimore and vicinity.

Apart from the set of 111 modern photoprints made from glass negatives, the degree of correspondance among prints and negatives is undetermined; it is possible that prints may actually be present for some of the "unprinted" film negatives. Many photographs are duplicates of those in PP107, the Legg Collection. Some photographs are identified as being by "Pickering/WPA", and may correspond to images in the PP85, the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) Collection. Other photographs are identified as being taken by H. Archer, Samuel Mason, Jr., or Alexis Shriver.

The collection includes ephemera and non-photographic items, including a copper plate related to Second Presbyterian Church, masks used in photography, and negative envelope sleeves with hand-written information.

Guide to the J. Gilman D'Arcy Paul photograph collection
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Katherine Cowan

Revision Statements

  • 2020-01-24: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States