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Legg photograph collection

Identifier: PP 0107


This collection contains photographs of Baltimore city made by Joseph Baker Legg, circa 1905-1938.


  • 1905-1938


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

Joseph Baker Legg (1885-1940) was born in Baltimore, the son of John Carter Legg (born 1848, Winchester, Virginia) and Belle Cunningham Legg (born 1848, Berkeley County, West Virginia). He lived at 102 North Carey Street as a youth and attended Gilman Country School but did not graduate, going into the flour and grain business. By 1924, he worked as an adjustor with the C&P Telephone Company in Baltimore city, and lived at 2508 North Calvert Street, moving to 2415 North Calvert Street by the time of his death. Legg was a member of the Maryland Historical Society.

At some point, Legg began systematically documenting Baltimore buildings and sites through photography, focusing especially on residences in the center of the city which seemed destined to be destroyed. In his application for membership to the Maryland Historical Society, Legg wrote: ". . . for last 4 or 5 years (I) have made study of old Baltimore, taking or copying pictures whenever available, I now have two albums of same".


0.83 Linear Feet (2 full Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



The photographs are arranged according to PP catalog numbers. The negatives are in sleeves which are numbered, but are not presently arranged in numerical order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of John C. Legg, Jr., 1940.

Related Materials

MS 539, Joseph B. Legg collection, 1906-1937

Materials Specific Details

Approximately ten negatives of this collection were disposed of in 1990 by the Prints and Photographs Librarian, due to deterioration to the point of being unusable. The negatives were discovered in the Houses file of the Vertical File, and were recorded as images made in 1921 of the Patterson residence "Coldstream" on Taylor Street.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of two boxes. Box one holds eleven folders containing 566 photoprints. Box two contains 128 envelopes containing 527 film negatives, some of which correspond to the photoprints. The images were made circa 1905 to 1938, documenting Baltimore residences, parks, monuments, churches, museums, street scenes, gardens, and public buildings. Some images are copies of earlier photographs or of prints depicting Baltimore. There are also depictions of sites in Baltimore County, Annapolis, Williamsport, and elsewhere in Maryland, and in Washington, D.C., Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Jacksonville and St. Augustine, Florida, and Charleston, South Carolina.

Included are many houses in Baltimore, some of which are not well-documented elsewhere: Glen Ellen and many now-demolished Mount Vernon area residences. One set of images documents a hydraulic construction process underway on University Parkway in Roland Park. There are also scenes of a 1911 ground-breaking ceremony for a Boy Scout headquarters in Mount Washington, with many individuals identified.

Guide to the Legg photograph collection
Under Revision
Katherine Cowan
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-01-30: 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