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Deiches Fund records

Identifier: MS 2463


Collection consists of correspondence, receipts, applications, minutes, etc. pertaining to the six charitable funds established in 1949 by Baltimore tobacco merchant, William Deiches, Jr. (d.1949).


  • 1951-1971


Conditions Governing Access

Unrestricted. Minutes for the meetings of the Deiches Trustees, 1950-51 and 1956-71, were restricted to researchers until July 12, 1981.

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

William Deiches, Jr. was a Baltimore tobacco merchant and philanthropist.


7 Linear Feet (7 boxes)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift; Mrs. Preston Barr (the former Margaret Root).

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of correspondence, receipts, applications, minutes, etc. pertaining to the six charitable funds established in 1949 by Baltimore tobacco merchant, William Deiches, Jr. (d.1949). As stipulated in his will, William Deiches provided for more than a quarter of a million dollars to be used for the following six purposes: the Free Library Fund, the Lectureship Fund, the Fund for Musical Education, the Negro Medical Fellowship Program, the Negro College Fund, and the Educational Fund.

The Free Library Fund provided for grants-in-aid to the public libraries in the state of Maryland, primarily the Enoch Pratt Free Library. As stipulated in the will, the money was used, not for the general upkeep of the libraries but, for the purchase of additional books or the funding of special projects. In addition, some money was set aside to sponsor scholarships for study in Library Science. Furthermore, the Fund provided for a grant of over $58,000 which was used to publish a series of reports prepared by the Enoch Pratt Free Library on the following subjects: public library need and use; library organization and structure; analysis of library personnel; and, analysis of technical operations.

The Deiches Lectureship fund was a special fund established to provide the community with lectures relating to the subject of sociology or human relations. Annually, from 1951-1959, the lectures were held at the Johns Hopkins University. In the tenth and final year, the money was used to sponsor a conference entitled, “Human Values In The Emerging American City”, held at Goucher College as part of the school's 75th Anniversary.

The goal of the Fund for Musical Education was to provide free scholarships for the elementary and advanced study of music for individuals who would not otherwise be able to afford the opportunity. It was open to both males and females with approximately twenty to thirty students aided each year.

The Negro Medical Fellowship Program was offered to blacks who held a degree in the medical field, i.e. M.D.,R.N., or B.S. in Nursing, and who wanted to pursue further study. It was the hope that the recipient return to Maryland and specifically Provident Hospital to practice, so as to provide more qualified doctors and nurses in the black community.

The Deiches Funds Records collection contains specific information on the four funds highlighted above. Included are receipts, bills, sample applications, and correspondence. Information on the two remaining Deiches Funds, the Negro College Fund and the Educational Fund, is limited to the trustees' general correspondence (1950-1971), the Mercantile Safe Deposit & Trust Co. statements (1951-1971), and misc. receipts (1951-1964).

The minutes to the meetings of the Board of Trustees are available for the years 1950-1951 and 1956-1971 but are restricted to researchers until July 12, 1981. The only completed student application forms (1951-1953) contained in the collection pertain to the Fund for Musical Education.

Also included in the collection are biographical data on the individual trustees and two reports entitled, “A History of The William Deiches Funds” and “A Report on Deiches Scholars”, written to assess and publicize the effectiveness of the funds. The first report provides detailed information on the selection process of the recipients and the purpose and scope of each fund.

Guide to the Deiches Fund records
In Progress
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Revision Statements

  • 2020-02-12: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Emily Somach.

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