Skip to main content

Peale/Baltimore City Life Museum photographic prints collection

Identifier: PBPP


The BCLM Photographic Prints Collection consists of over 3,000 photographs, from nineteenth century carte de visites and cabinet cards to modern gelatin prints.

Please Note: The container list/inventory for this collection is available as a PDF below. Click "Expand All" and scroll down to the "External Documents" section to view.


  • circa 1848 - 1989

Conditions Governing Access

The 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

Constructed in 1814 as the Peale Museum at 225 North Holliday Street, Baltimore, the building served other uses after 1831 until it reopened in 1931 as the Municipal Museum of the City of Baltimore. In 1985, the name was changed to the Peale Museum of the Baltimore City Life Museums (also known as Baltimore City Life Museum or BCLM) to reflect its inclusion in a group of several associated historic sites and museums.

The Baltimore City Life Museums collected and exhibited objects pertaining to the history of the city of Baltimore and its people. In addition, at its Peale site, it maintained a Museum Reference Center with particularly strong holdings of historical prints and photographs.

In 1997, the Baltimore City Life Museums closed due to lack of funding. The collections were transferred to the Maryland Historical Society in 1998.


3000 Photographic Prints

Language of Materials



The collection has been kept in the original order/numbering system it was in when received from BCLM. The key to the numbering system is as follows: B = Bodine; MC = Museum photograph; CC = City photograph. All other item IDs indicate an item other than a photograph is represented.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Peale/Baltimore City Life Museum to the Maryland Historical Society in 1998.

Scope and Contents

The Peale/BCLM maintained a significant collection of historical material on Baltimore. The most extensive of the collections, totaling about 100,000 images, dates from circa 1848 through the 1980s. The collection includes daguerreotypes, paper prints, glass plate negatives, and film negatives. The collection is particularly strong in documentation of architecture, Baltimore Harbor, and the first half of the 20th century.

The collection includes approximately 12,000 images by A. Aubrey Bodine (fl. 1927-1970), documenting all aspects of life in Baltimore, Maryland and the Chesapeake region; approximaely 3,850 images spanning from ca. 1905-1970 by John Dubas, with special emphasis on ships, the working class immigrant neighborhoods of east Baltimore, and the changing Baltimore scene of the 1950s-1970s; the Paul Henderson Photograph Collection, over 6,000 photographs of the African American community of Baltimore ca. 1930-1960; hundreds of photographs by the Hughes Company, ca. 1910-1940, depicting Baltimore scenes, streets, and buildings.

Also included are reproductions of paintings, prints, drawings, etc. There are two parts to this photographic collection: glass plate negatives and photographic prints.

Guide to the Peale/Baltimore City Life Museum photographic prints collection
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-09-01: 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