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Helen Elizabeth Brown collection

Identifier: MS 2484


This collection consists of Helen Elizabeth Brown's personal articles and clippings having to do with Brown's law career and advocacy for the rights of women.


  • 1921 - 1975


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

Helen Elizabeth Brown was born in Indiana, but spent most of her childhood in Fort Worth, Texas. Directly after completing high school, she went to work for the Fort Worth Star - Telegram. In lieu of the typical assignments given to female reporters, i.e, the society page, she secured assignments covering the police court circuit, city hall, and local politics. When finances allowed, she entered Barnard College. After graduation, she returned to Fort Worth and resumed her work as a reporter. In 1922, she moved to Baltimore to accept a position on the editorial staff of the Baltimore Post. At the Post she covered the courthouse, marking the first time a woman held that position.

She then attended the University of Maryland Law School and was admitted to the bar in 1926. In 1927, she formed the first organization for women lawyers in Maryland, and in 1928 founded the Business and Professional Woman's Council. In the early 1930s, Helen Brown lead the struggle to give Maryland women jury rights. As a leader and lawyer, Miss Brown fought all legislative attempts to limit the hours women were allowed to work. She has served as Assistant City Solicitor, Judge of the Housing Court in Baltimore, and instructor of a course in domestic relations at the University of Baltimore Law School.


0.42 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of A. J. O'Brien, April 16, 1980.

Scope and Contents

The collection constitutes a skeletal outline of the interests and activities of an ardent feminist. The case books serve as an index to some of Miss Brown's cases, but give limited information about them. The personal notebook consists of newspaper clippings and quotations that Miss Brown found interesting. The correspondence is limited to four pieces and although sparse, these serve as an indicator of the influence that Miss Brown wielded in Baltimore. Her speeches deal primarily with housing problems and mirror her role as a community leader. The forty newspaper clippings reflect bits and pieces of Miss Brown's career and certain aspects of the Women's' Rights struggle.

Guide to the Helen Elizabeth Brown collection
Under Revision
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-09-17: 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