Collaboration Will Make Studying
City's Architectural History Easier
The Johns Hopkins University's Sheridan Libraries have launched the Baltimore Architecture Project, a collaborative effort that will bring together on-line documents relating to Baltimore's rich architectural history that are now scattered among libraries, churches, hospitals, and museums throughout the city and elsewhere.
Funded by a $40,000 grant from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and a $10,000 award from the Middendorf Foundation, the pilot phase of the project features biographical information about Baltimore's most prominent architects and primary source materials pertaining to the city's architecture. Project partners include Towson University, the Athenaeum of Philadelphia, and the Baltimore Architecture Foundation.
"This initiative will create an invaluable resource for architects, art historians, and engineers, as well as for tourists and Baltimoreans interested in learning more about the city's rich artistic and cultural heritage," said Winston Tabb, dean of university libraries and director of historic houses at Johns Hopkins. "Our collaborative efforts will lay the foundation for creating the single resource on Baltimore's architectural history."
The Sheridan Libraries are surveying local institutions to identify relevant historical resources. The Athenaeum of Philadelphia, which developed a similar resource to document Philadelphia's architectural resources, is assisting in the design of the project Web site. Architectural historians at Towson University are researching local architects and developing biographical sketches.
"The joy of a project like this is that it inspires people to come forward with materials that often provide invaluable insights," said Towson University's Sandra Tatman, an architectural historian and associate professor of art history and one of the lead writers. "Personal correspondence can considerably enhance otherwise scant information, and has proved to be a rich resource for this project."
To date, profiles for more than 500 Baltimore architects and engineers have been entered into the database, which currently covers the years 1850-1945. To visit the Baltimore Architecture Web site, please go to baltimorebuildings.org.
Subsequent phases of the project will incorporate architectural plans and photographs and other archival materials from a variety of institutions, including the Maryland Historical Society, the University of Baltimore, the Enoch Pratt Free Library, and Cornell University.
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