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Thomas J. S. Waxter, Jr. Papers

Identifier: R0125-WAXTER

  • Staff Only
  • Place requests at folder level.

Scope and Contents

The Thomas J. S. Waxter, Jr. Papers include correspondence, files, reports, publications, and notes. The pre-1962 papers include professional correspondence, a social welfare book draft, anonymous history of Baltimore city hospitals, scrapbooks, tapes and transcripts, research note cards, and annual reports. Most of the papers after 1962 concern an unpublished draft of a biography of Waxter by David Bremner.


  • 1929-1976


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Biographical Note

Thomas Jacob Shryock Waxter Jr. (1898-1962) was a leader in public welfare in Maryland for over three decades. He received his law degree from Yale and held several major positions in the Baltimore area. Judge Waxter was Chief Magistrate of the Baltimore City Juvenile Court System, 1929-1935, where he prioritized modernization and social reforms. He was appointed first Director of the Baltimore Department of Public Welfare and held the position for 18 years between 1935 and 1953. In this role he instituted Old Age Assistance, initiated the Area Project #1 to help Baltimore City neighborhoods, and contributed to other programs to benefit the disadvantaged in Baltimore. His last position was as Director of the Maryland Department of Public Welfare which he held between 1953 and 1962. Judge Waxter was also credited as one of three founders of the Legal Aid Bureau in Baltimore where he was Chairman of the Board for ten years. Remembered as an advocate for Baltimore’s youth and elderly, The Waxter Center for Senior Citizens in Baltimore was dedicated as a memorial to him.

Information for this Biographical note was gathered from "Pioneers in Professionalism: Ten Who Made a Significant Difference 1880-1930" created by Ms. Michael Crouse, P.I., Mark Battle, Susan McFeaters, Esta Glazer (Project Commitee) for the National Association of Social Workers Maryland Chapter (found through


7.67 Linear Feet (8 containers)

Language of Materials



Collection is arranged as a folder inventory.

Custodial History

The collection was donated to the Social Welfare History Archives Center at the University of Minnesota in 1976 by Peggy Ewing Waxter. In November 1982, the papers were transferred to University of Baltimore and received by Adele Newburger of the Baltimore Region Institutional Studies Center.

Finding aid for the Thomas J. S. Waxter, Jr. Papers
Finding aid created by Special Collections and Archives staff. Revised by Aiden Faust (2011). Revised by Laura Bell (2022).
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baltimore Studies Archives Repository

H. Mebane Turner Learning Commons, Room 104
1415 Maryland Avenue
Baltimore Maryland 21201 USA