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Special Libraries Association, Records of the Maryland Chapter

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: R0112-SLA

Scope and Contents

The SLA MD collection contains the records of the Maryland Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA). The chapter’s members work in academia, corporations, legal institutions, government agencies, museums, public libraries, medical institutions, and non-profit organizations.

Materials include officer’s files; governing documents; annual reports; awards; committee files; correspondence, including email; membership files; meetings and programs files; chapter publications; student chapter records; policy and communications with the national organization including chapter manuals and guides; and records pertaining to the chapter’s website. The Archivist’s files document the history of the chapter including anniversary events, logo, name, territory, and awards received. Chapter programs include materials pertaining to book fairs, anniversary celebrations, technology day, and chapter, regional, and joint conferences and workshops.

Collection materials include anniversary brochures; award certificates and plaques; correspondence; chapter guidelines; meeting agendas and minutes; notes; chapter publications, including the Bulletin, The Crab, and The Cutting Edge newspaper; reports; rosters of members, officers, and committee chairs; and member surveys.

Material formats include text (bulk), artifacts, audio cassettes, floppy discs, and digital records.

The collection is missing the early records, dating from 1930 until the mid 1960s, as well as records dated from 2004-2012.


  • 1960-2004


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that they own copyright, the donor has assigned the copyright of this collection to the University Foundation. However, copyright for some items in this collection are held by their respective creators.

Historical Note

The Maryland Chapter of the Special Libraries Association (SLA) was established in 1930 and is the 10th oldest Chapter in the organization. Originally named the Baltimore Special Libraries Association, or “the Baltimore Chapter,” the chapter changed its name to the Maryland Chapter in 1999. The first president of the chapter, then called the Chair, was Laura Woodward.

A meeting was held on the evening of May 15, 1930 at the Hidden Gardens, 721 St. Paul Street concerning establishing a local chapter of the Special Libraries Association. Twenty people attended, mostly special librarians from Baltimore City as well as representatives of several corporations interested in the organization of a library. The meeting was called to order by Dr. Horace Flack from the Legislative Reference Department at City Hall. Rebecca B. Rankin, a librarian from the Municipal Reference Library in New York City and a former SLA President, spoke about the purpose of the SLA, its history, the activities of the groups in existence (civic-social, commercial-technical, financial, insurance, museum, and newspaper), the value of personal contact, the inter-changing of ideas, the opportunity of learning the facilities of other Baltimore libraries, and the spirit of cooperation prevalent among the National Association members. A petition to form a local chapter was signed by sixteen of those present, in accordance with the requirements of the National Association. On June 13, 1930, the Baltimore Special Libraries Association became affiliated with the national organization.

The objectives adopted in 1930 included: to foster and develop a greater interest in libraries; to foster increased interest in the use and extension of special library facilities; to assemble, discuss mutual problems, and through that interchange of ideas broaden members’ knowledge of the aim and functions of special libraries; and to promote frequent social contacts among the special librarians of Baltimore, in order to increasing their spirit of cooperation.

From 1930-1943, the Chapter published The Baltimore News Letter. Sometime between 1943 and 1947 News and Notes, Baltimore Chapter, SLA came into being.

Originally, six meetings were held each year, usually in Baltimore city. From its early years it was a practice of the Chapter to carry on a planned series of visits to the special libraries of the Baltimore metropolitan area in order to give the members a chance to gain acquaintance with the collection, personnel, and operations of outstanding special libraries in the area. This was also the basis of informal cooperation between the special librarians of Baltimore city as well as cooperation between special and non-special libraries in the Baltimore area. One of the projects completed that first year was a pamphlet, “Research Facilities in Baltimore,” based on a survey conducted about the organization, services and scope of collections of the special libraries of Baltimore city.

In 1977 the Board of Directors of the national organization voted that the boundaries of the Baltimore Chapter be the state of Maryland except the counties of Montgomery and Prince Georges.


13.21 Linear Feet (14 containers)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in 14 series:

  • Archivist Files
  • Awards
  • Committees
  • Correspondence
  • General Files
  • Governance
  • Meetings
  • Membership
  • Officers
  • Programs
  • Publications
  • SLA National Association
  • Student Chapter
  • Website, web content, listserv materials, 1998-2000

Custodial History

The collection was donated to the University of Baltimore Foundation by Nancy Perlman, SLA Maryland Chapter Archivist, on May 10, 2004. Additional accessions were received in 2005 and 2012.

Processing Information

This collection was partially processed by volunteer project archivist, Linda Klouzal, in 2013.

Finding aid for the Special Libraries Association, Records of the Maryland Chapter
Finding aid created by Linda Klouza (circa 2013). Revised by Aiden Faust (2015). Revised by Laura Bell (2022).
circa 2013
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