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Robert Breck Chapman Photographs

Identifier: R0102-RBC

  • Staff Only
  • Place requests at folder level.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of photographic materials produced for Baltimore's Model Cities Program, Urban Services Agency, and Department of Housing and Community Development. The collection documents anti-poverty, the Cultural Arts Program including youth education programs in Baltimore from the late 1960s through the mid-1990s, the AFRAM Expo between 1976 and 1996, as well as public housing in the 1990s through 2002.

The collection contains a variety of photographic materials and documents including photographic prints, photo and film negatives, 35mm slides, contact sheets, and related documents and ephemera. Some reels of film are also preseent.


  • 1967-2002


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Gloves are recommended when handling photographic material.

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. While Chapman is the source and primary creator of this collection, the collection may contain photographs and content produced by additional creators. We encourage additional creators to contact the archives to identify and attribute images.

Historical Note

Robert Breck Chapman was a staff photographer employed by the City of Baltimore between 1971 and 2002. In addition to working for the Model Cities Agency, the Urban Services Agency, and the Department of Housing, Chapman was also the unofficial photographer for Mayor Kurt Schmoke.


67.58 Linear Feet (119 containers) : Photo prints, negatives, slides, and contact sheets

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in nine series:

  • AFRAM Expo, 1976-1996
  • Cultural Arts Program, 1970-1994
  • Project Survival
  • Urban Services Agency
  • Eubie Blake Cultural Center
  • Model Cities
  • Housing and Community Development, bulk: 1990s-2002
  • Mayors of Baltimore City
  • Professional Documents and Correspondence

Custodial History

Chapman initially took these photos to the municipal archives, where they were rejected based on records retention schedules. He then placed the collection with the Eubie Blake Cultural Center in Baltimore, where they were discarded during building renovations. Chapman salvaged what was left of the material and gave it to the University of Baltimore.

Series 1-4 were deposited at the University of Baltimore by Robert Breck Chapman circa 2000 and donated May 21, 2013. Series 5 was transferred by Chapman May 21, 2013. Series 6 was transferred September 21, 2017.

Accessing Digital Copies

Digital versions of items in this collection are available online. Locate records by using the "Print" button above, or browse records in “Collection Organization." Records with associated digital objects are identified with a red Digital Object icon.

Related Materials

Related materials at UBalt Special Collections and Archives include the Kurt L. Schmoke Photographs collection.

Processing Information

Series 1 (AFRAM) was processed by Aiden Faust in 2010. Materials were selected and digitized for use in digital collections and online exhibits during this period (2010-2015). Series 2 (Cultural Arts Program) was processed by Bria Warren and Deyane Moses in 2021-2022. Series 3 (Project Survival) was processed by Thomas Dettling in 2024. Series 5 (Eubie Blake) was processed by Bria Warren in 2022. Series 6 (Model Cities) was digitized by Aiden Faust in 2013. Series 7 (Housing and Community Development) was processed by Thomas Dettling in 2024.Series 8 (Mayors of Baltimore City) was processed by Thomas Dettling in 2024. Series 9 (Professional Documents and Correspondence) was processed by Thomas Dettling in 2024.

Finding aid for the Robert Breck Chapman Photographs
Finding aid prepared by archives staff. Revised by Aiden Faust (circa 2010-2012). Revised by Laura Bell and Bria Warren (2022). Revised by Thomas Dettling and Aiden Faust (2024).
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