Ever wonder what it was like to be in the United States Naval Academy in 1893? The latest collection on Digital Maryland gives you an inside look at Annapolis, capturing the life of both the institution and the cadets training there. From 1882 to 1902, the title “naval cadet” was used instead of “midshipman”.
The collection of 150 photographs was taken in 1893 by Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952). Johnston, after her graduation from the Notre Dame of Maryland Collegiate Institute in 1883, trained at the Académie Julian in Paris and, upon return home to Washington, D.C. in the mid-1880s, studied photography and was trained in darkroom technique by Smithsonian Director of Photography Thomas Smillie, opening her own studio about 1890.
These photographs, which were taken early in her professional career, show the breadth of Johnson’s abilities as both a photojournalist and portrait photographer and an early interest in architectural photography.
By now, we’ve all seen the TV shows that show a celebrity having an expert trace their family tree so they can find out more about their history. Now, research experts can help you do the same thing for free. Four departments at the Enoch Pratt Central Library can help you trace the branches of your family tree.
The African American Department has 20 different guides to assist you in genealogy research. Over in the Maryland Department, check out the U.S. Census records for the state as well as Baltimore City directories. In Periodicals, a collection of historic newspapers on microfilm or databases contains death notices, obituaries, wedding announcement and out-of-state directories. And Social Science and History offers basic guides to tracing your family tree with staff on hand to point you in the right direction. To find out more about your family history for free, check out our Genealogy and Family History Resources at the Pratt.
As we kick off Teen Read Week 2017, the Pratt Library has made a commitment to young adults throughout Maryland. You may have noticed the massive renovation project inside the Central Library on Cathedral Street. Part of that renovation will include a Teen Learning and Leadership Center.
The space will provide 6th through 12th graders with flexible spaces, state-of-the-art technology, and expert staff to help students maximize their potential.
Pratt young adult librarian Ny’ilah Whitaker says, “I’m looking forward to the new teen space. Teens really need their own space.”
That space will include a “creation station” to promote interactivity so teens can create digital music, film a video, write code or participate in STEM programs. The Center will also provide space for college preparation, including instructions on how to complete college applications and apply for financial aid.
“It’s such a wonderful message to the teens in Baltimore City and the state of Maryland that we have invested in them and in their future,” says Deborah Taylor, Pratt Chief of School and Student Services. “This will give us a chance to do so much more. I think we have a chance to really make a difference in the lives of the teens, and also to make a difference in what kind of city we have.” Funding for the Teen Learning and Leadership Center is generously donated by James and Sylvia Earl.
For a sneak peek at the new space, check out this video:
Need some time away from the city? You’re one click away from the Dairy Farms of Montgomery County thanks to a new collection available on Digital Maryland. Until World War II, farming was a primary industry in Montgomery County. The completion of the B&O Metropolitan branch railroad helped boost the rise of dairy farms across Montgomery County, so much so it was known as the “milk train.” This line made it possible for farmers to bring their milk into their local rail station for fast delivery to Washington, D.C. At one point in the 1950’s, there were over 300 family-operated dairy farms in Montgomery County.
The second half of the 20th century saw a rapid decline in Montgomery County farms due to development pressures, ever increasing government health regulations, and a Federal Government Whole Herd Buy-out Program via the Dairy Termination Program (DTP). Families could make more money selling their land to developers or selling their herds than they could make farming. Although the county has been making efforts to limit development and to preserve farmland via its Agricultural Reserve, Montgomery County dairy farms continue to disappear.
In 2017, the number of operating dairy farms in the county fell to four. To help preserve the history of dairy farms in Montgomery County, Richard Rowe has been photographing them and displaying the images at the King Barn Dairy MOOseum in Germantown, Maryland. Many of the farm structures he has captured no longer exist.