Last updated: 5/21/2011
Baltimore, Maryland
Street Address
6908 Belair Rd
Baltimore, MD 21206
Mailing Address
PO Box 188750
Baltimore, MD 21206
phone: 410-882-5376
e-mail: nhsm@marylandnature.org
web: www.marylandnature.org
Hours
Office Hours
Friday1 PM - 3 PM
Our museum and collections are currently not open to the public. Researchers may inquire about using our collections and resources by contacting the organization.
Staff
Mr. Charles Davis, Chairman
Wendy Mizell, MuseumsUSA Contact
Description

The Natural History Society of Maryland (NHSM) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation founded in 1929. Its extensive collections of Maryland flora, fauna, fossils, and minerals, dating back to the early 1800’s, are a rare and valuable asset to the State of Maryland. Many of the items that were on display in the Natural History Museum in Druid Hill Park from 1936 to the early 1970’s are still in our collection.

A small space in the new location has been renovated for our office and meeting areas. The main hall, which is approximately 100 feet by 45 feet, needs to be renovated before we open it to the public as an exhibit and lecture hall. Our collection is housed in the basement, which is also in need of renovation. We recently received 150 collection cabinets from the Smithsonian. These will eventually house our collection and provide plenty of space for additional specimens.

Throughout the operation of the 'Museum of Maryland Natural History' at the Maryland House, the Society received private donations of natural history collections and assembled collections through its members and programs. The continuing success of the Museum resulted in receipt of collections from the Maryland Academy of Sciences and other prominent persons and institutions. The Society continues to receive natural history collections from its members, their estates, and the general public. Most of the specimens and artifacts are now housed in a row house at 2643 North Charles Street in Baltimore, approximately two blocks south of the Johns Hopkins University Homewood Campus. Our current estimate of collection size is approximately 200,000 specimens and artifacts.

Many specimens in our collections also have great scientific significance to the State of Maryland. Natural history collections provide a picture of Maryland’s biological past, documenting some aspects of the flora and fauna found in the State over the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Geological collections document the landscape condition occurring hundreds of millions of years ago. Collections allow us not only to read about the things that were, but to experience directly the authentic specimens and thus confirm the accuracy of past observations. In this way, past observations are repeatable and therefore able to be confirmed or refuted.

All members receive the newsletter News&Views and a choice of the Society's periodical journals: The Maryland Naturalist or The Bulletin of the Maryland Herpetological Society. We also periodically hold informal gatherings where members of a number of organizations with a wide range of interests can meet and talk about nature.

Mission

The mission of the Natural History Society of Maryland is to foster stewardship of Maryland’s natural heritage by conserving its natural history collections, educating its citizenry, and inspiring its youth to pursue careers in the natural sciences.

History

The history of The Natural History Society of Maryland starts long before its incorporation in 1929. Founded by members of the Maryland Academy of Science, many of our older collections were collected by members of the Academy in the 1800's. For decades we ran a natural history museum in the Baltimore Zoo's Maryland House. Since its closure in the mid-1970's the items on display as well as thousands of scientific specimens have been stored in our office in Charles Village and now in Overlea at 6908 Belair Road.

Artifact Collections
  • local history books
  • photographs
  • rare books
  • documents and manuscripts
  • archaeological and ethnological items
  • physical anthropology
  • minerals
  • reptiles
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