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Religion Collections in Libraries and Archives: Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia

United Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore-Washington Conference: Lovely Lane Museum Library and Archives

Introductory Information

United Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore-Washington Conference: Lovely Lane Museum Library and Archives External

Address: 2200 St. Paul Street, Baltimore, MD 21218

Telephone number: 410-889-4458

Contact information: [email protected]

Online catalog: in process

Digital Collections link: in process

Access Policies

Hours of service: By appointment only

Open to the public: Yes

Interlibrary loan: No

Reference policy: Reference requests are accepted by: email to [email protected] or [email protected], phone, mail, or in person. Appointments are required for research or tours of the museum to ensure scheduling availability.

Background note:
Founded as the Baltimore Conference Historical Society in 1855. The name has changed various times: American Methodist Historical Society (1856-1943), Baltimore Conference Historical Society (1943-1992), and the United Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, Inc. (1992- ).


Books and monographs
Approximately 7,000 volumes, primarily from the 18th to the 21st centuries, with a few earlier books. The Historical Society's printed collections relate to the history of the United Methodist Church. These are the Methodist Episcopal Church; Methodist Episcopal Church, South; Methodist Protestant Church; The Methodist Church (1939-1968); Evangelical Association; Church of the United Brethren in Christ (until 1949); The Evangelical United Brethren Church; and The United Methodist Church (1968-Present). Many of these volumes are primary sources.

Periodicals and newspapers
There are approximately 100 titles, many with long runs. Most are 19th and 20th century periodicals covering Methodism (see description above for full list of Methodist bodies). Of particular interest are annual conference records and journals beginning in 1784. See also notes below on archives.

Archives, manuscripts, correspondences, and/or oral histories
Approximately 280 linear feet. Inclusive dates for this collection are 18th to 21st centuries. The collection contains the Archives of the Commission on Archives and History of the Baltimore-Washington Conference and the Manuscript and Museum collections of the United Methodist Historical Society. Manuscript holdings include items written by John Wesley, Susanna Wesley, Joseph Pilmore, Thomas Rankin, John Fletcher, Francis Asbury, E. Stanley Jones, Thomas Coke, Henry Boehm, Nicholas Sneathen, Jesse Lee, William McKendree, Joseph Dallam, Henry Smith, James Henry Brown, Henry Slicer, Isaac Collins, Isaac P. Cook, John Franklin Goucher, John Kobler, Levi Monroe, Nelson Reed, Bishop James K. Mathews, Bishop James H. Straughn and many others.

The archives also includes circuit records (1794- ), district records (ca.1865- ), annual conference records (1800- ), membership records (1799- ), closed church records, class records, British Conference (Wesleyan Church), President Letters and Pictures and general conference records.

Finding aids include church record inventories and a finding aid for vault locations.

The collection contains 45 reels of microfilm, mainly of conference minutes and preacher's journals

Vertical files
40 vertical files dating from 1770 to the 20th century. Highlights include manuscripts, clippings, biographical sketches, and histories of institutions such as local churches, colleges, seminaries, schools, boards, agencies, and benevolent organizations.
The vertical file is organized alphabetically by subject.

200 slides, 350 mounted pictures, oil paintings, statues, lithographs, and photographs. Inclusive dates of this collection are 18th to 20th centuries. Subject matter includes events, people, and churches, mainly of the area conference.

One of only two known portraits of Bishop Asbury painted in his lifetime, painted by Charles Wilson Peale.

There are alphabetical inventories for part of the collection.

200 maps with inclusive dates from 1794 to the 20th century. Some maps on slides date from 1758. Maps are of the Baltimore-Washington Conference, which includes Maryland, the District of Columbia and West Virginia.

Databases and/or electronic resources
In Process

Digital collections
Some transcriptions of letters and other written documents. Please contact us for more information.

Other holdings not listed above
A listing of United Methodist clergy, primarily from Baltimore and vicinity, on index cards with biographical and career information on ministers of the Methodist Church. Included in the listing are traveling preachers (1773-1994), local preachers (late 18th century-1990), and supply pastors (20th century), as well as traveling preachers for the entire United States (1773-1799).

The Society's collection also includes the Lovely Lane Museum with artifacts and exhibits concerning John Wesley, Susanna Wesley, Robert Strawbridge, Francis Asbury, Thomas Coke, circuit riders, The Washington Conference, Cokesbury College, the Temperance Movement, the Sunday School Movement, Rev. E. Stanley Jones, Bishop James K. Mathews, historic canes, and more.

Collections include over 1000 objects and artifacts related to Methodist History, including textiles, uniforms, gavels, canes, communion sets, figurines, busts, memorabilia, saddles, and more.

Quilts include a growing collection of Baltimore Album Quilts and a quilt that came to America on the Mayflower.

Additionally, we are the starting point for access to 33 religious historical sites, several with their own archives and museums related to United Methodist history and its predecessor denominations in and around the Baltimore and DC area. Other sites include The Strawbridge Shrine, Cokesbury College, Sharp Street Memorial, Mt. Zion (DC), Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Old Otterbein, EUB Heritage Sites in Western Maryland, and more. Partial cataloging has begun at other sites.

Subject Headings

African Americans--Religion; Asbury, Francis, 1745-1816; Church discipline--Methodist Church; Church polity--Methodist Church; Evangelical Association; Evangelical United Brethren; Methodist Church; Methodist Episcopal Church; Methodist Episcopal Church, South; Methodist Protestant Church; Missions and missionaries; Religious education; Church of the United Brethren in Christ; United Methodist Church; Wesley, John, 1703-1791; Wesleyan theology; Women in the Methodist Church; Temperance Movement; Otterbein, Philip William, 1726-1813; Sunday School; Circuit Riders