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Accessing Maryland State Archives Collections Stored at the Baltimore City Archives

While the Maryland State Archives (MSA) manages the operation of the Baltimore City Archives (BCA) and the Guide to Government Records displays the holdings for both institutions, MSA records stored at BCA are physically separate from BCA holdings.

Please note that in the Guide to Government Records

  • all MSA records use the acronym “MSA” in the record citation (i.e. MSA S1234)
  • all BCA records use the acronym “BCA” in the record citation (i.e. BCA BRG22)

Visitors to MSA who need to view MSA records stored at BCA may request access in one of two ways:

  1. The researcher may request the record to be returned to MSA for inspection. The request should be written up as a MSAREF work order and forwarded to the Constitutent and Inter-Agency Services Department (CIAS). CIAS staff will determine whether to return the hard copy or make a digital copy. The Reference Services archivist should advise the researcher that retrievals from BCA occur only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Requests placed in the MSA Searchroom on Tuesday and Wednesday will be available on Thursday afternoon, while requests placed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be available the following Tuesday afternoon. These collections will be held at MSA for 30 days and then returned to storage at BCA.
  2. In the case of court records, the researcher may place a request for the record through the Clerk of the originating Court. The Court will request the record from MSA, who will return the record through its normal processes. The Reference Services archivist should advise the researcher that MSA cannot estimate the availability date for the record at the Court, or the date that the Court might return the record to MSA.

Please note that researchers requesting access to MSA collections held at BCA should not be referred to the Baltimore facility.

 

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