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Jane Beltzhoover commonplace book

Identifier: MS-0987

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Content Warning

This book contains a piece of minstrel music with racist lyrics and imagery, as well as news articles which use racist and outdated language to refer to both Jewish and Black people. Please take care when using the collection, and contact Special Collections with feedback or questions about the materials.

Content Description

A commonplace book of information collected by Jane Beltzhoover from 1882 to 1885. The book contains recipes, newspaper clippings, passages of literature and poetry, sewing and crochet instructions, prints of cultural institutions and artifacts, and travel ephemera. Inscribed on the first page of the diary is Jane Beltzhoover’s signature and “Berlin, 1882.” The manuscript pages are written in both English and German, and the clippings are primarily from American and German publications on political and social issues, topics of general interest, and cultural events. A few of the articles saved in the album relate to the relationship between the North and South following the American Civil War and the legacy of slavery in the United States. At the rear of the book is a broadside of the minstrel song “Swannee Ribber, or, Old Folks at Home” printed by P.J. Dennis of Baltimore. There are also articles related to scientific and mathematical news, such as an op-ed from Johns Hopkins University president Daniel Coit Gilman about academic freedom and an article about the Lady Franklin Bay Expedition to the Canadian Arctic. The book contains political ephemera, such as tickets and clippings related to the 1884 United States presidential election between Grover Cleveland and James Blaine. The book also contains a "Catalogue of W.T. Walters' Picture Galleries," the art collection of William T. Walters that was later bequeathed by his son, Henry Walters, to the City of Baltimore and established the Walters Art Gallery.


  • Creation: 1882 - 1885


Conditions Governing Access

This item is currently with the Conservation Department for treatment and may be unavailable for access. Contact Special Collections for additional information.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.


1 Items (One scrapbook)

Language of Materials




Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from And Books Too in February 2021.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in January 2024 by Kristen Diehl.

Guide to the Jane Beltzhoover commonplace book
Kristen Diehl
2024 January
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA