Skip to main content

Baltimore Bibliophiles records

Identifier: MS-0338

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The collection of the Baltimore Bibliophiles consists of minutes, financial records, membership lists, programs, reports, newspaper articles, committee reports, published keepsakes, newsletters, and other material that documents the history of the organization, 1954-1998. The bulk of the material was received in 1990. In 1991, P. W. Filby, then president of the club, added several personal files, 1964-1991, that document his long association with the Baltimore Bibliophiles. The items from Mr. Filby are interfiled. The files have been retained as they were originally kept by former executive committee members. Using the same subject headings, the collection is now arranged in alphabetical order.

The record keeping for the years 1954 to 1985 is especially complete and is filed under the headings of "Secretary's Book" for the appointed years. Correspondence, clippings, rule changes, program notes, and members' lists help to document the interesting and varied meetings for the period. Since most members were book collectors, a pamphlet was produced in 1977 listing highlights from the personal collections of the Baltimore Bibliophiles. The pamphlet is entitled "The Love of Books" and is filed under the heading, "Baltimore Bibliophiles Collections" in Box 1. Notes on the book auctions, 1969-1984, held for members are of interest as well as published histories, described as "keepsakes" by the Bibliophiles. Another historical record of the club is given in the newsletters, mostly complete 1978-1990. Final items in the collection are financial records including a large grouping of cancelled checks, deposit slips, receipts, and a card file of members' addresses filed at the end of Box 2.

A complete listing of all material is given in the Container List.


  • Creation: 1954 - 1998


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.

Administrative History

The Baltimore Bibliophiles was founded in June 1954. Credit for the original concept is given to Elizabeth Baer (1909-1988), John Work Garrett librarian, and Dorothy Miner (1904-1973), Curator of Manuscripts, the Walters Art Gallery. They believed that Baltimore needed a booklovers' club for people "who were interested in books, old and new, and the making and enjoyment of them." The first meeting was held at Evergreen House, location of the John Work Garrett Library, November 12, 1954 with twenty-one prospective members. Miss Miner and Miss Baer were elected president and secretary respectively.

The membership eventually numbered about eighty-five with additional honorary members and consisted of book lovers, collectors, professionals, and others. The six yearly meetings were most often held at Evergreen House, but arrangements were made to visit other libraries in and out of state and to meet with bibliographic organizations in Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Long Island. The Baltimore Bibliophiles was formed by persons with a diversity of interests, and many of the members spoke at meetings on topics specific to their fields of knowledge. Between 1954 and 1979 there were 184 meetings, and 125 of the speakers were members of the Baltimore Bibliophiles. The precedent was set at the first formal meeting (December 5, 1954) when Kent D. Currie, an original member, spoke on The Alphabet and exhibited books from the Garrett Library and other local sources. The group held several book auctions to benefit the libraries of The Johns Hopkins University and published three keepsakes (1959, 1974, 1979) that detail their activities and programs. Three times during the year, they published the Newsletter which provided information about members, their activities, and recent publications. The Baltimore Bibliophiles is still an active organization.


8.65 Cubic Feet (6 record center cartons, 3 letter size document boxes, 1 over-sized folder)

Language of Materials



Collection consists of minutes, financial records, membership lists, programs, reports, clippings, reports, published keepsakes, newsletters, and other material that document the history of the Baltimore Bibliophiles, 1954-1993.


The official records of the Baltimore Bibliophiles, beginning with the group's founding in 1954, were given as a gift to the University by P. W. Filby, December, 1990. The Accession number is 90-91.5. In February, 1991, Mr. Filby gave additional files that were more closely associated with his membership and later service as President of the Baltimore Bibliophiles. The Accession number is 90-91.31.

Additional material was added in March 1995 [materials related to Bib's president, Edgar Heyl], August 2002 and December 2008.

Processing Information

Finding aid prepared by Joan Grattan in September 1992.

Baltimore Bibliophiles records
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

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