Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Where can I park at the museum?

Limited free, on-street parking is available on Court Avenue. Free parking is also available in the Howard County Circuit & Orphans Courthouse Parking lot off Court Place or in public parking lot E behind Ellicott Mills Brewing Company where you can climb the staircase to the museum.

How can I find out about my Howard County ancestors?
Our archives contain a wealth of records including marriage licenses, government and military records, prominent family collections, ship passenger lists, obituaries, cemetery and church records as well as other documents suitable for genealogy research. Our volunteer researchers can help guide you to the resources you need and our friends at the Howard County Genealogical Society are another great resource for help.
How can I research the history of my home or property?
Our archive contains a wide range of maps, land and business records, historical prints and photographs as well as deeds that can help you with researching an individual property, business or neighborhood. The Maryland Historical Trust maintains a registry of historic properties throughout the state that also might be helpful in this research at Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties.
Can I donate historical materials to the society?

Yes. The Society is always interested in adding to our collection of historical documents, photographs, film, recordings diaries, artifacts and other materials that help tell the story of Howard County History. All items to be considered must have a significant connection to the County such as being made in Howard County, used or owned by a prominent Howard County citizen or in some way involved with Howard County historic locations or events; and they should address a need rounding out our holdings. Please let us know what you have by mail, email or phone and provide as much information about the object, its condition and it’s relation to Howard Count as well digital images if possible so that we may review the offer and make a recommendation to accept or decline the materials.

Can I check out the materials from the archive and research library?

Unlike the public library, we are a “non-lending” library. With rare exceptions, materials and books must be reviewed at our facilities however you may make xerox copies of documents and other materials for a small fee. Contact the HCHS for details.

Can I get reproductions of historical photos for personal or commercial display?

Yes. Contact the HCHS for details.

Can I use photos in the society’s collection in my publication?

Yes, by obtaining our permission and properly citing the photo as used “Courtesy of the Howard County Historical Society”. In some cases, a fee may apply.

Can I rent the museum for weddings and events?

Yes. Our Museum in the picturesque First Presbyterian Church is a is available to host weddings and groups of up to 40. Contact us for rental rates and details.

Why aren’t the museum, archive, and research library open every day?

Our ultimate goal is to have our facilities open to the public seven days a week. Our only limitations to reaching that goal are funding and having enough volunteers to staff each site. With your help we can expand our hours in the future.

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Did You Know?
The first railroad station in America is built at Ellicott's Mills -- the terminus of the original 13 miles of track in the country in 1830.
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