Welcome to the Columbia MD Archives

September 13, 2022

Guest Post by Erin Berry, Archivist & Manager at Columbia MD Archives 


How cozy is the Columbia MD Archives reading room? It’s just as inviting as it looks anyone is welcome to come in and explore the collections at CMA to learn more about Columbia’s past, present and future. 


What is an archivist?

One common misconception is that archivists are historians. Though these professions work together, we serve different purposes. Archivists provide access to information through preservation and organization, while historians research and interpret the information to tell a story.

You can think of it this way: Archivists create the map that lets people find the treasure they are looking for. They help people interpret the map, too. That’s what makes it so fun — you never know what you will find along the way.


Speaking of treasures, here’s a glimpse into some Columbia gems on display at CMA. Check out Jim Rouse’s eyeglasses!

“The collections that archives hold and collect are multiple pieces to a puzzle; when put together, they tell a whole story. For CMA, there are many pieces that tell the story of the community of Columbia. Without all the pieces, you could not see the full community and its story.”

How can you get involved?

Again, anyone is welcome to look through the collections at CMA — you don’t have to be a researcher to explore the collections. You can find us on the first floor of the CA Headquarters building (6310 Hillside Court). 

No matter how big or small your question is, we’d love to see you. The “rules” of an archive is to never restrict someone from looking at what they want: It is always to protect and preserve the material so it can last for generations. All we ask is that you make an appointment via email (columbia.archives@columbiaassociation.org) or phone (410-715-3103) so we can provide the best service possible. 


We have desks ready for you!


There are tons of great books and resources on all things Columbia, plus cool historical artifacts to check out. You can also request scans or photocopies of any material. Check out our Researcher Resources for more information.


So many books to explore!


Got a question about the Columbia MD Archives? Feel free to reach out anytime. I’m accessible through email (columbia.archives@columbiaassociation.org) or phone (410-715-3103).

You can learn more about the CMA here.

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