Columbia Maryland Archives
New name, new digital library!
Columbia Maryland Archives – a service of Columbia Association – continues to be the primary resource on the history of the planned community of Columbia, as well as the life and career of its visionary founder, James Rouse. Columbia, Maryland Archives serves researchers at every level and welcomes residents and visitors who wish to learn more about Columbia’s past, present, and future.
Columbia Maryland Archives remains true to its mission to collect, preserve and make the documentation of Columbia’s early history and ongoing development available to everyone. Over the years, we’ve expanded our community outreach through public programs, exhibits, articles in local publications and stories on Columbia Association cable TV productions. We continue to collect materials, including those related to community organizations and oral histories with residents.
Our history, your history
Columbia Maryland Archives started in 1982 when the planned community was just 15 years old. The public rallied around resident Rebecca Orlinsky after she organized a display of clippings and other ephemera. Her exhibit led to a petition that pushed for establishing a way to chronicle the community’s history.
Within a year, the Museum and Archives of the History of Columbia, MD was born. Orlinsky and Ruth McCullough volunteered daily, and donations of materials came pouring in from countless residents and people who helped shape the city. Former Rouse Company employees Mickey Dunham and Jeanne Shea and community activist Norman Winkler were among the first donors.
In 1992, Columbia Archives became part of Columbia Association. The collection and the activities grew — most considerably in 1996, when Columbia Archives received the papers of James Rouse, which doubled the size of Columbia Maryland Archives’ holdings.