Introducing Columbia Maryland Archives

November 30, 2020

Introducing Columbia History at Your Fingertips

Columbia Maryland Archives logo

Columbia Association (CA) is thrilled to announce the launch of the new Columbia Maryland Archives. That means for the first time in the history of the Columbia Archives, there is a fully public online searchable database.

The online platform allows researchers and residents alike to browse through the history of this planned community. Unlike before, you can now explore from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Oh, and it’s just in time for American Archives History Month.

Cover of Columbia Today issue 1966-1971, which was first published by the Rouse Company.

Same Archives, different name

You’re probably familiar with Columbia Archives, which has been operated by CA for nearly 30 years. The physical archives will continue to exist and serve an important role in preserving the history of this unique place. That said, opens those resources up to the masses.


The slight name change allows Columbia Maryland Archives to better align our mission with the Maryland State Archives. Plus, we don’t want people interested in our planned community past to be directed to Columbia, South Carolina or Tennessee or Illinois. We are THE Columbia, Maryland. Our Archives should be too, right?

Wilde Lake village showing the High School under construction and Howard Community College under construction in upper right portion. Credit: Columbia Maryland Archives

New features of the Columbia Maryland Archives site

Pretty much everything this database does is new. provides:

  • Real-time access to information (from a distanced space)
  • Self-directed research support
  • The ability to view archives and manuscripts online
  • Guides to assist with research

1980 Man of the Year – James W. Rouse – Developer, Innovator, Distinguished Citizen. Presented by Maryland Press Club. Credit: Columbia Maryland Archives

Archives Manager Lela Sewell-Williams has been working tirelessly to bring this site live. She continues to add more digitized artifacts as we speak.


“I’m excited to be able to bring this invaluable resource to the general public, allowing everyone to experience Columbia history to the fullest. Columbians and the world wide community of researchers can use this database to discover how this community came to fruition and how they still play a crucial role towards its growth and development.”

Lela Sewell-Williams, Archives Manager


Feel free to incorporate this new tool into your child’s research projects or your own journey of Columbia curiosity.


If you find something interesting, let us know about it on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. 


If you have something you’re looking to donate to the Columbia Maryland Archives, visit our donate page for more information.

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