Howard historical society closes doors to prepare for move

Society to reopen in December at new Miller Library

October 13, 2011|By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun

A Civil War-era photo of a woman with a Confederate flag and land records of some of the oldest homes in Howard County are among the more than 15,000 items being packed up as the Howard County Historical Society shuts its doors Sunday in preparation for its move to a new home.

The organization is relocating from one Ellicott City location to another. Its archives, research library and offices will constitute a historical center in the Charles E. Miller library, scheduled to open in mid-December. The center is scheduled to open with the library, though the society will open its part of the facility four afternoons each week, similar to its hours in the old building.

"We're definitely squished where we are," said Lauren McCormack, the historical society's executive director. "Where we are now, it's a great historic building. But it's a historic building."

The suite in the new library is about 3,000 square feet, larger than the roughly 2,000 square feet the society has in the historic Weir building.

As many as 50 people a month come to the Weir building, from amateurs doing genealogical research and looking up information about their old homes to professional researchers. The larger space, a location with greater visibility, more parking and access for the disabled will allow more visitors to use the organization's materials. In addition, McCormack said, she expects the society will do programming in conjunction with the public library.

Volunteers will catalog and box everything in the Weir building, with the move planned for Nov. 9 and 10. The society has put aside $150,000 for the relocation.

No decision has been made on what to do with the Weir building. The society's museum will remain next door to the Weir building.

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