The museum's permanent collection is a gateway to the history and living culture of Maryland African Americans. The collection includes art, artifacts, textiles, material culture, photographs, rare books and other items. Some of our largest collections focus on African American military experience, early American jazz recordings, and Maryland community history.

The Scipio Collection

The L. Albert Scipio Collection is an integral part of America’s military history. Dr. L. Albert Scipio has spent his entire life collecting military artifacts since being a child mascot for the 24th Infantry. The 24th Infantry regiment was posted to the western frontier and its members became known as “Buffalo Soldiers”. The collection consists of artifacts from the U.S. Army, such as rare books, photographs, insignia, documents, videotapes, oral histories and original uniforms. Also included is a rare collection of Native American scout artifacts.

The uniform collection represents objects as early as 1872 to World War II. In addition to the rare books, Dr. Scipio has included personal books he has written on African Americans in the military.

World War I 372nd Infantry Company E Enlisted Tunic, Gift of Dr. L. Albert and Mrs. Katherine R. Scipio

Genevieve McMillan African Art Collection

A Gift of the Genevieve McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation, this collection comprises nearly one hundred objects of African art and material culture, including masks, decorative items and household implements.

Headdreess for Gelede Society (with Leopard), Gift of the Genevieve McMillan and Reba Stewart Foundation

Louis G. and Shirley Hecht Collection

Approximately 2000 jazz records (78 RPMs) from 1920s-1950s have been acquired to date. This collecting initiative is still in progress with plans for the museum to receive LP recordings, 636 jazz music publications, photographs, and ephemera.

Collier’s Magazine, 1934, Gift of Louis G. and Shirley Hecht

General collections of material culture artifacts, photographs, and other items related to state and local history

Our ongoing collections efforts focus on items of relevance to Maryland African American experience.

Do you have something to donate?
The museum acquires items that help fulfill the mission of “collecting” and “preserving” materials related to Maryland’s African American history and culture. To inquire about donating to the collection, contact the Department of Collections and Exhibitions or complete the Collections Object Donation Form.

Many Rivers to Cross, Acrylic on Canvas, 2005, Gift of Ulysses Marshall


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