What kind of information is in the archives?

The collection includes papers, photographs, and objects documenting over 200 years of local history. Highlights include:

  • The rural economy (18th through 20th century) – farming, milling, lumbering, orchard and dairy industries, tobacco, slavery, and freedom
  • Transportation – the C&O canal, the B&O railroad, roads, horses, oxen, wagons, carriages, and early automobiles
  • Education – primary through university level, innovations, schools for girls, schools for African Americans
  • Life in the rural villages that preceded today’s megalopolis – general store records, family history, historic homes, land deeds, and marriage and birth records
  • An index to Montgomery County manumission records listed by slave owner and the name of the person freed

The original minutes of many of Sandy Spring’s early social and agricultural clubs and the six volumes of the Annals of Sandy Spring, begun by Quakers in 1863, chronicling a century of community history, the longest such record in the nation.