Magnifying glass unregistered trademark for  Education and Outreach work of Dr. Papenfuse Teaching and Research in the Age of the Internet

Dr. Edward C. Papenfuse, Jr., Maryland State Archivist, emeritus
and former Commissioner of Land Patents


Note: What follows below is a sample of the courses and document puzzles I prepared over the 40 years that I was at the Maryland State Archives, first as Assistant State Archivist, and then as State Archivist and Commissioner of Land Patents from 1975 until my 70th birthday in 2013. I am in the process of consolidating all my research files and essays to be accessible by a personal server,, to which interested and serious researchers and writers of history are invited to join. The objective is to provide a permanent, updateable and expandable virtual home for the research and writing I have attempted over the years and in the process to add value to the rich archival heritage of my adopted state, Maryland. For current attempts at reflective essays see:

I was born in Toledo, Ohio, the son of a registered nurse and Great Lakes seaman, both of whom came from emigrant beginnings, one family in Northern Ireland via Canada, the other in a war-ravaged region of what is today Poland. Neither family came to the New World with much in the way of resources. Both families struggled to give their offspring educational opportunities and the means to make their way in the emerging democracy of the United States. Neither branch of the family led perfect lives, nor were they without prejudices, but what I hoped I learned was that the trail of records and memories they passed on were but part of a gold mine of archives that came my way in Maryland and at home, awaiting thoughtful assessment and important lessons to be learned. As a good friend put it recently in an email to me: "I can only offer an extract (slightly mangled) from Joseph Conrad. "For life to be rich and full, it has to contain a care for the past, as well as for the future in ... every fleeting moment of the present."" [from Joseph Conrad, Nostromo, Chapter 11, The Lighthouse]

Ed Papenfuse, May 5, 2015

Web-based Courses (1997-2007)

A listing of Web-based courses (please report any broken links;  for password restricted courses, please contact

Web-based lectures, articles, handouts, research and teacher training projects (please report any broken links)

JHU MLA 450.744--Murder and Espionage in Maryland

Baltimore and the Environment
Research & Documentation in the Electronic Age: 
Methods and Practical Applications
Editing and Transcribing Documents:
Poplar Grove, Queen Anne's County Document Imaging and Transcription Project
Blackistone Collection of Dent Family Papers
What Is History? 
An Archivist's View of Sources and Imagination in The Search for Explanation
Gone With the Wind
Maryland History
Mapping Maryland

The Critical Importance of Preserving the Historical Context of the Law 
in an Authoritative, Permanent, and Readily Accessible Electronic Environment

Remembering What Our Grandparents Did For US: 
The Sacrifices of the World War II Generation

rotating gif f rom Dr. Papenfuse's collection, detail of painting about writing the Constitution, and the litter under the feet of Jefferson, Adams, and Franklin from a Ladies Home Journal  illustration of the writing of the Declaration of Independence