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Baltimore City College photograph collection

Identifier: PP 0278


The collection consists of photographs relating to Baltimore City College High School. BCC is Baltimore’s oldest serving high school and 3rd oldest in the country.


  • 1864-1988

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

Baltimore City College, commonly referred to as City, is the nation’s third oldest active public secondary institution. The school opened in 1839 to an all male, all white student population with a curriculum centered on the liberal arts. As the number of accepted students increased, City continued to move to new buildings around downtown Baltimore until a permanent location for the school was found in the city’s northeast suburbs in 1927. The gothic structure, aptly nicknamed “the Castle on the Hill,” sits atop the highest point within the city limits. With a singular tower that stands over 200 feet high, the building and campus hold scenic views of the surrounding region.

Since its inception, City has remained a college preparatory institution with a liberal arts focus. Courses at the school mimicked those of higher learning, with classes meeting for prolonged periods of time only two or three times a week. However in 2006, the school switched to a more conventional high school schedule, hosting classes on a daily basis. In 1998, the school became and remains the only Baltimore City Public School to offer the International Baccalaureate Program in addition to its college prep and Advanced Placement courses.

In addition to its strong academic tradition, City has a storied athletic history, particularly in regards to its football program. The Black Knights of City and the Engineers of Baltimore Polytechnic Institute formed the oldest active athletic rivalry in the nation beginning in 1889, when the first City-Poly football game was held. While recent years have seen the strength of both programs fluctuate, the City-Poly game remains a highly anticipated annual event. 1988 marked the 100th meeting of the two schools.

Famous graduates of the school include local politicians such as Representative Dutch Ruppersburger, Congressman Elijah Cummings, Senator Ben Cardin, former Governor William Donald Schaefer, and former Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke. Other notable graduates include David T. Abercrombie, founder of Abercrombie & Fitch Co., Charles P. McCormick, of McCormick Spices, and Robert Embry president of the Abell Foundation.

The school colors of City are black and orange and the school motto is “Palmam Qui Meruit Ferat” which translates to “Honor to he who earns it.” The school song is “The Castle on the Hill” and the more common fight song is “City Forever.”


6.13 Linear Feet (13 boxes)

Language of Materials



The items in this collection are arranged into two series and cataloged according to PP catalog numbers.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Series II, gift of James C. Dewald, 1994

Related Materials

MS 3131, Baltimore City College ephemera collection, 1867-1990

MS 3135, Baltimore City College-Baltimore Polytechnic Institute 100th Game manuscript collection, 1924-1990

Scope and Contents

This collection is broken into two series.

Series I: Baltimore City College, 1864-1960 consists of photographs of Baltimore City College organizations, sports teams, clubs, alumni, classes, dances and other topics from 1864-1960. Most of the photographs date from 1947 to 1957 or are undated. Items are arranged alphabetically by subject. Most of this series are photographic prints; 36 of the images are negatives (these are indicated in the container list below).

Series II: City-Poly 100th Anniversary Alumni Game consists of photographs related to the 100th anniversary City-Poly alumni football game held at the field of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute on November 24, 1988. The Baltimore mayor, and City alumnus, Kurt Schmoke is featured in many of the photographs. The folder containing PP278.2859 - .2871 also has a few documents created by the donor, identifying participants and memorabilia in some of the photographs.

Guide to the Baltimore City College photograph collection
Under Revision
Damon Talbot
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-03: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Mallory Herberger.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States