Southern Maryland Studies Center

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The Southern Maryland Studies Center (SMSC), located on the La Plata campus of the College of Southern Maryland (CSM), is an archival repository and research center that seeks to collect, preserve, and provide access to materials that document the history and culture of Southern Maryland, an area encompassing Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's Counties, together with the southern portions of Anne Arundel and Prince George's Counties. The SMSC was founded by the College of Southern Maryland in 1976 in order to provide a central location for research on this historically rich region. It is open to students, historians, genealogists, and all members of the public.

The Archives house hundreds of unique collections consisting of personal papers, records of local businesses and organizations, manuscript material, photographic material, rare books, maps, architectural drawings, oral history interviews, and other audiovisual material dating from the 18th century to the present. These materials provide valuable insight to the economic, social, and political currents that helped shape this region.

The Maryland Collection contains printed and published materials, including books, newspapers, journals, and periodicals. Visitors can also access state and federal census records, newspapers, colonial records, and church records on microfilm from the 18th century to the early 20th century.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to call the Southern Maryland Studies Center at 301-934-7606 if you plan to use our archival collections, or if you are traveling to use any of our materials, so that we can best prepare for your visit and to ensure that we will be operating on our normal schedule during your visit, as our hours do sometimes change to align with the College of Southern Maryland's academic calendar.

UpdatePlease note that due to a staffing transition, the SMSC email and voice mail accounts will not be checked until our new Archivist begins work in August or September, and we cannot provide reference assistance at this time.


We will make every effort to have a student assistant open the Archives for walk-in use from 1 to 4 PM, Monday through Thursday, but the opening status may change day to day based on staff availability.


Our reference books and microfilm collection continue to be available during normal La Plata Campus library hours, which change according to the academic calendar, and can be found here.