The Maryland History and Culture Collaborative is seeking an intern or volunteer for September - December 2011 (with possibility for extension). The qualified candidate will be asked to research available web technologies and project platforms with the intention of migrating the MHCC online content. MHCC currently maintains a wiki (available at: https://spaces.umbc.edu/display/mhcc/Home) with a collaborative blog, repository listing, meeting minutes, and member resources.

Duties:

  • Compile a list of required features and criteria in consultation with the Online Content Development group and available MHCC wiki survey data
  • Review available platforms according to the criteria (Wordpress, Omeka, Drupal, etc)
  • Provide a written review of each platform
  • Provide a final written report with recommendations for how MHCC should host, share, and develop content in an online environment
  • If possible, present findings at the Winter 2012 MHCC meeting

Qualifications: Demonstrated experience in using, maintaining, or contributing to online content. Knowledge of current trends in online communication and social media. Ability to work independently and prepare written progress reports. Interest in Maryland history, archives, and museums preferred but not required. Applicant will need to have access to their own computer and internet connection.

To Apply: Applicants interested in earning academic credit should secure an internship or independent study faculty sponsor at their college. Applicants should then submit a cover letter, resume, and the contact information for your faculty sponsor. Volunteers that are not seeking academic credit should submit a cover letter and resume. Please send all materials via e-mail to Lindsey Loeper at lindseyloeper@umbc.edu. All applications are due by June 15, 2011. Applications will be reviewed by the Online Content Development group and applicants will be notified by August 1, 2011.

About MHCC: The Maryland History and Culture Collaborative is an informal gathering of information professionals from throughout the state of Maryland whose job responsibilities include the acquisition, preservation, and management of collections related to Maryland history and culture. The mission of this group is to facilitate collaboration and communication in order to better serve both our institutions and our researchers. Members range from large academic institutions to public libraries, historical societies and other organizations. More information about the MHCC is available on our wiki: https://wiki.umbc.edu/display/mhcc/Home

Please direct any questions to Lindsey Loeper at lindseyloeper@umbc.edu.

The Maryland State Archives is very pleased to host the next Maryland History and Cultural Collaborative meeting. Since it is Preservation Week (April 24-30) the  emphasis of the day will be on conservation.

The meeting will be held on Monday, April 25, 2011 from 10am to 2:30pm (with optional 2:30pm-4pm workshop).

Our theme: "Conservation and Disaster Preparedness: Will Your Institution Be Ready in a Time of Crisis?"

Agenda

  • Welcoming Remarks: 10:30am (Dr. Edward Papenfuse, State Archivist)
  • Presentations and Q/A Panel: 10:45am-12:00pm
    • Books - Ms. Vicki Lee, Director of Conservation Lab, Maryland State Archives
    • Paper/Photographs - Ms. Jennifer Cruickshank, Deputy Director of Conservation Lab, Maryland State Archives
    • Objects - Mr. Howard Wellman, Wellman Conservation, LLC
    • Disaster Preparedness Overview - Ms. Sarah Patterson, IPER/REPR Trainer, Maryland State Archives
  • Lunch (available for a fee): 12:00am-1pm
  • MHCC Business Meeting: 1pm-2:30pm
  • Disaster Preparedness Workshop (optional) 2:30pm-4pm
  • Maryland Civil War Digitization Project Committee Meeting 2:30-4pm

We hope to see you there!

Library and Department of Imaging Services staff members are very excited about hosting our first MHCC meeting at the Maryland Historical Society (MdHS).

The meeting will be held in France Hall on Tuesday, Feburary 15, 2011 at 10a.
Discussion Panel: 10a-11:30a
Lunch: 11:30a-1p
MHCC Meeting: 1p-3p


The program arranged by UMBC Library staff was quite stimulating so we will follow their example and lead with a discussion panel in the morning. Our topic for discussion will be:

Tweet/Blog/Like/Share This Collection: Pros and Cons of Social Networking for Archives

We'd like everyone to think about how your archive or cultural institution uses Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, WordPress (or other blog publishing sites), if they use any of these sites at all. How is copyright or property management handled? Are these sites considered marvels or threats? We'd also like to hear from those that would like to begin using sites like Twitter, for example, but have yet to take the plunge.

We have a few speakers signed up for the panel portion, but we suspect (and hope) that this topic will lead to a constructive discussion amongst all attendees.

Lunch will take place in France Hall as well. We will order lunch from Howard Gourmet Deli, a Mom and Pop favorite amongst the staff at MdHS. Lunch will be $10-$12 per person. We notify all members by email once we know the actual cost. You are also more than welcome to brownbag your lunch.

Please complete the following survey by January 24th so that we may prepare for your attendance: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/9W8MPZK

The MHCC meeting will begin after lunch. An agenda will be emailed to members closer to the date of the meeting. Please notify me directly if you would like to add a topic to the agenda: jferretti@mdhs.org

One topic that will surely be on the agenda is the introduction to the Greater Baltimore History Alliance (GBHA) organization. We will welcome Heidi Glatfelter to our meeting, representing GBHA. The mission, as described on the web site (http://www.baltimoremuseums.org) is:

The Greater Baltimore History Alliance is a consortium of Baltimore area history museums dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and promoting local heritage through collaborative community services and educational programs.

Also, Eli Pousson of Baltimore Heritage (http://www.baltimoreheritage.org) might be joining us as well. From the web site, Baltimore Heritage is described as:
Founded in 1960, Baltimore Heritage, Inc. is Baltimore's nonprofit historic and architectural preservation organization working to preserve and promote Baltimore's historic buildings and neighborhoods.

Parking and Directions: As many of you probably already know, MdHS offers free on-site parking. We are also located very close to the Centre Street stop on the Light Rail. Please take a look at our Directions and Maps page of our web site to plan your visit:

http://www.mdhs.org/about/directions.html

Please feel free to contact me with any questions. Thank you and see you in February!

Jenny Ferretti
jferretti@mdhs.org
410.685.3750 x376

We are ready to announce the dates of the next two Maryland History and Culture Collaborative meetings. Please mark your calendars (more details to come soon).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011: Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland

Monday, April 25, 2011: Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, Maryland

Maryland History and Culture Collaborative
October 18, 2010 at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Commons 329

Agenda

Introductions
1. Larry Wilt, Director, Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery
2. Brief introductions (all attendees)

MHCC business
1. Name change (Jennie Levine Knies)
2. Wiki (Michael Scott)
3. Other?

Advocacy and Outreach
1. Maryland Historical Society (Jenny Ferretti & colleagues)
2. Baltimore City Archives (Rob Schoeberlein)
3. Baltimore Museum of Industry (Nancy Perlman) tentative
4. Civil War Sesquicentennial
a. Institutional planning
b. Statewide resource guide?
5. War of 1812 Bicentennial
6. Other upcoming anniversaries?
7. Preservation Week, April 24-30, 2011

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County is excited to host the fall meeting of the Maryland History and Culture Collaborative on Monday October 18th.  Attendees are invited to attend a professional discussion panel and have lunch on campus prior to the meeting.  Please see the schedule below, followed by information on parking and directions to campus.

"Using Images for Original Research" discussion panel
Library Gallery, 10-11:30am
Presenters:
Tom Beck, Chief Curator, Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery at UMBC
Joanne Archer and Doug McElrath, Special Collections at University of Maryland, College Park
Barbara Orbach Natanson, Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress

This discussion panel will examine the rich historical research value found in photographs and other illustrative formats.  Tom Beck will provide an overview of visual literacy and examples of interpreting photographic images to locate historical information.  Joanne Archer and Doug McElrath will discuss the potential research value of postcards, using a collection from College Park's Special Collections as an example.  Finally, Barbara Orbach Natanson will discuss the resources and reference services available through the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress.  Attendees will be encouraged to ask questions and engage in a discussion of the value of visual literacy and image-based scholarly research.  This discussion panel is open to all MHCC attendees as well as the larger UMBC community.  Light refreshments will be served.

Lunch
Skylight Room, 11:30-1pm
Whether you are joining us for one event or both, all are invited to lunch at the Skylight Room, UMBC's faculty and staff dining room, located on the 3rd floor of the Commons.  The menu is an all you can eat buffet for $9.  We ask that you cover the cost of your lunch.
MHCC meeting
Commons 329, 1-3:30pm
An agenda for the meeting will be distributed closer to the meeting date.  If you have items that you would like to add, please contact me directly.

Please complete the following survey by Friday October 1st if you plan to attend any of these events: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DM2L769

*Parking*: As some of you are aware, parking at UMBC is very tight, particularly since they took away one of the largest parking lots this fall.  Larry Wilt, the AOK Library Director, has agreed to fund a limited number of parking passes for this event.  We should have enough for everyone but I request (and beg and plead) that you carpool if at all possible.  The Library has to pay for these passes and the alternative option is to park at a meter with a $1.00/hour rate.  When you complete the survey above, you will need to include your mailing address so that the pass can be sent to you in advance.  I will confirm with everyone that requests a parking pass. 

Directions to the Library are available here:http://aok.lib.umbc.edu/directions/

A campus map, with both the Library and Commons locations, is available here: http://www.umbc.edu/AboutUMBC/CampusMap/
Both of these events are being held on campus in conjunction with American Archives Month; for additional information on UMBC's Archives Month activities, please see our website: http://aok.lib.umbc.edu/specoll/archivesmonth

And of course if you have any questions, please contact me at lindseyloeper@umbc.edu or 410-455-6290.  Thank you, I'm looking forward to seeing everyone in October!

Lindsey Loeper
Tom Beck
Susan Graham

Special Collections department
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Although I know many of you are still recovering from SAA, I wanted to get the information about the next MHCC meeting out to you early so that you can make plans to attend. Our fall meeting will be held at the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County on Monday October 18th. In conjunction with our Archives Month activities, prior to the meeting we will be hosting a discussion panel open to all MHCC members as well as UMBC faculty and students.

"Using Images for Original Research"
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery, October 18, 10-11:30am
Presenters:
Tom Beck, Chief Curator, Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery at UMBC
Joanne Archer and Doug McElrath, Special Collections at University of Maryland, College Park
Barbara Orbach Natanson, Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress
Description:
Researchers in the humanities, arts, and social sciences often request historical images for use as an accompanying illustration in publications, presentations, and online exhibits, but despite the wealth of content contained in a single image, few use them as an independent historical resource. Archivists and curators from UMBC, College Park, and the Library of Congress will discuss the importance of visual literacy, image-based research methods, and the scholarly potential held in photographs, illustrations, and postcards.

Following the panel we will have lunch available (for a small fee) and then will continue with the MHCC meeting at 1pm. I will have additional information available closer to the meeting date and I will request that you RSVP at that time.

-Lindsey

For the last four years our group has gone by the name of Maryland History and Cultural Collaborative (MHCC).  This name was meant to be inclusive for organizations of all types (libraries, archives, museums, etc) that work with collections related to the history and/or culture of Maryland.  Does this name still fit our goals or reflect our membership? Suggested name changes include the Maryland Historical Collections Collaborative (to maintain our acronym) or something similar to PASCL, the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries.

What do you think? Please leave a comment with your thoughts, including any other suggested names or any support for keeping the current name. You may wish to review the group's informal mission or browse the listing of Maryland organizations that have been included in the MHCC repository listing.

April's Feature of the Month comes to us from Susan Graham, Special Collections Librarian at UMBC. Thanks Susan! You can learn more about UMBC's Photography Collections here: http://aok.lib.umbc.edu/specoll/photog.php

In the summer of 2009, the Special Collections department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County received 26 photographs by Peggy Fox from the project, "The Patapsco Heritage Cultural Survey and Oral History," as a gift from the sponsors of the project, the Friends of the Patapsco Valley & Heritage Greenway, Inc. "The Patapsco Heritage Cultural Survey and Oral History" project was a collaborative endeavor by photographer Peggy Fox and writer and folklorist Alison Kahn, funded by The Maryland Historical Trust funded in 1997 to document the history, culture, and living traditions in the Patapsco Valley through oral history and photography. From 1997 to 2000, Fox and Kahn captured the voices and faces of senior citizens from various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, who were longtime residents of the Valley. The accounts of the elders tell the story of the changing way of life in the small mill towns that occupy the region. Fox's "environmental portraits" of the subjects show them in their own setting, to illustrate the strong relationship between the person and his/her environment. The project culminated in the publication of the book Patapsco: Life Along Maryland's Historic River Valley, a traveling exhibit, a published catalog from the exhibition at UMBC's Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery entitled, Patapsco: Portrait of a Valley, and acceptance into the Local Legacies project that commemorated the Library of Congress Bicentennial.

The Patapsco Valley spans Maryland's Baltimore and Howard Counties, occupying the area between Union Dam and Elkridge Landing. The communities represented include Oella, Ellicott City, Relay, and Elkridge, as well as the town of Daniels which was destroyed by Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The Valley is known as the source of Maryland's industrial revolution, and the birthplace of the National Road, which connected the Baltimore area to Illinois. Now a largely a suburban area, during the 18th and 19th centuries it was at once rural, surrounded by farmlands, and a hub of mill industry, where mills, warehouses and factories manufactured flour, cotton, and metals. The Oella mill was still operating until 1972.

Fox's gelatin silver prints depict neighbors, childhood friends, families, groups, and individuals alike. Some are former mill workers, others are local business owners or members of community groups, and most have lived their whole lives in the Valley, with long family histories in the region. They are shown in their homes with their prized possessions, in front of their row houses, in their yards, in local shops, at regional landmarks, and participating in various activities. The photographs not only illustrate the reminiscences of the elders, but stand on their own as strong portraits of real people, providing a glimpse of everyday life in these small towns. Also included in the collection are a few images of Valley residents from the 1920's and 1940's.

Photo: "Ed Fisher and George Tucker 'Jawing' on the Porch," by Peggy Fox. The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

The next meeting of the Maryland History and Culture Collaborative has been set for Wednesday, June 2, 2010. We will be meeting at St. Mary's College of Maryland beginning at 9:30 AM, with the opportunity to tour Historic St. Mary's City in the afternoon. If you plan to attend, please RSVP via SurveyMonkey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/96MZZ7K

As we did last fall at Loyola-Notre Dame, we will try to circulate news and notes before the meeting so that we don't take up meeting time with reports on each member's institution. Unlike last fall, to try to reduce e-mail messages to the entire list, we're asking that you send these items to Robert Shindle (rshindle@ubalt.edu) to be compiled in a newsletter and also posted on the Wiki in May. Please send these items to Rob by Monday, May 3, it would be very much appreciated.

Proposed agenda items are below - if you have any to add, please send them to Rob Shindle by May 3.

1. Introductions

  • Welcome (Kat Ryner / Celia Rabinowitz)
  • Brief introductions (all attendees)

2. Communications / Outreach:

  • Wiki update (Lindsey Loeper / Michael Scott)
  • Newsletter proposal (Rob Shindle)
  • National History Day resources (Nancy Perlman)

3. Concerns / Advocacy:

  • Maryland Historical Society update (Doug McElrath / Rob Schoeberlein)
  • Baltimore Museum of Industry research center situation (Nancy Perlman)
  • Name of Collaborative (discussion)

4. Arrangements:

  • Next meeting
  • Directions to Lunch and Tour

Despite her numerous artistic accomplishments, when some people hear her name, they ask: Who is Lucille Clifton? Lucille Clifton was the first African American poet laureate of Maryland. She served in this office from 1979 to 1985. She, in addition, won numerous awards: the National Book Award, the Ruth Lily Poetry Prize - the first African American female to do so - the Shelley Memorial Award, the Lannan Literary Award, and many more. Before she died, the Poetry Society of America decided to give her the Centennial Frost Metal. The Society will turn the award ceremony - which takes place on April 1, 2010 at the National Arts Club in New York, beginning at 7pm - into a tribute to Clifton's life and work.

Clifton's life began in Depew, New York, near Buffalo, in 1936. In her childhood, she experienced sexual abuse and used that horrible episode in her life, as well as the terrible experiences of her mother, her gender, and her people to create great art. Clifton's poetry focused on her race and gender, yet it touched everyone.

Being Maryland's repository for African American history and culture, the staff at the Sylvia Gaither Garrison Library at the Banneker-Douglass Museum celebrates the life and legacy of Lucille Clifton - a history maker - during National Poetry Month. As poet laureate of Maryland, as a member of the board of Governors of the Poetry Society of America, and as a Chancellor of the American Academy of Poets, she represented Maryland, women, and African American's very well.

Photograph courtesy of Rachel Eliza Griffiths

- Lynn Waller, MLS, MSW
Archivist
Sylvia Gaither Garrison Library at the Banneker-Douglass Museum
O: 410.216.6191
F: 410.974.2553
http://www.bdmuseum.com/bdm-library.html
http://sylvetteonline.blogspot.com/


The Building and Exhibitions Lantern Slides digital collection from the Baltimore Museum of Art was recently added to the Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage website. The collection currently includes 31 images documenting the exhibitions and architecture of The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) from its opening in 1923 through the 1950's. The images in the online collection represent a small selection of the nearly 1,000 glass lantern slides in the museum's archives, a substantial portion of which were digitized as the result of a grant received by the BMA in 2009. This vast collection also includes lantern slides of one the country's first exhibitions of African American art held at the BMA in 1939, as well as the museum's annual exhibitions of Maryland artists (also known as the "All Maryland Show"). Images of these exhibits and more will be added to the MDCH digital collection in the future.

I regretfully announce that the Montgomery County (MD) Archives (MOCOA) has temporarily closed. The collections have been moved into storage, with the exception of the most frequently used sets of aerial photographs. Those aerial photographs: 1937-1944, 1957, and 1963 have been temporarily moved to the Montgomery County Historical Society Library and will be available Tuesday through Friday, 10 AM to 4 PM.

We do not have a re-opening date for MOCOA. It is dependent on funding and execution of a construction contract to build a new space to house the collections, as well as funding for the program itself (staffing and supplies). For further questions, please contact the librarian at the MCHS Library:info@montgomeryhistory.org or (301) 240-2974.

Our third feature comes to us from Jill Craig and Whilbr at the Western Maryland Regional Library. Thanks Jill! And remember, you can view all of our featured collections by selecting the "Feature of the Month" navigation tab. You can also participate in this project by contacting one of the wiki subgroup members - more information is available in the original news post.

Boyd's Business Directory for Maryland, 1875


Genealogists can often find interesting snippets about their ancestors from City Directories. Directories were precursors to modern-day phonebooks and contain the names of each adult resident in the town along with their occupation and home addresses. The first directory for Baltimore was published in 1796 by Thompson & Walker. Cumberland's first was published in 1859-1860. However for most small towns, there are no directories and no records of this nature. But Business Directories list the occupations and businesses throughout the state. Since many of the male citizens were self-employed, the list can contain most of the small town and village residents. The 1875 Boyd's Business Directory for Maryland is a case in point. It includes towns like Emmittsburg, Galena, Havre de Grace, Laurel, Manchester, North East, Owings Mills, Port Deposit, Salisbury, St Michaels, Towsontown, Upper Marlborough, and Westminster. In the directory 72 names are listed from Rohrersville in Washington County (population twenty years later in 1895 of 225). In Garrett County, the most western county in the state, information on towns not available through City Directories is accessible. Hence Deer Park (179), Swanton (87), Accident (276), and Almont (56) are included (again using populations from Rand McNally, 1895).

The text is now available online at the Western Maryland Regional Library history website at http://www.whilbr.org/CumberlandHagerstownDirectory1875/index.aspx or by using the links on the public library websites in Allegany, Garrett and Washington counties.

The book is organized by occupation. John Gnagey of Accident is listed under Agricultural Implements, William Chapman of Grantsville under blacksmith, G. H. Murphy of Swanton as a shoemaker. Joel Ward of Oakland was a cabinet maker, W. F. Caldwell ran a boarding house in Deer Park, F. P. Fallon sold sewing machines in Swanton. John Miller ran the general store in Altamont while Mrs. Walter Steele ran the store in Deer Park. In effect most of the employed population is listed, with the exception of farmers and those who worked for others (like railway workers and clerks etc).

Boyd's Directory of 1875 also included a list of post offices and postmasters through the state. These too may interest genealogists as they add the names of towns and villages considered large enough to warrant a post office. A significant number of women were in charge of the post office. In Allegany County: Mrs. Mary A. Shoup in Ellerslie, Miss Ellen A. Callen in Orleans. In Washington County: Miss Eliza Beard in Boonsborough, Miss Catharine A. Coover in Ringgold, Mrs. Elizebeth Grosh in Funkstown, and Mrs. Harriet Benton in Sharpsburgh. In Piscataway, Prince George Co., Louisa B. Miller was postmaster. Still Pond, Kent Co., Miss Georgia L. Norris was in charge, while in Templeville, Queen Anne's Co., Mrs. Elizabeth Cooper acted as postmaster. In Tyaskin, Wicomico Co., Mrs. Delia E. Moore is listed as postmaster as was Mrs. Margaret Hunter in Weisesburgh, Baltimore Co.



 

For our second "featured" entry Barbara O'Brien, College Archivist at McDaniel College in Westminster, has prepared an overview of a fascinating rare books collection. Thanks Barbara!

H. L. Mencken Collection at McDaniel College

This collection consists of ten books. Two of the books, which are signed by Mencken, were a gift to the Library. Purchased for the collection was a short biography of Estelle Bloom Kubitz Williams, "Gloom" A Case for Stella by R. Bryce Workman. The seven books that are the nucleus of this collection were part of Estelle's personal library. They were purchased from the New Windsor Library of Carroll County Maryland for the College's circulating collection in January 1955 by Elizabeth Simkins, Librarian. All but one of these books were a gift to Estelle by Mencken.

  • Newspaper Days: 1899-1906. H. L. Mencken. New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 1941. Signed first edition.
  • Happy Days: 1880-1892. H. L. Mencken. New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 1940. Signed first edition.
  • Treatise on Right and Wrong. H. L. Mencken. New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 1934. First edition.
  • Prejudices: First Series. H. L. Mencken. New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 1919. Signed.
  • Prejudices: Second Series. H. L. Mencken. New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 1920. Signed.
  • Prejudices: Third Series. H. L. Mencken. New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 1922. Signed.
  • Prejudices: Fourth Series. H. L. Mencken. New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 1924. Signed.
  • Prejudices: Fifth Series. H. L. Mencken. New York: Alfred A. Knoff, 1926. Signed.
  • The Man Mencken: A Biographical and Critical Survey. Isaac Goldman. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1925, Signed by Mencken.
  • "Gloom:" A Case for Stella. R. Bryce Workman. New Windsor, MD: Fountain Publications, 2007

Bertha Estelle Bloom Kubitz Williams aka Gloom, 1886-1954

Estelle Williams is a footnote in American literature. She was born in Frederick County, Maryland, the third of six children. Estelle's family soon moved to New Windsor. Here her family did quite well until her father's suicide in 1898. At age 11, Estelle went off to work first in a creamery her father had owned and when she was sixteen as a telephone operator. She helped her mother, an invalid, at home with cooking and cleaning. When she wasn't working or cleaning she read dime novel romances popular at the time.

Barely eighteen and filled with wanderlust, romance, and the excitement of the "big city" Estelle left New Windsor for Baltimore. In Baltimore, she joined the Enoch Pratt Library where she renewed her love of reading - the one affair that lasted her entire life. It was also in Baltimore she met her first husband Hans Kubitz. Kubitz was from Germany and Estelle saw him as romantic, exotic, and very handsome. It wasn't to last - in 1913 he abandoned her in Texas as he took off to see the world.

Estelle moved in with her younger sister Marion in Washington, D.C. Here she sought to legally rid herself of Kubitz - a nearly impossible task. She rarely heard from him and when she did, it was often only a postmark that told her where he was. In 1914 it was a postmark from one of these letters that sent Estelle and her sister to the Baltimore Sun newspaper office in hopes of finding Kubitz listed as victim of a disaster reported by the paper. On this trip, her sister Marion met H. L. Mencken, newspaper columnist, critic, and iconoclast. Marion and Mencken became lovers, an affair that lasted until Marion's impulsive marriage to another in 1923.

Through Marion Estelle became friendly with Mencken. A friendship that lasted long after Mencken's relationship with Marion ended. Mencken dubbed her "Gloom" referring to the Russian novels she read so avidly. He also introduced Estelle to American novelist Theodore Dreiser. Estelle and Dreiser had a torrid affair that lasted three years. "Gloom" and Dreiser, Marion and Mencken reigned as literary couples in New York's social scene and spent summers in New Windsor. Counseled by Mencken to leave Dreiser because of his infidelities - Estelle stayed on. It was Dreiser who left following a young actress Helen Richardson to California. Dreiser was not to true to Helen either but he married
her just before he died. In 1923 Estelle married Arthur Williams.

When "Gloom" moved back to New Windsor in 1937 she was alone. Her marriage to Williams ended in divorce after she discovered he was cheating on her, she was no longer communicating with her sister, and her friendship with Mencken had withered. She often went to New York City to visit with friends but made little or no attempt to make friends in New Windsor. In 1945 she found out she had breast cancer and heard the news of Theodore Dreiser's death. Estelle plummeted into alcoholism and her trips to New York became fewer. She became a recluse only leaving her house to buy books and items she needed. She was found dead by her brother in 1954.

These inscriptions are from six books given to Estelle by Mencken. Mencken's last mention of Estelle is in a letter to Dreiser in 1937.
 
For more information on the Bloom sisters:

  • In Defense of Marion: The Love of Marion Bloom & H.L. Mencken, Edward A. Martin, editor, University of Georgia Press, 1996
  • Mencken: The American Iconoclast, Marion Elizabeth Rodgers, Oxford University Press, 2005
  • Dreiser-Mencken Letters: The Correspondence of Theodore Dreiser and H. L. Mencken, 1907-1945, Thomas P. Riggio, editor, University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986
  • "Gloom" A Case for Stella, R. Bryce Workman, Fountain Publications, New Windsor, MD, 2007