The Hampton National Historic Site (HNHS) Archival Collections are available for use by appointment only.
The National Park Service is committed to making the site's rich and unique archival materials available. However, HNHS has limited staff and resources to accommodate researchers. Access to materials is dependent upon their physical condition and the level of processing to date by the park staff. All research must be done on-site.
Please contact Julia Lehnert at 410-823-1309 or send e-mail to provide an explanation of your research objectives and request an appointment.
List of Archival Collections
Name of Collection: Ridgely Family Papers
Call Number: MS 001 Finding Aid (PDF) 833 KB
Dates: ca. 1750-1980
Quantity: Approximately 55 linear feet
Description of Contents: The collection focuses on the development of the Hampton estate and the activities of the six masters of Hampton, their wives and their families. The finding aid provides a detailed history of Ridgely family life at Hampton and includes a container list of items.
Name of Collection: John (III) & Lillian Ketcham Ridgely Papers
Call Number: MS 002 Finding Aid (PDF) 244 KB
Dates: ca. 1825-1990
Quantity: Approximately 6 linear feet
Description of Contents: John Ridgely III was the son of the last master of Hampton and one of the last Ridgely family members to have lived at Hampton Mansion and at other sites on the estate. He and his wife, Lillian, actively supported both the Society for the Preservation of Maryland Antiquities and the National Park Service after Hampton passed from the family to the federal government. The collection supplements the Ridgely Family Papers and documents the transformation of the estate into a National Historic Site.
Name of Collection: G. Howard & Gene L. White Collection
Call Number: MS 003 Container List (PDF) 43 KB
Dates: ca. 1770-1900, bulk 1820-1870
Quantity: Approximately 6 linear feet
Description of Contents: Not specifically related to Hampton, the papers are a mix of materials from multiple generations of two families, the Whites and the Dorseys, primarily linked to Hampton through Priscilla Hill Ridgely White (1796-1868), and her sister, Mary Pue Ridgely Dorsey (1802-1872), both daughters of Charles Carnan Ridgely, the second master of Hampton.
Name of Collection: The Henry White Family Papers
Call Number: MS 004
Quantity: 35 linear feet
Description of Contents: Henry White (1850-1927), son of Eliza ‘Didy’ Ridgely White Buckler by her first husband John Campbell White, had a long and distinguished career in the U.S. Diplomatic Service, serving as U.S. Ambassador to Italy and France and as a member of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace in Paris, 1918-19. His official position brought him into contact with the most powerful men of his time and his warm and friendly manner gained him entrance to the houses of the social elite wherever he lived. The collection consists of his professional and diplomatic papers, personal and professional correspondence, financial records, diaries, scrapbooks, and papers of family members listed below:
Margaret ‘Daisy’ Stuyvesant Rutherfurd White, Mrs. Henry White
John Campbell White, Henry White's son
Countess Muriel White Scherr-Thoss, Henry White's daughter
Julian LeRoy White, Henry White's brother
Sophie Beylard White, Mrs. Julian White
Henry White, Sr., Henry White's grandfather
Eliza ‘Didy’ Ridgely White Bucker, Henry White's mother
Thomas Hepburn Buckler, Henry White's stepfather
William Hepburn Buckler, Henry White's half-brother
The collection is currently being processed. The Finding Aid is forthcoming.
Name of Collection: Charles E. Peterson Papers
Call Number: MS 005
Dates: 1948-2000 (1948-1972 bulk)
Quantity: 3 linear feet
Description of Contents: Charles Peterson was the creator of the Historic American Buildings Survey ("HABS") in the 1930s and later served as regional architect for the National Park Service. In this capacity, he spent several months at Hampton in 1948-49, conducting research on the family and the estate, overseeing repairs and restoration work in anticipation of the opening of the site to the public. He later published his findings and analysis as Notes on Hampton Mansion (1970). The collection consists of Peterson's correspondence and research notes, HABS architectural drawings, copies of wills, inventories and other documents from the Maryland Historical Society Ridgely Papers and draft manuscripts of his book.
The collection is unprocessed. The bulk of Peterson's papers are held by the National Trust Library at University of Maryland Libraries. Click here for a description of the Charles E. Peterson Archive and Library of Early American Building Technology and Historic Preservation.
Name of Collection: Society for the Preservation of Maryland Antiquities (SPMA)/National Park Service (NPS) Hampton Collection
Call Number: MS 006
Quantity: 50 linear feet
Description of Contents: SPMA, now known as Preservation Maryland, oversaw the daily operation of Hampton National Historic Site, under the auspices of NPS from the opening of the site in 1950 until 1979. In 1979, the National Park Service assumed full responsibility for the day-to-day management of the site. The collection consists of correspondence, committee minutes, reports, building and condition surveys, published materials about Hampton, self-published promotional and publicity materials, and scrapbooks.
The collection is unprocessed. Additional Preservation Maryland materials are held by the University of Maryland Libraries College Park.