Hampton is a microcosm of life in Maryland, reflecting over 200 years of American social, historical, and economic development. Hampton NHS’s extensive museum collections and related archives are a resource of great significance to the local community, the state of Maryland, and the nation.
These extensive primary sources dating c. 1750-c.2010 provide direct evidence to the history of Hampton over three centuries. The unique and unpublished documents include correspondence, diaries, scrapbooks, account books, and legal and financial documents. Nearly 7,000 photographic images provide an extensive visual source of life at the Hampton estate. This collection adds to the unique nature of the site with such a large collection of primary sources giving detailed insight into the lives of those who worked and lived at the estate over its history.
Hampton’s collections are principally exhibited in period rooms in the Mansion dating c.1790-c.1910, where approximately 95% of the items on display are original to the site. In order to visit these exhibits, visitors must be on a guided tour of the house. However, a virtual tour is available for those wishing to explore these exhibits on their own. Changing exhibits in the North Portico have spanned a wide range of topics from the Civil War to historic gardens, equestrian life to Word War II. Interpretive exhibits are also located in the various farm buildings of the plantation such as the stables, slave quarters and farmhouse. All these exhibits are open for the public to explore Thursday-Sunday 9:00 am – 3:30 pm, except for the farmhouse which is open based on staff availability.
Fine and Decorative Arts
The museum collection contains nearly 45,000 items dating from the 18th through 20th centuries, most are original to Hampton and many are recognized nationally for their historic and artistic importance. Fine arts (paintings and sculpture) include works by renowned American master artists, portraits of Ridgely family members, and a European landscape paintings. Decorative arts and artifacts of daily life range from farming tools to silver horseracing trophies, thousands of books, and furniture and textiles that furnished the mansion and help to tell the stories of everyday life at Hampton for those who worked and lived here.
Research Requests related to archives, photographs, art, objects, and period room installations should be sent to Hampton NHS’s Curator.
Ledgers, lists, passports, and a lot more! Hampton's archives are an in-depth look into history.
With 95% of the artifacts original to the site, Hampton's exhibits are some of the most unique in the NPS!
Last updated: July 16, 2021