The Museum of Baltimore Legal History has reached the halfway point in its fundraising efforts to update the museum for the first time in its 30-year history.
The museum has raised about $14,500 as of Jan. 10 and hopes to receive $10,000 in grant money in the next few weeks, said Elva Tillman, chair of the Bar Association of Baltimore City’s historical committee, which runs the museum’s day-to-day operations.
The Baltimore Courthouse and Law Museum Foundation, which provides financial support for the museum, is working with the BABC’s historical committee to raise $60,000 for the project and has agreed to match up to $30,000 in donations.
In September, the Baltimore Courthouse and Law Museum Foundation unveiled plans to bring the museum in the Mitchell Courthouse into the 21st century by digitizing the museum’s most popular exhibits and adding a second screen in the hallway with a slideshow of exhibits and other historical information. The upgrades would allow the museum to potentially include exhibits on past city bar association members and store historical documents about the histories of Baltimore-based law firms.
The revamp also would enable the museum to include exhibits on more recent developments in Maryland’s legal history, including strides the legal community has made for women and minorities and in LGBT rights.
The museum hopes to hit its goal this spring and have the renovations done by fall.
Located in the original Orphan’s Courtroom, the museum includes a mahogany bench with intricate carvings and a large painting titled “The Surrender at Yorktown.” It was founded in 1984 after a $35,000 renovation project.
People interested in donating electronically can do so on the organization’s GoFundMe page. All donations will be recognized electronically inside the museum, and all donations of $500 or more will be recognized permanently on the outside. Donations made this month will be matched dollar for dollar by a grantor.