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Jo-Ann Orlinsky papers

 Collection 0116-MDHC

Jo Ann Orlinsky (born 1939) was deeply involved in Maryland Democratic politics, serving variously as campaign headquarters director, administrative aide, and campaign scheduling chairman for U. S. Senator Joseph D. Tydings. The collection largely documents her work for Senator Tydings and for the Young Democratic Clubs of Maryland. It contains correspondence, press releases, memoranda, schedules, speeches, hearing transcripts, and newspaper clippings. Topics covered include Orlinsky's tenure on the staff of a Democratic National Committee task force on women's issues, the drafting of a new Maryland Constitution, and Senator Tyding's positions on such issues as civil rights, the environment, world population, and arms reduction negotiations.


  • 1953-1976
  • Majority of material found within 1964-1971

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the special collections reading room staff.


11.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The papers of Jo-Ann Orlinsky cover the years 1953 to 1976, though the bulk of the materials date from 1964 to 1971, when she worked for Senator Joseph D. Tydings. The Tydings materials relate to her efforts during his 1964 and 1970 campaigns for the U.S. Senate and as special assistant during his Senate term from 1965 to 1971. Some of the topics discussed are the senator's position on civil rights, the environment, world population, and arms negotiations. The materials include correspondence, press releases, memoranda, schedules, speeches, hearing transcripts, and newspaper clippings.

Other portions of the collection deal with her other work. One series contains Orlinsky's records as executive secretary of the Young Democratic Clubs of Maryland, a position she held from 1962 to 1967. These include correspondence with clubs in other states, copies of The Burro newsletter, and several drafts of a new Maryland Constitution. Another series includes the records of her tenure on the professional staff of the Commission on Delegate Selection and Party Structure for the Democratic National Committee, such as reports, election results, correspondence, delegate questionnaires, and meeting and seminar summaries. Barbara A. Mikulski is among the correspondents.


Born November 20, 1939 and raised in New York, Jo-Ann Orlinsky is the daughter of Henry J. and Celia (Schifrin) Mayer. Ms. Orlinsky attended high school in Suffern, NY, and obtained an A.B. degree from Mount Holyoke College in 1961. She became involved in politics while at college in Massachusetts, working on the 1958 congressional campaigns of John F. Kennedy and James MacGregor Burns.

She married Walter S. Orlinsky on June 18, 1961, and relocated to Baltimore, Maryland. Between 1961 and 1964, Jo-Ann Orlinsky was employed as secretary for the Nuclear Physics Research team at Johns Hopkins University, campaign secretary for U.S. House of Representatives candidate Carlton R. Sickles, and research assistant for the Baltimore Metropolitan Area Study Commission. She joined the U.S. Senate campaign of Joseph D. Tydings in 1964 as campaign headquarters director. Upon his election, she served as his special assistant until May 1970. Her primary responsibilities were keeping the senator abreast of Maryland political matters and informed on state, county, and local legislation in which he had a particular interest. In May 1970, Orlinsky became administrative assistant and scheduling chairman for Tydings' unsuccessful 1970 U.S. Senate reelection campaign.

Jo-Ann Orlinsky continued her involvement in politics as campaign manager and headquarters director for her husband's 1971 campaign for Baltimore City Council President. The following two years, she chaired the Worker Training Program for the Associated Jewish Charities. Then between March and August 1973, she served on the staff of the Democratic National Committee's Commission on Delegate Selection and Party Structure, known as the "Mikulski Commission." This commission was charged with providing technical assistance, recommendations, and requirements for opening the doors of party affairs to minorities, women, youth, and people of all economic classes; however, its primary objective was to elect a Democrat president in 1976. Since 1973, she has held various positions with Women Together, a coalition of thirty-three metropolitan Baltimore women's organizations, the Maryland Commission of Labor and Industry, and the Maryland Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Advisory Board.

Among Jo-Ann Orlinsky's significant awards and honors are nomination to Who's Who of American Women (1977-1979) and to International Who's Who in Community Service in 1979. In 1980, she was named Woman of the Year by the Business and Professional Women's Club of Baltimore. Ms. Orlinsky also served as a volunteer for numerous local, state, and national women and children's advocacy groups, political organizations, and Jewish Charities and associations. She and her former husband, Walter S. Orlinksy, were married for twenty-five years and have two children, Eric and Judith.

Volunteer Activities

  1. Advisory Board, YWCA of Central Maryland, 1988-
  2. Advisory Board, Maryland New Directions, 1988-
  3. Advisory Board, Baltimore Birth Center, 1981-
  4. Secretary-Treasurer, St. James Condominium Council, 1994-
  5. Board Member, Baltimore Jewish Community Relations Council, 1981-
  6. National Board Member, American Jewish Congress, 1982-
  7. Chairwoman, Governor's Advisory Board on Rape and Sexual Offenses, 1982-1984
  8. Maryland Commission for Women, 1974-1981, Chairwoman, 1979-1981
  9. National Board Member, Women's Equity Action League (WEAL), 1981-1988
  10. Board Member, Sinai Hospital, 1967-1989
  11. Founding Member, Executive Women's Council, Greater Baltimore, 1978-1988
  12. Board Member, Maryland Committee for Children, 1981-1987
  13. President, Maryland Chapter, American Jewish Congress, 1985-1987
  14. Member, Task Force on the Jewish Family, Associated Jewish Charities, 1986-1988
  15. Chair, Jewish Women's Caucus, 1983-1988, Member 1979-
  16. Advisory Board, Ad Hoc Women's Housing Coalition, 1980-1983
  17. Advisory Board, Child Study Association of Maryland, 1978-1981
  18. Board Member, Comprehensive Housing for the Aged, Inc. (CHAI), 1978-1983
  19. Member, Committee on Services to the Aging, Associated Jewish Charities, 1980-1985
  20. First Chairperson of Women Together, 1973-1975, (a coalition of thirty-three Baltimore metropolitan area women's organizations representing 20,000 women)
  21. Advisory Council, New Directions for Women, 1976-1981
  22. Member, Mayor's Council for the Coordination of Child Care Services, 1976-1978
  23. Finance Advisory Committee, Girl Scouts of Central Maryland, 1978-1979
  24. Leadership Council, YWCA, 1977-1979
  25. Legislative Chairman, Federation of Jewish Women's Organizations, 1974-1976, 1978-1979
  26. Board Member, Metro Centre Unit, American Cancer Society, 1978-1980
  27. Member, Advisory Board, Johns Hopkins University, Fellowship in Organizational and Community Systems, 1975-1977
  28. Chair, Committee to Revise the Rules and Regulations of the Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association, Maryland State Department of Education, 1975
  29. Public Representative, Committee to Implement Title IX, Maryland State Department of Education, 1974, 1977; Community Representative, Committee to Implement Title IX, Baltimore City School System, 1975-1976
  30. Board Member, former Vice President for Education, Women's Division, Associated Jewish Charities , 1973-1977
  31. Conference Arrangements Chairperson, International Women's Year Coordinating Committee, 1976
  32. Board Member, National Council of Jewish Women, 1972-1974
  33. President, Mt. Holyoke Alumnae Association of Maryland, 1973-1976
  34. Board Member, Maryland Ballet Company, 1965-1976
  35. Executive Secretary, Maryland Young Democratic Clubs, 1962-1967


  1. Woman of the Year, 1980, Business and Professional Women's Club of Baltimore
  2. International Who's Who in Community Service, 1979
  3. Who's Who of American Women, 1977-1978, 1978-1979
  4. Elected Maryland Delegate to National Women's Conference, Houston Texas, November, 1977
  5. American Jewish Congress Woman of the Year, 1975
  6. Mt. Holyoke College First Alumnae Volunteer Achievement Award, 1975


This collection is organized into eight series.

Series 1
Young Democratic Clubs of Maryland
Series 2
Senate Campaigns-Joseph D. Tydings
Series 3
Senate Staff-Joseph D. Tydings
Series 4
Maryland Party Politics
Series 5
Democratic National Committee, Commission on Delegate Selection and Party Structure (Mikulski Commission)
Series 6
Series 7
Series 8

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

Jo-Ann Orlinsky donated her papers to the University of Maryland Libraries in April and June 1993.

Related Material

Interested researchers may wish to consult the Papers of Joseph D. Tydings in the State of Maryland and Historical Collections, Special Collections, University of Maryland Libraries.

Other papers of Jo-Ann Orlinsky, dating from 1966 to 1990, are available in the Julia Rogers Library of Goucher College, Towson, Maryland. This collection contains approximately forty linear feet. Only a small portion dealing with her service on the Maryland Commission of Women has been processed. Access is by appointment only; please contact the College Archivist to use this collection.

The Archives of the University of Baltimore has a small, unprocessed collection of Orlinsky materials related to the campaigns of Joseph D. Tydings including bumper stickers and newspaper clippings.


  • Handbook On How To Run A Fair, 1973
  • Guidelines on Sexual Assault, Maryland Commission for Women, October, 1975
  • Rachel's Daughters: Reading in Jewish Women's History, 1976
  • Editor, Proceedings of the National Occupational Health Conference, November, 1974

Processing Information

As the papers were sorted and filed into eight series, two accessions were merged into a single collection. All paper clips, rubber bands, and staples were removed; plastic clips over strips of acid-free bond paper were substituted. Items were removed from envelopes and binders and placed into acid-free folders. Duplicate materials were discarded, and newspaper clippings and items in poor condition were copied onto acid-free bond paper. Folders were labeled (with headings added where necessary) and placed into acid-free boxes. Oversized materials were placed in an appropriate box or mapcase.

Some daily and weekly appointment schedules for Senator Tydings were moved to Series 6 of the Papers of Joseph Tydings to fill obvious holes in that collection. Photographs were removed and placed in the Photograph Collection, and seperation sheets were placed in the folders to note their removal. Oversized materials were flattened and placed in an appropriate container with separation sheets inserted in their place. Memorabilia items were removed to the Memorabilia Collection.

Guide to the Jo-Ann Orlinsky papers
Processed by Kathryn M. Willis
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742