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Board of Regents records

 Collection 0063-UA

The Board of Regents is the highest-level governing body of the University of Maryland system. The Regents' records document overall administration of the university. They contain correspondence; statements; proposals; reports; and files from specific committees, boards, and commissions, in particular the Committee on the Presidency, the Agricultural Advisory Board, and the Maryland Agricultural Commission. The University of Maryland also holds a significant unprocessed addendum to the Regents' records which includes correspondence, publications, audiotapes, minutes of meetings, budgets, and reports. A preliminary inventory of these unprocessed materials has been prepared; requests to examine these records will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


  • 1916-1990

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open for research.

Duplication and Copyright Information

Photocopies of original materials may be provided for a fee and at the discretion of the curator. Please see our Duplication of Materials policy for more information. Queries regarding publication rights and copyright status of materials within this collection should be directed to the appropriate curator.


12.75 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Board of Regents records cover the years 1916-1990. The bulk of the records date from 1949-1968. The collection includes administrative papers of the Board of Regents, the records from the Committee on the Presidency (1953-1954), the records of the Agricultural Advisory Board (1961-1968), various materials pertaining to the Maryland Agricultural Commission (1969-1971), and bound meeting minutes from 1916 to 1990.

Administrative History

The University of Maryland Board of Regents is the governing body of the university. The original predecessor or the board was the board of regents of the College of Medicine of Maryland which was incorporated in 1807. The immediate predecessor of the board was the Maryland Agricultural College Trustees. By the Act of 1916 the college became the Maryland State College of Agriculture and the trustees became the State Board of Agriculture. In addition, in 1920, the board of agriculture became the regents of the newly-formed University of Maryland; the new university was established when the University of Maryland in Baltimore and the Maryland State College merged.

The Board of Regents is comprised of Maryland citizens who volunteer their time and energy to govern the University of Maryland. The Act of 1916 gives the board responsibility for selecting the executive head of the university, department heads, professors, teachers, instructors and other officials and for determining their salaries. With the advice of the president of the university, the board may also make rules, by-laws, and orders determining and regulating instruction, provided they do not conflict with the constitution and laws of the State.

Originally established to have 9 members, by 1988 there were 14 members on the board. In 1974, two students with voting privileges were added to the board after the College Park Student Government Association persuaded the General Assembly of the need for student representation on the board. Executive officers and the chairmen of the board (for the period covered by these records) are listed below.

In addition to the members' role as the University of Maryland Board of Regents, they also had responsibilities as the State Board of Agriculture. The Agricultural Advisory Board of Maryland was established in 1962 with the goal of identifying agricultural problems in Maryland and bringing them to the attention of the State Board of Agriculture. The Advisory Board also made suggestions and initiated programs which would lead to the improvement of agriculture. The board was composed of members representing all sections of the state, in addition to at-large members. The chairman from 1961-1963 was John B. Foard III followed by Stephen M. Kahoe, Jr. from 1964-1965. The final chairperson of the board was Lawrence E. Downey, 1966-1968. In September of 1968 the Agricultural Advisory Board was replaced by the Maryland Agricultural Commission, chaired by Mr. Y. D. Hance. The State Board of Agriculture was abolished on January 1, 1973, when the Department of Agriculture assumed the board's responsibilities.

On April 4, 1988 the Maryland General Assembly, with the support of the Board of Regents, passed a bill which established a new Board of Regents for the University of Maryland System. The board is responsible for the eleven campuses and four research and service components of the University of Maryland System.

Exeutive Officers of the Board of Regents:

  1. Dr. Albert Fred Woods (1920-1926)
  2. Dr. Raymond A. Pearson (1926-1935)
  3. Dr. Harry C. Byrd (1935-1954)
  4. Dr. Wilson H. Elkins (1954-1978)
  5. Dr. John S. Toll (1978-1988)
  6. Dr. James A. Norton (Acting) (1989- )

The Chairmen of the Board of Regents:

  1. Mr. Samuel M. Shoemaker (1920-1933)
  2. Mr. George M. Shriver (1934-1935)
  3. Dr. W. W. Skinner (1935-1941)
  4. Mr. Henry Holzapfel, Jr. (1941-1943)
  5. Judge Rowland K. Adams (1943-1944)
  6. Judge William P. Cole (1944-1956)
  7. Mr. Charles P. McCormick (1956-1970)
  8. Dr. Louis L. Kaplan (1970-1975)
  9. Dr. B. Herbert Brown (1975-1979)
  10. Mr. Peter F. O'Malley (1979-1982)
  11. The Honorable Joseph D. Tydings (1982-1984)
  12. Mr. Allen L. Schwait (1984-1988)
  13. Mr. Peter F. O'Malley (1988-1989)
  14. Mr. George M. McGowan (Acting) (1989)
  15. Mr. George M. McGowan (1989- )

Presidents of the University of Maryland

  1. Albert F. Woods, 1920-1926
  2. Raymond A. Pearson, 1926-1935
  3. Harry Clifton Byrd, 1935-1954
  4. Thomas B. Symons, Acting, 1954
  5. Wilson H. Elkins, 1954-1970


The collection has been divided into four series:

Series 1
Administrative Files
Series 2
Committee on the Presidency
Series 3
Agricultural Advisory Board
Series 4
Minutes of Meetings

Custodial History and Acquisition Information

The records of the Board of Regents were transferred to the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries in the 1970s. Additional materials were transferred to the Libraries by the Office of the Chancellor, University of Maryland System, in 1993.

Related Material

Large unprocessed accessions of the Records of the Board of Regents exist. Two preliminary inventories are available online: Acc. 93-90 and Acc. 93-17, the records of the student representative to the Board of Regents. Materials concerning the Board of Regents can be found in the collections of the Office of the President, University of Maryland (processed and unprocessed portions).

Related materials can also be found within the University Publications collection in the Archives and Manuscript Department; the call number is UPUB R4.

Processing Information

The collection has been placed into acid-free folders in acid-free boxes. Photographs have been transferred to the Photographic Collection and blueprints have been flattened and moved to oversize storage. Publications of the Board were transferred to the University Publications Collection. Bound volumes of minutes, accessioned as part of Acc. 93-90 were incorporated as Series IV.

Guide to the Board of Regents records
Processed and guide written by Sonja Nowack.
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