Advancing original research, student engagement, and public humanities scholarship by connecting faculty, students, staff, and the Baltimore community to the Sheridan Libraries’ special collections of rare books, manuscripts, and archives.
The Tabb Center is a public-facing arm of Sheridan Libraries Special Collections, which houses a vast collection of rare books, oral histories, historic documents, and other materials. Highlights include the Roland Park Company Papers, the Baltimore Queer Oral History collection, and over sixteen thousand images in our University Photograph Collection.
The Tabb Center, established by President Ronald J. Daniels and Johns Hopkins University’s board of trustees, is named in honor of Winston Tabb for his enduring support of original scholarship.
News & Announcements
The HUB profiles Tabb Center teaching, public humanities
The HUB profiled Tabb Center director Joseph Plaster's public humanities teaching, research, and fellowships. An emerging field, the public humanities is raising awareness about social justice issues and leading to meaningful collaborations between Johns Hopkins University and local communities.Read the HUB article
Public Humanities Fellow Launches “Belonging” Installation
"Be(longing): Unveiling the Imprint of Black Women Hidden in Plain Sight" is an installation by Baltimore-based artist and Public Humanities Fellow Nicoletta Daríta de la Brown, inspired by her explorations with archival materials related to Ethel Ennis, Billie Holiday, African American real photo postcards.Read the BMoreArt story
Edible Book Festival Registration Open Until March 29, 2023
The Sheridan Libraries Edible Book Festival began in 2014 and is now a highly-anticipated Johns Hopkins tradition. It is one of many such festivals that take place around the world on or around April 1 to celebrate books, art, food, and culture.Register and learn more at this link
The Peabody Ballroom Experience Wins The 2023 NCPH Outstanding Public History Award
Joseph Plaster, director of the Tabb Center, has been named 2023's Small Institution Award Winner by the National Council on Public History for the Peabody Ballroom Experience, an arts and humanities collaboration between JHU and Baltimore's ballroom community.Read more on the Alexander Grass Humanities Institute website
Spring 2023 Curating Archives Event Series Announced
The Curating Archives event series explores the politics of historical memory and creative approaches to archival collections. Speakers include Jules Gill-Peterson, Chase Joynt, SHAN Wallace, Sandra Eder, and Jeanne Vaccaro.Read more about the event series
Tabb Center Hosts Trans Oral History Workshop and Public Talk
On December 3, 2022, the Tabb Center hosted Andrea Jenkins and Myrl Beam from the Minneapolis-based Tretter Transgender Oral History Project. Jenkins and Beam held a public workshop, "Doing Trans Oral History," and a public talk, “Building Power Through Documenting Trans Oral Histories.”Read more at the Johns Hopkins News-Letter
Tabb Center 2022/23 Public Humanities Fellows Announced
The Tabb Center is pleased to announce its inaugural 2022/23 Public Humanities Fellows: Hoesy Corona and Nicoletta Darita de la Brown. Fellows are non-institutionally affiliated organizers, artists, cultural workers, and knowledge-creators who mobilize and creatively interpret materials from the Sheridan Libraries’ rare book, manuscript, and archival collections over the course of a yearlong residency.Read about the fellows on the Sheridan Libraries Blog
Planning Underway for Third Annual Peabody Ball: April 15, 2023
Four ballroom leaders – Icon Hall of Famer Enrique St. Laurent, Legendary Marco West, Icon Sebastian Escada, and Legendary Rhonda Carr – are in the process of planning the third annual Peabody ball competition, scheduled for April 15, 2023 at the historic George Peabody Library. Each performance category is inspired by rare books and manuscripts from Special Collections.
The Peabody Ballroom Experience is an arts & humanities collaboration between Johns Hopkins University and ballroom, a nearly century-old performance-based culture composed primarily of gay, lesbian, transgender, and gender non-conforming people of color. The project cultivates an exchange of knowledge and creativity between the university and the ballroom scene.Visit the Peabody Ballroom Experience website
Tabb Center Librarian Heidi Herr Curates Rare Comic Books
Johns Hopkins Magazine profiled Heidi Herr’s curatorial work with mid-century romance comic books in its Fall 2022 edition. Herr, Tabb Center Librarian for Student Engagement, began acquiring comic books during the summer of 2021, amassing a collection that contains over 300 issues. Herr and her students drew on the collection in spring 2022 to curate an online exhibition and an exhibition at the Brody Learning Commons. Herr will teach “Romancing the Comic Book” in January 2023 through the Program in Museums and Society.Read the profile
Tabb Center Fellow Researches Baltimore Trans Histories
In the summer of 2022, Tabb Center fellow Sophia Lola (JHU 2022) researched the impact of the 2015 Baltimore Uprising on the city’s trans organizing. Lola’s recordings and transcripts are part of a growing Baltimore LGBTQ oral history collection archived by the Sheridan Libraries.Read Lola’s blog post about her findings, based on oral histories with four local trans organizers.