At AARCH, our mission is to identify, collect, preserve, exhibit, and disseminate the history and culture of African Americans in Frederick County, Maryland. Our work facilitates an understanding of how the past shapes and enriches the present and the future of all citizens.
In 2001, the Frederick Historic Sites Consortium of the Tourism Council of Frederick County initiated an effort to preserve and make accessible the African American Resources of Culture and History (AARCH). With preliminary funding from Maryland’s Historical and Cultural Museum Assistance Program and The Community Foundation of Frederick; they produced the self-guided African American Heritage Walking Tour Guide of Frederick.
The late William 0. Lee, Jr. (1928 – 2004), had the vision to found a permanent organization to work on African American historical concerns, and establish a Heritage Center, focused on the African American experience in Frederick County. The AARCH Society of Frederick County, Maryland, was formed to fulfill this aspiration.
AARCH is engaged in our community to share the richness of the many contributions and challenges African Americans have experienced in Frederick County over centuries. We offer educational presentations for classrooms, and speakers for various public forums. AARCH provides exhibits for libraries and community venues. We invite our community to work with us to rehabilitate and preserve African American cemeteries. We celebrate our Living Treasures, African Americans age 90 and older on whose shoulders we stand, at an annual banquet. AARCH hosts an annual African American Family History Fair where individuals and families from throughout Frederick County share their history through displays. AARCH is in the planning stages for an African American Heritage Center, which will serve as the base of our community involvement.