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Philip Merrill

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Information about Philip Merrill

Profile image of Philip Merrill

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Historical Researcher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Macaroni And Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
It Is Open To Interpretation.

Birthplace

Born:
3/14/1962
Birth Location:
Baltimore, Maryland

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Historical Researcher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Macaroni And Cheese
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring, Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere Warm
Favorite Quote:
It Is Open To Interpretation.

Birthplace

Born:
3/14/1962
Birth Location:
Baltimore
See how Philip Merrill is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Historian, writer, appraiser and collector Philip J. Merrill was born in 1962 in Baltimore, Maryland, and grew up in the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore. His mother headed a nonprofit job training institute for the disadvantaged; his father, George B. Merrill, was a pastor. Merrill’s great-grandmother helped to raise him. He was one of only two African American students in his graduating class of 1981 at the Friends School of Baltimore. Merrill would go on to graduate from Loyola University in Maryland in 1985.

In 1994, Merrill founded the organization Nanny Jack & Company, an archives and consulting agency specializing in creating projects that illuminate the African American experience through memorabilia, oral history and research. The company would eventually house over 30,000 artifacts, including photographs, rare books, folk art, documents, music, dolls, furniture, and quilts. Nanny Jack & Company would go on to collaborate with various educational organizations and television channels, including The Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, the Discovery Channel, the Maryland Historical Society, Maryland Public Television, and the History Channel. In 1996, Merrill became an appraiser with the Public Broadcasting Service’s (PBS) television show Antiques Roadshow. He created the category for black memorabilia on Antiques Roadshow, and would stay on the program until 2001. Then, in 2006, Merrill became a fellow of Open Society Institute, where he developed the “Know History, Know Self” program, which used artifacts to teach African American students about their family, community and school history.

In 1998, Merrill published the book The Art of Collecting Black Memorabilia, and, in 1999, he published The Black America Series: Baltimore, which chronicled the history of the Baltimore’s African American community. Merrill was also the editor of a 2002 book of historical photographs entitled The World War II Black Regiment that Built the Alaska Military Highway: A Photographic History. Then, in 2013, he authored the children’s book, How Princess Wee Wee Got Her Name. Merrill was named Baltimore City Paper’s Best Historian in 2001, and, in 2002, Merrill received the Towson University’s Distinguished Black Marylander Award. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Eastern Theological Seminary in 2007.

Philip J. Merrill was interviewed by the The HistoryMakers on August 8, 2013.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Philip Merrill's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Philip Merrill lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Philip Merrill describes his mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Philip Merrill describes his mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Philip Merrill talks about his maternal great-grandmother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Philip Merrill recalls his family's connection to West Virginia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Philip Merrill remembers the street vendors in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Philip Merrill describes his maternal great grandmother's educational background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Philip Merrill talks about his mother's early schooling
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Philip Merrill recalls meeting Richard I. McKinney
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Philip Merrill talks about his mother's education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Philip Merrill describes his biological father's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Philip Merrill describes his biological father's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Philip Merrill describes his stepfather's family background
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Philip Merrill talks about his likeness to his mother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Philip Merrill describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Philip Merrill describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Philip Merrill describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Philip Merrill talks about his early education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Philip Merrill describes his experiences at School No. 66, Mount Royal Elementary and Middle School in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Philip Merrill talks about his early childhood influences
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Philip Merrill recalls his experiences at Friends School of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Philip Merrill remembers his teachers at Friends School of Baltimore
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Philip Merrill describes his early study of African American history
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Philip Merrill talks about his early experiences of religion
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Philip Merrill recalls the airing the 'Roots' television miniseries
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Philip Merrill remembers his social activities at Friends School of Baltimore
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Philip Merrill describes his academic standing at Friends School of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Philip Merrill talks about his experiences at Loyola College in Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Philip Merrill recalls the African Student Association at Loyola College in Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Philip Merrill describes his social activities at Loyola College in Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Philip Merrill talks about the Human Development Institute, Inc. in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Philip Merrill recalls beginning his collection of black memorabilia
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Philip Merrill talks about specializing in the history of black materials
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Philip Merrill recalls the black memorabilia he has sold
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Philip Merrill describes other black memorabilia collectors
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Philip Merrill talks about working as an African American history consultant
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Philip Merrill recalls the strategies in purchasing black memorabilia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Philip Merrill describes the differences between appraising the black and white Americana, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Philip Merrill describes the differences between appraising the black and white Americana, pt. 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Philip Merrill talks about his approach to collecting black memorabilia
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Philip Merrill recalls his initial interest in black photography
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Philip Merrill remembers financial issues at Nanny Jack and Company in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Philip Merrill describes Nanny Jack and Company's interactions with the educational community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Philip Merrill talks about Nanny Jack and Company's competitors
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Philip Merrill recalls buying Ku Klux Klan memorabilia for the Nanny Jack and Company archives
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Philip Merrill talks about the variety of content in the Nanny Jack and Company archives
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Philip Merrill recalls his experiences as an appraiser for 'Antiques Roadshow'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Philip Merrill remembers his challenges on 'Antiques Roadshow'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Philip Merrill recalls appraising pottery by David Drake on 'Antiques Roadshow'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Philip Merrill remembers researching antebellum black craftsmen
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Philip Merrill describes the need for expert appraisal of black memorabilia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Philip Merrill talks about the increased education of amateur antique collectors
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Philip Merrill reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Philip Merrill describes the lack of African American collector associations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Philip Merrill reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Philip Merrill describes the internship opportunities at Nanny Jack and Company in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Philip Merrill describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Philip Merrill talks about his future writing projects
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Philip Merrill talks about his family
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Philip Merrill describes the 'Know History, Know Yourself' program
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Philip Merrill narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Philip Merrill narrates his photographs, pt. 2