The University of Baltimore has many resources for librarians, faculty, students and Baltimore community members to learn more about their neighborhoods, from historical archives to quantitative open data about current community-based indicators. This page offers a concrete example and lesson plan on how to incorporate the materials into University courses and other training sessions.

  1. Choosing a Collection within the Baltimore Regional Study Archives (BRSA) at the Robert L. Bogomolny Library

For the Spring Introduction to Information Literacy (INFO 110) Course at the University of Baltimore, Librarian Kristin Conlin decided to use collection for the Model Urban Neighborhood Demonstration (MUND), which was a public-private partnership from 1967 to 1974 between the Baltimore Community Action Agency, the Greater Baltimore Committee, and Westinghouse Corporation. The goal was to focus the resources and expertise of the private sector on a single district within Baltimore City, applying the best practices of business to the problems of urban renewal.

Student Research Tasks Based off the MUND Collection

  1. In week 1 of a 3-week course module, students are asked to read through MUND Collection Finding Aid “Historical Note” section and the document, “Proposal Planning and Implementations of a Model Urban Neighborhood Demonstration
  2. Students identify keywords and phrases from the documents that are of interest to them. Those keywords and phrases are then searched in the RLB library’s catalog to build students background knowledge on their topic.  Additionally, the sources students find are assessed for source authority by performing lateral reading. Reading Laterally Guide
  3. After they perform background research to grow their knowledge on the neighborhood and trends or issues in the neighborhood’s history, students then make of list of questions about their topic of interest that will spur additional research. One of those questions should relate to the neighborhood’s change over time and how it appears/looks now in our present time


2. Connecting the Past to Current Community-based Indicators

In the 2nd week of the 3-week module, students were shown videos to familiarize them with the work of the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance and the Vital Signs data on the website.

The work of the MUND partnership was specifically targeted within distinct geographical boundaries in what is today considered Central Baltimore (25th Street to the north; North Avenue to the south; Jones Falls to the west; Harford Road to the east). There are 3 communities in Vital Signs that span this area:

To help students navigate to indicators that relate to their topic of interest, this introductory learning module was tailored to progress students step-by-step the annual Vital Signs data compiled specifically for the 3 communities in the MUND area.

Optional: Beyond the introductory learning module, there are other topical learning modules for faculty and students to help explore other themes depending on what topics the students are interested in.

The case study for this project is available on The Civic Switchboard Project’s website, alongside the projects conducted in other cities in 2019.




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Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance
The Jacob France Institute
1420 N. Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
410-837-4377 | [email protected]