Making a Connection: Gil Sandler

Thank you for connecting, thank you for giving, thank you for keeping the stories of Baltimore’s industrial history alive. We are stronger with you.

“To me the really important stories are the remarkable, or surprising, or ironic, or incredible, things that happen to people—rich and poor, young and old, lucky and unlucky. They aren’t covered in the daily newspaper but to me they are the ‘big’ stories.” —Gil Sandler

You almost never saw Gil Sandler in public without his iconic rumpled hat. So, when he visited the BMI and hung his hat up along with his coat, we knew he felt at home.

Gil was a frequent visitor over the years, sharing his stories and packing the house each time with listeners who enjoyed his tales of everyday Baltimore.

You can still read these ‘big’ stories at the BMI.

The BMI is honored to receive 500 manuscripts from Baltimore native and author Gil Sandler, who’s “Baltimore Stories” were a staple on WYPR radio for 15 years. These manuscripts reflecting generations of Baltimore life will be added to the existing materials currently being preserved within the BMI Archives’ Gil Sandler collection.

Both an award-winning writer and lecturer, Gil Sandler has explored and exposed different sides to city life in Baltimore for decades through his books, broadcasts, and newspaper articles.

Gil Sandler (Photo from WYPR)

15 Years of ” Baltimore Stories” at the BMI

By making these stories available to the public at the BMI, Sandler hopes that scholars and visitors will gain new insights into what life was like in Baltimore between 1920 through 2015. With the addition of the new material, the collection will include Sandler’s research and stories in the form of roughly 800 transcripts, WYPR recordings on CD, Baltimore Jewish Times articles, Baltimore Sun clippings, reviews, and books.

What inspired Gil to donate his work to the BMI? “The BMI houses most of my Sun paper articles and hosted the launching of one of my books, Small Town Baltimore,” he explains, “The museum and I have enjoyed a fine relationship through the years.”

The collection is a great complement to our other archival material documenting the industrial history of Baltimore and the impact on its residents. Now that we have a full collection of his manuscripts the research opportunities are endless—we hope the community can benefit from Gil’s work for years to come.BMI Archivist Matt Shirko

The collection is accessible to researchers interested in the broadcasts, articles, and other materials related to Baltimore’s history, business, and industry successes. To make an appointment to view the collection, contact the BMI Archives at (410) 727-4808 X112 or at

Visit the BMI’s Connection Factory to connect with stories that show how education, exhibitions, and partnerships strengthen our community.

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