In 1998, Historic St. Mary’s City began its annual field school working on the Slave Quarter excavations. There were two objectives for the project. The first was to investigate the location of the single quarter, which appeared in photographs from the early 20th and late 19th century. The second was to investigate the potential for a 17th-century structure. Previous excavations at the duplex quarter revealed the presence of printing type, suggesting that a printshop may have been located nearby.

From 1998 through 2003, under the direction of HSMC Director of Archaeology Dr. Tim Riordan, the field school visited the site, and uncovered foundations to both the slave quarter and printshop: they were located directly on top of each other, making the interpretation of the site and identification of the individual buildings difficult. Concluding the analysis phase, the decision was made to recreate the 17th-century print house, which was completed in 2007.

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