Special Collections & Archives

Archives and Manuscripts and Rare Books

The Winston Tabb Center for Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Archives Research


The Department of Special Collections is located in The Tabb Center of the Brody Learning Commons (M-Level).

The rare book collection at the Eisenhower Library contains over 60,000 volumes, and is strongest in the humanities and social sciences.  This includes medieval and Renaissance manuscript books as well as many facsimile editions of similar works, the Machen collection of incunabula (books printed before 1501), and fine printed books. 

In the area of English literature there is an extensive Byron collection, the work of Anthony Trollope, and a small Oscar Wilde collection.  The Tudor and Stuart collection, established by Sir William and Lady Osler in 1918 as a memorial to their son Revere, who was killed in the First World War,  is strong in Spenser, Michael Drayton, and Thomas Fuller. 

The Hutzler Collection of Economic Classics gives a comprehensive view of British thought on economics in the 18th and 19th centuries and includes French works on the subject, as well, most notably Auguste Comte’s correspondence with John Stuart Mill.  Also in the rare books collection is the 18th- and 19th-century German literature collection which includes works of C. M. Wieland, Goethe, and Heine, as well as the Loewenberg Collection of German drama from 1880 to 1934.  Complementing these is the 18th- and 19th-century French play collection, documenting drama and popular culture. 

American literature is represented in the Louis Zukofsky poetry collection, a small collection of artists’ books, and the works of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Henry James, Sidney Lanier, and more recently Mary McCarthy, John Barth, John Dos Passos, Tom Wolfe, Rockwell Kent, and Madison Smartt Bell. 


Monday-Friday, 9-5

Address & Directions

3400 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
Driving directions

Garrett Library


The John Work Garrett Library is located in the Garrett family home Evergreen and contains 30,000 volumes. The materials must be used at the Garrett Library, and patrons are required to call in advance to insure that the needed material is available.

The collection has works on 16th- and 17th-century English literature and history, including a portion of the Tudor and Stuart collection, and is especially strong in the works of Shakespeare, Bacon, Spenser, and Milton. There is also a fine collection of incunabula.

The natural history collection includes many of the most important and beautiful ornithological works ever produced. The most famous is John James Audubon's "double elephant folio" edition of the Birds of America (1827-1838). Other rarities include Audubon's Quadrupeds of North America, a complete set of the works of British naturalist John Gould, and Alexander Wilson's American Ornithology (1808-1813).

The Fowler Collection of Architectural History, numbering almost 500 titles, concentrates on the early editions of Vitruvius and the great Renaissance architects Alberti, Serlio, Palladio, Vignola, and Scamozzi.



The Garrett Library also contains a significant collection of voyage and exploration literature, including Christopher Columbus' letter to Queen Isabella, De Insuli in Mari Indico (1494).

This collection is complemented by another that concentrates on American colonial travel and history, with the core represented in the reference work, Seventeenth Century Maryland: A Bibliography, compiled by the former Garrett Librarian, Elizabeth Baer. The Garrett Library also includes a large collection of Bibles, the autographs of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and other American manuscripts, various maps dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries, children's literature of the 19th century, Civil War broadsides and pamphlets, and the papers and drawings of Baltimore architect, Laurence Hall Fowler (d. 1971).


By appointment 410-516-8348

Address & Directions

Evergreen Museum & Library
4545 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210
Driving directions

George Peabody Library



The George Peabody Library is a remarkable research library housed in a remarkable building. The goal of the Peabody Library's first librarian was to build a library that contained the best and latest literature in all branches of knowledge except law and medicine. View information on its history.

Begun in 1860, the library collection contains over 300,000 volumes largely from the 18th and 19th centuries. Notable collection strengths are archaeology, British art and architecture, British and American history, biography, English and American literature, Romance languages and literature, Greek and Latin classics, history of science, geography, and exploration and travel including a large map collection.  The collection also includes some bound manuscripts. 

A portion of the collection is represented on-line in the JHU Catalog. The most complete access to the collection is contained in the library's pioneering printed catalog, Catalog of the Library of the Peabody Institute. Issued in 1883 and 1896, these detailed dictionary catalogs described books as well as articles within journals held by the library.


Tuesday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m; Friday, Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m; Sunday 10am-1pm

For information, please contact: Paul Espinosa, Curator of the Peabody, at: pespino3@jhu.edu  667-208-6715















Address & Directions

17 East Mount Vernon Place
Baltimore, MD 21201
Driving Directions