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Learn More about the Collection

Delve into the H. Furlong Baldwin Library’s collection of more than 5 million manuscripts and learn about the past directly from the people who lived it. Our collection is organized into more than 3,000 processed collections and materials range from the 17th century to the present, encompassing correspondence, memoirs, wills, deeds, scrapbooks, account books, and legal and business records. Also available are genealogical manuscript collections, which have a stronger focus on family lineage.


Image: Page from Benjamin Henry Latrobe’s journal, 1819, Benjamin Henry Latrobe Collection, MS 2009

Getting Started Online

Use the Library Catalog and our Finding Aid Database to conduct keyword searches using general terms, subjects, names, or locations. Manuscript materials will typically have an “MS” number, and the location will be noted as “Special Collections Reading Room.”

Visit our Digital Collections to view a sampling of materials from the manuscript collections.

Using Finding Aids

Finding aids are guides into the contents of an archival collection. Finding aids provide a general overview of the collection and background about its creator, as well as an inventory of the types of materials within the collection.

Request a Collection

To request to view manuscript materials please use our appointment form. You should indicate that you are requesting a Special Collections visit and list your requested materials in the Collection Information section.

Please check back for our updated appointment form. Due to the impacts of COVID-19 we are requiring appointments for all library visits.

Your History Lives Here

Since 1844, we have collected, preserved, and interpreted Maryland's diverse history, art, and culture. Visit and see it at the Maryland Center for History and Culture.

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