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"Forest Leaves," a book of poetry.
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Rare Books & Pamphlets

Learn More about the Collection

The H. Furlong Baldwin Library’s Rare Book Collection is home to unique titles from the mid-19th century and earlier. The collection includes published research conducted by the founders and early members of the Maryland Historical Society – the predecessor to the Maryland Center for History and Culture –  along with the transferred holdings of the Library Company of Baltimore, the city’s first subscription library, which dissolved in 1854.

Images: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia Almanac, for the Year of our Lord 1795, by Benjamin Banneker, Rare MAY 42 .B21 1795F; Forest Leaves (inset), circa 1849, by Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, MP3.H294F 

Pamphlet materials range from the 19th century to the present. Our collection is particularly strong with materials pertaining to slavery and the Civil War.

Visit our Digital Collections to view some of the items from our rare books and pamphlets collection.

How to Find Rare Books and Pamphlets

Use the Library Catalog to conduct keyword searches using general terms, subjects, names, or locations. You can limit your search to rare materials by clicking the “show search options” box under the search bar and then selecting “Rare” under the “Select collection” drop-down menu. Rare materials will feature a “Rare” notation in the call number, and their location will be noted as “Special Collections Reading Room.”

Request Rare Books and Pamphlets

To request to view rare books and rare pamphlet 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.

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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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