Maryland Department Collection and State Library Resources

Requesting Genealogy Research from Maryland Department Staff

Guidelines and Policies

There is no charge for research at this time. For copies, there is a minimum charge of $2.00 that includes up to seven (7) copies (book and/or microform), applicable tax and postage and handling. Maryland residents are charged 6% sales tax. Per copy fees beyond seven are as follows:

  • Photocopies: $.10 per page
  • Microform copies: $.20 per page

Prepayment is not necessary; an invoice is included with any mailing of copies.

Monthly genealogy reference requests are limited to five specific searches. You may request up to five per month from all of the categories. This means that you can request one person be searched in five separate sources or up to five persons be searched in a single source.  Any combination of the two is acceptable. The following is an example of what a monthly request might look like:

Name Source Date
Jane Doe Death Notice 12/18/1877 (Baltimore City)
John Doe City Directory 1884 (Baltimore City)
Jamie Doe Census 1870
Jack Doe Passenger Arrival December 1912 (Ireland/Irish)
James Doe Naturalization Index 1890-1900

Please include your mailing address with any communication, as copies may be necessary to answer your question. If you would like your information e-mailed, please include your e-mail address.  E-mailed information is generally sent in pdf format.

Baltimore City Directories

City Directories for Baltimore City exist from 1796-1964. Please note that in the later years these were not necessarily issued annually. Consult this chart for the years Baltimore City Directories were published. Many Baltimore City Directories are now online via Special Collections at the University of Maryland.


The Enoch Pratt Free Library has microfilm copies of all of the Federal Censuses for Maryland from 1790-1930.

For 1790-1870 the census for Maryland has been indexed and is available in print. The 1880, 1900, and 1920 censuses have been Soundexed. Most of the census enumerations have been indexed by genealogical databases that are available to users with a Pratt Library card.

The 1890 census originals for Maryland and most other states were destroyed by fire. The Maryland Department has an index to the Veterans Schedule, which is the only surviving section of the census taken in Maryland. The Veterans Schedule includes the veterans only, not their family.

Death Notices/Obituaries

To search for information in the newspapers that we have in our collection, we prefer the exact month, day, and year. We cannot search an entire month or more for a name or event unless the newspaper is available through a database. Using the date you furnish, we will check appropriate newspapersfor five days from that date. Please let us know the place of death or last known residence.

Naturalization Index/Petitions

The index to naturalizations for the U.S. District Court of Baltimore City from 1797-1951 has multiple indexes. Please include a time frame to help identify individuals. We will either provide a copy of the index card for naturalizations or the entire naturalization petition, depending upon availability. Petitions from the U.S. District Court exist from 1906-1930.

Passenger Lists for Port of Baltimore, 1820-1948

We have a Soundex index for the passenger lists for the Port of Baltimore during the time period 1820-1948.  Please include a time frame for the departure, port of departure, and nationality for the individual. Copies of the immigration card will be provided.  Passenger lists from identified ships of entry are also available. While we cannot copy entire manifests, we will try to find the name of your subject on the list if possible.

Contacting the Maryland Department

There are a variety of ways to reach Maryland Department staff:

  • Send requests via the Library's Contact Us page
  • Send e-mail to the department at
  • Call the Department at 410-396-5468
  • Fax your request to 410-396-9537
  • Send letters to:
    Maryland Department
    Enoch Pratt Free Library
    400 Cathedral Street
    Baltimore, MD 21201