Skip Navigation

Announcement The Central Library is open regularly scheduled hours. We are addressing the issue with the Central Library phone's answering message and appreciate your patience.

Location Closure The Govans Branch is closed through Friday, May 31 due to facility maintenance.

Announcement Some online catalog functions including account login, hold requests, and new account creation will be unavailable due to software maintenance Tuesday, May 28 through Thursday, May 30.

Planning a Visit & Using the Collections

librarian handling fragile papers in Special Collections storage

This Department is a non-circulating, closed stack area of the Enoch Pratt Free Library, but visitors and researchers are welcome during all open hours. For research purposes appointments are strongly recommended. To schedule an appointment call (443) 984-2451 or send an email to

Researchers will be asked to read and sign the Registration Form before starting their work, and must have a photo ID. Personal property will be checked with the librarian and placed in a secure area. No bags may be used at the Reading Room desk.

Reading Room Policies

  • The Enoch Pratt Free Library offers photocopy services.
  • When citing any items in Special Collections, please use the following line: [Collection Name] Special Collections, Enoch Pratt Free Library/Maryland’s State Library Resource Center.
  • Enoch Pratt Free Library does not assume any responsibility for the infringement of copyright held by the author or heirs of Special Collections materials. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission for publishing quotations or excerpts from any Special Collections materials from the holder of the copyright.
  • Materials must be used in the Special Collections Department, however arrangements can sometimes be made to use them in the Maryland Department if given advanced notice.
  • Researchers may use pencils, notebooks, and laptops. Pens are not allowed.
  • Digital cameras without flash may be used for research and private study as long as in accordance with copyright restrictions. It is the sole responsibility of the customer to determine whether their use is fair and to obtain any permissions from the copyright holder if necessary. Please notify the librarian on duty before taking pictures.
  • No items may be removed from the Reading Room without prior authorization from the Special Collections Librarian.
  • No food, drink, or gum is allowed in the Special Collections Reading Room.
  • All material must be handled with care to ensure their preservation. We ask that researchers not lean on, write on, fold, trace from, or handle items in any way that may likely damage them. Please keep materials in their original order and do not remove them from folders. If you notice anything that is out of order, please notify the librarian on staff. Gloves may be required when handling some materials (i.e. photographs).
  • Materials that are extremely rare and/or fragile may not be available for viewing. Special arrangements may be possible upon request.