H. L. Mencken Room Collection and State Library Resources




Henry Louis Mencken, renowned Baltimore journalist and critic, had a long and friendly relationship with the Enoch Pratt Free Library. As a child, he frequented the neighborhood branch at Hollins and Calhoun Street. As an adult, he made frequent use of the expansive resources of the Central Library in downtown Baltimore. He began to donate material to the library during his lifetime, and this continued after his death on January 29, 1956.

More about Mencken's life and career 



Mencken the Musician  Flash icon  Mencken at the piano
Requires Flash  (9:29 min) 

You may know Mencken as a writer and journalist, but he was also a music lover.  Watch this video to learn more about his other life.

The H. L. Mencken Room The H. L. Mencken Reading Room 

The Mencken Room houses the most important Mencken collection in the world, including the books in Mencken's personal library, typescripts and proofs of Mencken articles and books, correspondence, and other Mencken artifacts. The Mencken Room is open to the public each year on Mencken Day, which is held on the Saturday closest to his birthday on September 12.

More about the Mencken Room's collection and history 


Special Resources

Research Databases - Search for articles, book reviews, and other information.
General Periodicals 

Mencken at the Pratt Library: An interview with Vince Fitzpatrick

R. F. Kniesche Photographs of Mencken - Guide 

Miscellaneous Mencken Photographs - Guide 

Digital Collections - See images of photographs, drafts, letters and other memorobilia from the personal collection of H. L. Mencken from the Digital Maryland project here