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John Work Garrett Library, Evergreen Museum & Library, Baltimore, MD
John Work Garrett Library, Evergreen Museum & Library, Baltimore, MD | © Sheridan Libraries and University Museums, Johns Hopkins University
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The Most Beautiful Libraries in Baltimore, MD

Picture of Kate Elizabeth Orgera
Updated: 5 April 2018
Former Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke declared at his inauguration that Baltimore should be known as “The City that Reads.” Though the official slogan has passed into memory, Baltimore’s literary scene remains vibrant, in part because of the city’s plethora of libraries. The institutions below showcase the most beautiful libraries Baltimore has to offer, combining literacy and learning with gorgeous, historic architecture.

Enoch Pratt Free Library

Library
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Enoch Pratt Central Library in Baltimore, MD
Enoch Pratt Central Library in Baltimore, MD | © Enoch Pratt Free Library
The Enoch Pratt Free Library is one of the oldest free library systems in the country, opening its first branch in 1886. Its Central Library in the Downtown area, rebuilt in 1933, features beautiful murals, decorative moldings and ceiling art, an indoor children’s garden and a skylighted Central Hall. The building is undergoing renovations until 2019, but remains open to the public to be admired by all.
More Info
Mon - Thu:
10:00 am - 7:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sun:
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Deaf)

Services & Activities:

Free, Outlet

Atmosphere:

Instagrammable, Historical Landmark, Photo Opportunity, Quiet

Southeast Anchor Branch Library

Library
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Exterior of Enoch Pratt Southeast Anchor Branch Library – Baltimore, MD
Exterior of Enoch Pratt Southeast Anchor Branch Library – Baltimore, MD | © Enoch Pratt Free Library
Opened in 2007, the Southeast Anchor branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library was the first new library constructed in Baltimore for over 30 years. The 2.5-story, modern structure includes a glass atrium and café, with events for the whole family. And don’t forget to check out the grounds, where you’ll find a piazza, a reading garden and a bust of Baltimore-native musician Frank Zappa.
More Info
Mon - Thu:
10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Fri - Sat:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair), Accessible (Deaf), Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Local, Photo Opportunity

The John Work Garrett Library - Evergreen Museum & Library

Library, History Museum, Art Museum
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John Work Garrett Library, Evergreen Museum & Library, Baltimore, MD
John Work Garrett Library, Evergreen Museum & Library, Baltimore, MD | © Sheridan Libraries and University Museums, Johns Hopkins University
Housed within a former Gilded Age mansion in northern Baltimore, the John Work Garrett Library is part of Johns Hopkins University’s Sheridan Libraries. With walnut paneling, lush red furnishings, arched windows and books stacked to the ceiling, this beautiful library hosts rare books and manuscripts collected by two generations of the Garrett family. The research library is accessible either through the Evergreen Museum & Library guided tour or by special appointment during regular operating hours. Please see the website for admission rates.
More Info
Tue - Fri:
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sat - Sun:
12:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Family Friendly

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Entrance Fee, Gift Shop

Atmosphere:

Historical Landmark, Scenic

H. Furlong Baldwin Library - Maryland Historical Society

Library, History Museum
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MdHS H. Furlong Baldwin Library. Digital photograph by James Singewald.
MdHS H. Furlong Baldwin Library. Digital photograph by James Singewald. | © Maryland Historical Society
The H. Furlong Baldwin Library, part of the Maryland Historical Society, hosts a collection of over seven million documents of Maryland’s past, including Francis Scott Key’s handwritten manuscript of “The Star Spangled Banner.” Flanked by white roman columns with red-tiled floors, the library reading room is an intimate yet stately space, often used to host private events. Admission is $9 per day for non-members—which also admits you to the Maryland Historical Society museum—and first-time visitors have to complete a registration form and present current photo identification at the front desk.
More Info
Wed - Sat:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Accessibility & Audience:

Accessible (Wheelchair)

Services & Activities:

Guided Tours, Entrance Fee

George Peabody Library

Building, Library, University
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© Peabody Library
No list of Baltimore libraries would be complete without this 19th-century masterpiece. One of the most beautiful libraries in the country, if not the world, the stack room of the George Peabody Library is rightly regarded as a “cathedral of books,” with a black-and-white marble floor, gold-leaf embellishments, five levels of intricate cast-iron balconies and a skylight. Housed within the Peabody Institute of Music, the research library is free and open to the public for limited hours as part of Johns Hopkins University’s Sheridan Libraries.
More Info
Tue - Thu:
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Fri:
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sat:
10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Services & Activities:

Free

Atmosphere:

Quiet, Architectural Landmark, Historical Landmark