Enoch Pratt Free Library, Special Collections

Enoch Pratt Free Library, Special Collections

Mailing Address
400 Cathedral Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

Phone: 443-984-2451
Finding Aids: On the web site.

Hours of Service
Tuesday 10-5
Wednesday and Thursday 10-4
Please call for an appointment.

Looking for a daguerreotype of Edgar Allan Poe, or other Poe memorabilia, an Aaron Sopher watercolor, a signed book by Sigmund Freud, or a bookplate of Franklin Roosevelt’s? These and thousands of other historically significant documents, rare books, and ephemera make up the Special Collections Unit of the Enoch Pratt Free Library. Items in Special Collections include rare books, African American rare books, Maryland imprints, archives and manuscripts, Maryland sheet music, prints, drawings, photographs, broadside versies, bookplates, greeting cards, post cards, scrapbooks and war posters.

Type of Materials

  • Architectural Documents
  • Artifacts
  • Books and Monographs
  • Exhibitions
  • Institutional Records
  • Maps
  • Musical Scores
  • Personal Papers
  • Photographs
  • Primary Resources
  • Printed Ephemera
  • Prints and Drawings

Detailed Description of Collections

  • Architectural Documents – Blueprints, plans, and drawings related to the Enoch Pratt Free Library are included in the collection.
  • Artifacts
  • Books and Monographs
  • Exhibitions
  • Institutional Records – Records pertaining to the history of the Enoch Pratt Free Library are housed in Special Collections.
  • Maps
  • Musical Scores – The African American Sheet Music Collection consists of 131 pieces of sheet music dating from 1835-1944. The collection includes songs from the heyday of the black face minstrely in the 1850s through the show tunes of the 1930s and ’40s. Many songs by well-known composers, Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Eubie Blake, and W. C. Handy are represented. Special Collections also houses a collection of Maryland sheet music which includes 927 pieces of music published locally in Baltimore from the 19th and 20th centuries.
  • Personal Papers – EPFL’s Special Collections includes a wide variety of letters and other personal papers, including: the Enoch Pratt Papers; the Edgar Poe Collection; the Sally B. Kinsolving Collection; the papers of Baltimore author and educator Richard Malcolm Johnston; and many more.
  • Photographs – Included are the Jones Sisters Collection of hand painted photographs, as well as a collection of stereographs.
  • Primary Resources
  • Printed Ephemera
  • Prints and Drawings- Special Collections houses several collections of prints and drawings, including: works by Baltimore artists Aaron Sopher and Adalbert Volck; the Cator Collection of Baltimore Views; and a collection of hand-drawn images by cartoonist McKee Barclay.

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