Baltimore City Archives

RESEARCH APPOINTMENTS: Due to limited staff, all visits are by appointment only. If you are interested in scheduling a visit, please review our Research at the Baltimore City Archives, Planning Your Visit and Fees and Charges pages.

The Baltimore City Archives — in conjunction with the  Maryland State Archives— is the central depository for city government records of permanent value. The duties of the City Archivist and the management of the Baltimore City Archives are assigned to the Maryland State Archives under a memorandum of understanding with the  City of Baltimore in which a State employee serves as the Acting City Archivist.

B & O Railroad Museum

  • ADDRESS: 901 West Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21223 [Map]
  • PHONE: 410-752-2490
  • HOURS: Monday-Saturday, 10AM to 4PM; Sunday, 11AM to 4PM
  • ADMISSION: Adults $20; Seniors (60+) $17; Children (2-12) $12
  • E-MAIL:

The B&O Railroad Museum brings alive the magic and adventure of railroading every day! This historic national landmark allows you to see, touch, hear and explore the most important railroad collection in America. Start your journey with a visit today!

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum possesses the oldest, most historic and most comprehensive American railroad collections in the world. Dating from the beginning of American railroading, the collection contains locomotives and rolling stock, historic buildings, and small objects that document the impact of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (B&O) on the growth and development of early railroading and cover almost every aspect of an industry that left a permanent mark on the folklore and culture of America.

The Museum’s locomotive and rolling stock collection contains many unique examples of historically significant pieces from the B&O and other Maryland railroads and includes the finest collection of 19th century steam locomotives. The Museum’s roster of locomotives and rolling stock represent the first, last, best or only of their kind in existence today.

The small object collection covers almost every facet of railroading and includes clocks, pocket watches, textiles, lanterns, dining car china, silver, fine art, communication devices, signals, shop equipment, and an assortment tools and artifacts used on historic occasions such as the laying of the B&O’s ceremonial First Stone on July 4, 1828, which marked the beginning of construction of America’s first railroad.

Hays T. Watkins Research Library

Hays T. Watkins Research Library The Hays T. Watkins Research Library was established in 1991 as part of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, Inc. It is named for former Chessie System and CSX Chairman, Hays T. Watkins. Mr. Watkins, Chairman Emeritus of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, oversaw the museum's transition to a nonprofit institution.

The Hays T. Watkins Research Library is dedicated to the history and preservation of American railroading, emphasizing the legacy of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and other significant railroads located in Maryland such as the Western Maryland Railway, the Chessie System, and CSX Transportation.

The Hays T. Watkins Research Library is dedicated to the history and preservation of American railroading,The bulk of the research library holdings document the history of the B&O Railroad from its beginnings in 1827 to the 1970s and place the history of the B&O in the broad context of the social, cultural, political, and economic trends in America.

The archives holdings include: B&O Railroad corporate records such as the Directors Minute Books, 1827-1927; corporate documents; manuscript collections; maps; mechanical and engineering drawings; ephemera; B&O payroll files dating 1905-1971; and motion picture films.

The library contains over 5,000 books, periodicals and trade publications relating to all aspects of railroading and significant documents include the papers of early presidents, Philip Thomas and John Work Garrett, which provide substantial information concerning the early years of the railroad.

The library's image collection includes over 100,000 still images and photographic prints, slides, transparencies, and glass plate and film negatives, as well as lithographs, paintings and other fine art.

Research by Appointment only and must be made one week in advance. Currently appointments are available only on Fridays between 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Enoch Pratt Free Library - Maryland Department

The Maryland Department is located on the second floor of the Annex in the Enoch Pratt Central Library, at 400 Cathedral Street.  Enter the building and go straight back to the end of the hall.  Turn right and go to the end.  When you reach the entrance to the African American Department, take the elevator or stairs to the second floor.

The Collection

The Maryland Department should be your first stop for researching any topic that is related to Maryland or the people, places and events that have occurred in the state. Since 1934 the Maryland Department staff has been collecting and organizing books and other types of material on every subject as long as the information is about Maryland.  History, genealogy, politics and law, biography, religion, transportation, education, social issues, literature, sports, the arts-every topic A to Z.

The Maryland Department book collection is made up of more than 55,000 volumes on all subjects as they relate to the state- past and present. This includes:

•Family history research at the state and county level.  Genealogical indexes, directories and special files make up a majority of the collection.  The Pratt Library does not hold vital records.

•State, county, municipal and neighborhood history

•Maryland state documents as a depository of the State Publications Depository & Distribution Program

• Legal materials that include laws, regulations, legal forms, legislation, court opinions and legislative proceedings

• City directories and reverse telephone directories for many counties

• Maryland fiction collection

Research can also be conducted in:

•Query (subject) and Biography card files that contain more than 300 drawers of entries

•Vertical files (clipping files) with over 300,000 items on more than 7000 subjects

State Library Resources

•Local Maryland newspapers dating from the late 1700s to the present

•Periodicals collection with more than 3000 titles

•2000 maps and atlases

•Photo collection with over 24,000 black-and-white images, primarily from the 1930s

•Telephone directories from across the state dating back to the early 1920s

•Ephemera collection with over 6000 items, including the ephemera of H.L. Mencken

•Yearbooks from secondary schools and colleges across the state

•College catalogs collection

•Annual reports collection

•Theater, music and opera programs dating from the late 18th century

•Election/campaign material from local, state and national elections

Maryland State Archives

The Maryland State Archives is the central repository for state government records of permanent value. The Archives operates with a broad legal mandate to acquire and care for both public and private records relating to the history of Maryland from initial settlement in 1634 to the present.