Maryland Historical Trust Library

The Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) Library is the State's principal repository for information about Maryland's architectural, archaeological, and cultural resources. The library houses resources related to archaeology (terrestrial and maritime), Native Americans, architecture, history, historic preservation, decorative arts, building conservation and technology, and bibliography as they relate to Maryland and surrounding regions.


Visit the Library

Interior of MHT Library  

The library is open to the public on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays by appointment only. For further information or to schedule an appointment, contact Lara Westwood by email at, or by phone at (410) 697-9546.

All material relating to Maryland's archaeological sites is accessible only to qualified researchers who have a valid Medusa account. Researchers requiring access to material related to archaeological sites must be approved for a Medusa account before requesting an appointment. To request an account, go to

Special Information for Consultants

» Things to Know When Visiting the Library for Compliance or Research Projects

Online Resources

  • Online Library Catalog  

    Online Library Catalog

    The online library catalog allows a search of the collections the MHT Library and the library at Jefferson Patterson Park & Museum. Items in the collections can be searched by title, author, and subject.

  • Library User Guide  

    Library User Guide

    Short resource guide in PDF format describing the collections and resources at the MHT Library.

  • Medusa, Maryland's Cultural Resource Information System  

    Medusa, Maryland's Cultural Resource Information System

    The Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) is proud to introduce Medusa, the State of Maryland's Cultural Resource Information System. Through Medusa, qualified resource professionals are able to access information about resources recorded in the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties (MIHP) and the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP), as well as properties on which MHT holds preservation easements and information on resources that have been evaluated for National Register eligibility (Determinations of Eligibility, or DOEs). The system will allow access to archaeological records to professional archaeologists, agency representatives, and researchers working directly with professional archaeologists.

  • Maryland Archeological Synthesis Project  

    Maryland Archeological Synthesis Project

    Limited use of the database is available to the public. It consists of a searchable database that is linked to Maryland Archaeological Site Survey files, synopsis reports, and cover sheets generated of excavation projects.


The MHT library holds approximately 5,000 books and journals, as well as reports and gray literature on a wide variety of archaeological and architectural and historic preservation related studies. The collection also contains unique material related to architectural and archaeological research completed by MHT. Highlights include:

Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties

Documentation for the architectural and archaeology sites which make up the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties is maintained for approximately 43,000 architectural resources (individual sites and historic districts) and more than 13,000 archaeological sites (prehistoric and historic). The architectural portion of the inventory is accessible to the public; however, archaeological research files are restricted to use by qualified professionals.

» Search the MIHP

» Learn About the MIHP

Architectural Survey Files typically include summary descriptions of the resource, a statement of significance, maps, photographs, negatives, and sometimes drawings. Survey files can include documentation about structures as varied as "houses" of all sizes and types (big houses, little houses, brick houses, frame houses, lighthouses, school houses, smoke houses, slave houses), towers (water towers, fire towers, bell towers), privies, barns, corn cribs, churches, railroads, bridges, milestones, industrial buildings, and a B-29 bomber.

» Learn About Architectural Survey in Maryland

Archaeological Survey Files currently include site-specific survey reports, maps, slides, and documentation for over 13,000 terrestrial and underwater archaeological sites ranging from shipwrecks, wharves, piers, aircraft, historic domestic sites, cemeteries, slave quarters, mills, shell middens, and prehistoric villages and camps. Access to all archaeological documentation is restricted to qualified researchers who have been approved by MHT archaeological staff.

» Learn About Archaeological Site Files

Vertical Files

The vertical file collection at the MHT library contains a wealth of information related to historic buildings and properties from across the state. These files include material which complements reports completed for the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties and National Register of Historic Places, including architectural drawings, newspaper clippings from national, state, and local newspapers, photographs, notes, and ephemera.

» View the Vertical File List

Architectural Drawings

MHT library holds a small collection of drawings of structures listed the Maryland Inventory of Historic Properties and National Register of Historic Places.

Slides & Photographs

The library holds an extensive collection of slides and photographs of historic properties. Many of these photographs were taken as documentation for admission to MIHP and NRHP and generally date from the 1960s to present. The collection often supplements images in included in the scanned MIHP form found online through Medusa. The collection is currently being inventoried. For questions related to the slide and photograph collection, contact the librarian.

Oral Histories

The oral history collection includes transcripts, audio- and/or video- cassettes of interviews, and photographs of interviewees. Material related to the following projects can be found in the library:

  • African-American Communities (Baltimore Co.)
  • African-American Communities (Baltimore Co.)
  • Aviation Centennial
  • B&O Railroad
  • Berkley Crossroads (Harford Co.)
  • Burgess Americana Museum (Somerset Co.)
  • BUILD: Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development, Continuing the Legacy of Maryland's Civil Rights Movement
  • Bethel AME Church (Kent Co.)
  • Camp Meetings (Montgomery County)
  • Canal Place (Allegany Co.)
  • Cherry Hill (Baltimore City)
  • Coal Heritage (Allegany Co.)
  • Hagerstown Railroad
  • Joe Waters Coalyard (Baltimore City)
  • Lexington Manor "Flat Tops" (St. Mary’s Co.)
  • Lighthouses
  • Long Island Farm (Baltimore Co.)
  • Middle River (Baltimore Co.)
  • North Brentwood (Prince George’s Co.)
  • Parkers Creek (Calvert Co.)
  • Patapsco Heritage Greenway
  • Pleasant Grove Baptist Church (Charles Co.)
  • Principio Furnace (Cecil Co.)
  • Shantyboats
  • Smith Island (Somerset Co.)
  • Smith Island Dialect (Somerset Co.)
  • Tobacco (Calvert County)
  • Todd's Inheritance (Baltimore Co.)
  • Weems Creek (Anne Arundel Co.)
  • Wilson Road (Calvert Co.)

Learn more about the Oral History Collection and additional resources here.

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