Maryland Archives and Libraries
|Maryland Wiki Topics|
|Local Research Resources|
These repositories preserve sources, maintain indexes, and provide services to help genealogists document their ancestors who lived in Maryland.
Wiki Articles on Major Repositories for Maryland
Allegheny County Library System Washington Street Library · Baltimore City Archives · Bristol Public Library VA · Division of Vital Records · Dorchester County Central Public Library · Enoch Pratt Free Library · Frederick County Artz Public Library · Frostburg State University Ort Library · Handley Regional Library VA · Historical Society of Pennsylvania · Historical Society of Washington, D.C. · Jewish Genealogical Society of Maryland · Johns Hopkins University George Peabody Library · Library of Congress DC · Maryland Genealogical Society · Maryland Historical Society · Maryland Historical Trust Library · Maryland State Archives · Maryland State Law Library · Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society · National Archives and Records Administration (Archives I) DC · National Archives at College Park, Maryland (Archives II) · National Archives at Philadelphia PA · National Genealogical Society VA · Pennsylvania State Archives · Prince George's County Genealogical Society · Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore · Saltisbury University Nabb Research Center · Talbot County Free Library · United Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore-Washington Conference · University of Maryland McKeldin Library · Washington County Free Library · Washington National Records Center
Online Records of Maryland
Links to online databases and indexes that may include vital records, biographies, cemeteries, censuses, histories, immigration records, land records, maps, military records, naturalizations, newspapers, obituaries, or probate records.
101 Independence Ave. SE
- Archives II houses documents created after 1900 at the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, and Treasury, modern military records, passport applications, and District of Columbia records. Many residents of Maryland are found among their records.
- Has federal agency and court records for Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. All U.S. federal censuses 1790-1940, and indexes. Also have passenger arrivals in Philadelphia 1800-1945 and Baltimore, pension and bounty land warrant applications, naturalizations 1790-1990, early federal history, diplomacy, military history, Chinese-Americans, World War II homefront, National Park Service, merchant marine, U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, federal tax evasion and smuggling cases.
- The National Genealogical Society (NGS) aims to serve and grow the genealogical community by providing education and training, fostering increased quality and standards, and promoting access to and preservation of genealogical records. It is the premier American national society for everyone from the beginner to the most advanced family historian. In conjunction with a sponsoring local genealogical society, it stages an annual NGS Conference. They also provide genealogical education courses, publications and videos. Their NGS Book Loan Collection is now housed at the St. Louis County Library in Missouri. Their online collections include The National Intelligencer (Washington, DC) newspaper index 1800-1850, indexed Bible records and family groups from NGS members.
Washington National Records Center
4205 Suitland Road
Suitland, MD 20746-8001
Telephone: 866-272-6272 (National Archives and Records Administration)
E-mail: Contact Us form (for the National Archives and Records Administration)
Internet: Services for the Public
- Older than 15-years federal criminal court, federal civil court, and federal bankruptcy court records, and the federal agency records from the District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Division of Vital Records
Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
6764-B Reisterstown Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21215 USA
Internet: VSA Home How to request BMD certificates; Quick links; New; Vital statistics; FAQ; General info; and MD-EDRS (online death registration).
- The Division of Vital Records issues certified copies of birth, death, and marriage certificates for events that occurred in Maryland. Photo-I.D. is required. You can apply by mail or in-person. For an additional fee you could also make online requests through the private company VitalCheck.com. Fees may differ for certificates issued at local (county or city) Health Departments. Statewide registration began for births and deaths in 1898; for marriages in 1777. Local vital records may exist before those dates but would be spotty.
- Promotes genealogical research through publications, programs and workshps, resources, and outreach. Publishes a journal and newsletter. Maintains a surname registry, databases of photos, tax lists, cemetery, and church records. Offers a limited research service for a fee.
- This facility has the largest genealogical book collection in Maryland, and family Bibles, newspapers, and biographies.
- Houses journals and 5,000 books primarily about archeology (terrestrial and maritime), Native Americans, architecture, history, historic preservation, decorative, building conservation for Maryland and surrounding regions. They also have an oral history collection.
- This is the premier facility for locating Maryland ancestors. The Maryland State Archives online has nearly all available public records from 1634 to 1789; most original state and county records through the mid-twentieth century; microfilm copies of land, probate, and vital records to the present; and over 130 major card indexes to Maryland land records and early settlers, newspapers, county records, church records, family, and business records. This is the most complete collection of any of the 13 colonies. It can take up the three days just to check the indexes. For more information about the state archives, see the following references.
- Maryland. Hall of Records. A Guide to the Index Holdings at the Hall of Records. Rev., Bulletin, [Maryland. Hall of Records] No. 17. (Annapolis, Maryland: Hall of Records, 1972.) FHL book 975.2 A1 no. 56. This is a county-by-county list of indexes and years covered.
- Papenfuse, Edward C., et al. A Guide to Government Records at the Maryland State Archives: A Comprehensive List by Agency and Record Series. (Annapolis, Maryland: Maryland State Archives, 1992.) FHL book 975.2 A3g. This guide lists record types, years covered, and series number.
- Papenfuse, Edward C., et. al. A Guide to the Maryland Hall of Records: Local, Judicial and Administrative Records on Microfilm. Volume 1. (Annapolis, Maryland: Hall of Records Commission, 1978.) FHL fiche 6049468; book 975.2 A3pa v. 1. Volume one is a detailed list of many records on microfilm for Allegany County, Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, and Baltimore City, Maryland. These include court, probate, and land records. The archives has additional computer printout lists for all counties. You can write to them for information about records of specific localities and time periods.
- Radoff, Morris Leon, et al. The County Courthouses and Records of Maryland, Part Two: The Records. (Annapolis, Maryland: Hall of Records Commission, 1963.) FHL fiche 6054101 (fiches 4 and 5), 6054105; book 975.2 B4ma no. 13 This is a county-by-county list of record types, years covered, and series number.
- Includes family genealogies, Maryland public records, historical works, popular Maryland newspapers on microfilm, and online access to back issues of the "Capital" (via Newspaper Archive).
Allegheny Co Lib Sys Washington St LibAllegheny County Library System Washington Street Library
31 Washington Street
Cumberland, MD 21502
Internet: Washington Street Library
- They have a western Maryland historical collection with genealogies, and local histories. Cumberland, Maryland, was the start of the National Road to Ohio and farther west.
Baltimore MD 21218
Internet: Baltimore City Archives
Internet: Guide to the BCA for Genealogists
- Visits by appointment only. Find 300,000 names in their WPA Historical Records Survey Name Index. They also have Baltimore City directories, spotty coroner's inquest records 1827-1867, a Baltimore Houses of Worship locator tool, a partial 1868 Police Census for Wards 3, 6. 8, 9. 13, & 20, cemetery records, passenger arrival lists, and property tax records.
- Two useful guides to Baltimore records are:
- Cox, Richard J., and Patricia M. Vanorny. "The Records of a City: Baltimore and Its Historical Sources." Maryland Historical Magazine 70 (Fall 1975): 286-310. FHL book 975.2 H25m v. 70
- LeFurgy, William G. The Records of a City: A Guide to the Baltimore City Archives. (Baltimore, Maryland: City Archives, 1984.) FHL book 975.26 A3bc
Cambridge, MD 21613
Internet: Dorchester County Public Library
- Their collection includes many Maryland Eastern Shore, and Delaware historical references.
- Excellent local, county, and Maryland state records.
- They have Maryland history, genealogy, and more.
- Their Special Collections maintains material about Western Maryland and contiguous counties in Pennsylvania and West Virginia, answers genealogical reference questions, and provides an obituary copy service.
Jewish Genealogical Society of Maryland
- JGS MD provides educational progams, resources, and news to help researchers find their Jewish ancestors.
Johns Hopkins Univ Peabody Library
- This collection has strengths in British and American history, biography, geography, and exploration and travel including a large map collection.The also have many manuscripts.
Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society
- MAGS facilitates research on Germanic genealogy in the mid-Atlantic region (Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia) during the 17th through 20th centuries. They provide a newsletter and sponsor educational events.
Prince George's Co Genealogical Society
- 5,500 volumes, surname files, family group sheets, Bible records and microfilms. Focused primarily on Prince George's County, Maryland, and the eastern states.
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore
Associated Archives at St. Mary’s Seminary & University
5400 Roland Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21210
Internet: The Associated Archives website includes information about the archives; collections; genealogy; services; and making appointments.
- Either schedule an on-site visit, or submit a written request for a sacramental record of a baptism, a marriage, or a death between 1834 and 1989. 
Salisbury Univ Nabb Research Center
Salisbury University Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture
Guerrieri Academic Commons (street address)
(4th Floor, Room 430)
1101 Camden Ave (mailing address)
Salisbury, MD 21801
Internet: Nabb Research Center
- This repository has family files, family histories, local histories, photos, and artifacts from the Delmarva Penninsula (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) also called the "Eastern Shore." Includes correspondence, manuscripts, ledgers, diaries, local business and organizational records, maps, newspapers, land surveys, and oral histories. Microfilm collections hold governmental and church records of Somerset, Worcester, Dorchester and Wicomico counties in Maryland; Accomack and Northampton counties in Virginia; and Sussex County in Delaware.
- Look here for their many Maryland Eastern Shore, and Delaware historical references. Their collection includes church records, burial permits, Talbot County genealogy links, Bibles, family records, manuscripts, maps, local oral histories, and vertical files.
United Methodist Historical Society
United Methodist Historical Society of the Baltimore-Washington Conference
2200 Saint Paul Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-5805
E-mail: Contact form
Internet: Lovely Lane Museum Home
- The Lovely Lane Methodist Church holds the Historical Society's archives, library, and museum. The archives preserve records of annual conferences, agencies, certain personal papers, and certain discontinued local church records. The library holds biographies, histories, historic Books of Discipline, and maintains digitized publications.
- Their Maryland historical collection is quite large.
- The Western Maryland Room is a genealogical resource which includes published histories, oral histories, books, periodicals, and family folders.
Outside Maryland Repositories
- They have a relatively small family folder collection. Nevertheless, it is an important resource for settlers coming from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and northern Virginia along the Great Valley Road into Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina.
- Very large collection on Germans and Scots-Irish who traveled the Great Valley Road from Pennsylvania through Maryland to Virginia, including manuscripts, newspapers, biographies, and histories, and people of the Lower Shenandoah Valley since 1732, emphasizing Winchester and Frederick County in 4000 books, county court abstracts, county histories, genealogies, regimental histories, battles, newspapers since 1787, censuses, 600 linear feet of manuscripts, maps, photos, and oral history tapes.
- Has early Quakers, Germans, Scots-Irish, and other settlers in William Penn's colonies of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. This is also an excellent place to learn about early settlers of Maryland. Records which have been published are normally well-indexed. This society also has 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century manuscripts (letters, diaries, account books, deeds, minutes, and scrapbooks), passenger arrival lists and indexes,  local and regional history, ethnic and immigrant studies materials, 600,000 books, 20 million manuscripts, over 300,000 graphics items, and 300 years of newspapers.
Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
Carnegie Library 2nd floor
801 K St NW
Washington, DC 20001
Internet: Historical Society of Washington, D.C.
- Think of this as the state archives for the District of Columbia because of the 200 years of local history documents for genealogists. This includes families and notable individuals, organizations, businesses, neighborhoods, religious institutions, local houses of worship, funeral homes, diaries and personal papers, and early 18th century Maryland and Virginia land records. Researchers are welcomed in the Kiplinger Research Library by prior appointment only Tuesday through Friday. Access to the library and collections is free of charge.
- Their colonial records include many references to Maryland settlements. This huge collection has indexes and original sources associated with the Pennsylvania Archives series, such as vital, military, prison, naturalization, land records, census, ships lists, railroads, mines, and 1.5 million online records  including online genealogy guides.
Family History Centers
- Giving you limited, personal, one-on-one research suggestions (but they do not do research for you)
- Providing access to genealogical records through the Internet FHC Portal.
- Offering free how-to classes (varies by location)
- Fostering contact between genealogical enthusiasts
There are several centers located in Maryland, for example:
- Hampstead Maryland Family History Center
4117 Lower Beckleysville Rd
Hampstead MD 21074 USA
- Each center is staffed by volunteers and has varying hours and services. Telephone in advance to verify their hours.
- Hampstead Maryland Family History Center
To locate one of these centers in your own neighborhood, see Find a Family History Center.
- Contact Information in The Library of Congress (accessed 12 May 2010).
- The Collections in Local History and Genealogy Reading Room in The Library of Congress (accessed 8 January 2014).
- Information for Researchers at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC in National Archives (accessed 31 December 2013).
- William Dollarhide and Ronald A. Bremer. America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, Utah: Heritage Quest, 1998), 2. WorldCat 39493985; FHL Ref Book 973 J54d.
- Dollarhide and Bremer, 126-27.
- NGS Mission in National Genealogical Society (accessed 14 January 2017).
- NGS Membership Trifold pdf in National Genealogical Society (accessed 14 January 2017).
- Home in National Genealogical Society (accessed 7 January 2017).
- Individual Member Benefits in National Genealogical Society (accessed 14 January 2017).
- Dollarhide and Bremer, 29.
- Vital Records General Information in Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygience (accessed 24 April 2017).
- Home in Maryland Genealogical Society (accessed 25 April 2017).
- Dollarhide and Bremer, 55.
- Maryland Historical Trust Library in Maryland Historical Trust in Maryland.gov (accessed 25 April 2017).
- Just for Specialized Audiences in Maryland State Law Library (accessed 25 April 2017).
- Guide to the BCA for Genealogists in Baltimore City Archives (accessed 25 April 2017).
- Dr. David M. Gillespie Special Collections: Home in Lewis J. Ort Library (accessed 20 January 2017).
- Home in Jewish Genealogical Society of Maryland (accessed 24 April 2017).
- George Peabody Library in Special Collections & Archives in Johns Hopkins Sheridan Libraries & University Museums (accessed 20 January 2017).
- About Us in Mid-Atlantic Germanic Society (accessed 24 April 2017).
- Library information in Prince George's County Genealogical Society (accessed 7 January 2017).
- Genealogy in St. Mary's Seminary & University (accessed 24 April 2017).
- Reference and Research Services in St. Mary's Seminary & University (accessed 25 April 2017).
- Nabb Research Center in Salisbury University (accessed 25 April 2017).
- Genealogy in Talbot County Free Library (accessed 13 September 2015).
- Home in Lovely Lane Museum (accessed 24 April 2017).
- Dollarhide and Bremer, 105.
- Dollarhide and Bremer, 97.
- Family and Local History in Handley Regional Library (accessed 28 December 2013).
- Dollarhide and Bremer, 95.
- About Our Collections in Historical Society of Pennsylvania (accessed 27 December 2013).
- About the Library and Collections in Historical Society of Washington, D.C. (accessed 7 January 2017).
- Research in Historical Society of Washington, D.C. (accessed 7 January 2017).
- Research Topics at the Pennsylvania State Archives in Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (accessed 23 December 2013).