The John Work Garrett Library is located at Evergreen Museum & Library, the former home of Ambassador John Work Garrett and his wife, Alice Warder Garrett.
The John Work Garrett Library is one of the five Sheridan Libraries and part of Evergreen Museum & Library. Housed in a former Gilded Age mansion surrounded by Italian-style gardens, the collections were assembled by two generations of the philanthropic Garrett family. The museum includes fine and decorative arts, as well as the working library of rare books and manuscripts.
The Garrett Collection contains 30,000 volumes, with strengths in the following areas:
- 16th- and 17th-century English literature and history, including a portion of the Tudor and Stuart collection, and especially strong in the works of Shakespeare, Bacon, Spenser, and Milton.
- Natural history, including John James Audubon’s “double elephant folio” edition of the Birds of America (1827-1838), Audubon’s Quadrupeds of North America, a complete set of the works of British naturalist John Gould, and Alexander Wilson’s American Ornithology (1808-1813).
- American colonial travel and history, with the core represented in the reference work, Seventeenth Century Maryland: A Bibliography, compiled by the former Garrett Librarian, Elizabeth Baer.
- The Fowler Collection of Architectural History, numbering almost 500 titles, concentrates on the early editions of Vitruvius and the great Renaissance architects Alberti, Serlio, Palladio, Vignola, and Scamozzi. In addition to his book collection, the library also holds papers and drawings of Baltimore architect, Laurence Hall Fowler (1876-1971).
- Other areas of note include a fine collection on incunabula, a large collection of Bibles, the autographs of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and other American manuscripts, various maps dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries, children’s literature of the 19th century, and Civil War broadsides and pamphlets.
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