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Sylvia Gaither Garrison Library Story

Named in honor of the first librarian, the SGGL supports the overall mission of the BDM by collecting and making availSGGL - Sylvia Gaither Garrison Libraryable for use resources that document and elucidate Maryland’s African American Heritage. The Sylvia Gaither Garrison Library is located within the Banneker-Douglass Museum.

Archival records, audio-visual materials, blueprints, books, maps, pamphlets, periodicals, photographs, and Internet access for research purposes.
The collection has a retrospective focus. The historical specialty includes books, encyclopedias, and periodicals from the later 1960s — 1980s.

The SGGL houses an African American rare books and manuscripts collection. This 500-item compilation of materials ranges from the 1780s — 1970s.

Access Library Catalog

Click here to search our collections online.

The SGGL is open by appointment during regular museum hours. The public is invited to use materials on site. To set up an appointment to visit the library, contact the museum at (410) 216-6180 or by email at

The BDM Collection

The Banneker-Douglass Museum collection is dedicated to preserving the history and culture of African Americans relevant to Maryland through collections, conservation, and study of artifacts, photographs, fine arts, decorative and applied arts, and architectural elements.

The Collection presently includes artifacts and journals donated by Arctic explorer Herbert M. Frisby; photographs, equipment, and personal effects of photographer Thomas Baden donated by Barbara Bentley’ everyday items used by African American Marylanders in the 1920s and 1930s; medical instruments and artifacts from the 1920s through the 1950s; West African sculpture and utilitarian objects of the Dogon, Malinke, Bambara, Baule, and other cultures of the Guinea Coast; and works by Black Maryland artists, including Joyce Scott, Nathaniel Gibbs and Hughie Lee-Smith.

Access Object Catalog

Banneker-Douglass Museum Online Collections Database

For any questions regarding the collection or research requests, please contact us by phone (410) 216-6180 or by email at

Finding Aids

Thomas Baden Photograph Collection Finding Aid

Herbert Frisby Paper Finding Aid

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