The John Work Garrett Library is located in the Garrett family home Evergreen and contains 30,000 volumes. The materials must be used at the Garrett Library, and patrons are required to call in advance to insure that the needed material is available.
The collection has works on 16th- and 17th-century English literature and history, including a portion of the Tudor and Stuart collection, and is especially strong in the works of Shakespeare, Bacon, Spenser, and Milton. There is also a fine collection of incunabula.
The natural history collection includes many of the most important and beautiful ornithological works ever produced. The most famous is John James Audubon's "double elephant folio" edition of the Birds of America (1827-1838). Other rarities include 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).
The Fowler Collection of Architectural History, numbering almost 500 titles, concentrates on the early editions of the great Renaissance architects Alberti, Serlio, Palladio, Vignola, and Scamozzi.
The Garrett Library also contains a significant collection of voyage and exploration literature, including Christopher Columbus' letter to Queen Isabella, De Insuli in Mari Indico (1494).
This collection is complemented by another that concentrates on 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 Garrett Library also includes 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, Civil War broadsides and pamphlets, and the papers and drawings of Baltimore architect, Laurence Hall Fowler (d. 1971).