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The Joan Cass Beck Special Collection

of the Anne Arundel County Public Library


Local History, Archaeology and Preservation

Click here to search the Joan Cass Beck Special Collection!

 Click here for visitor information!

 This unique collection of research books and journals on Anne Arundel County heritage, archaeology, history, and preservation represents a partnership between the Anne Arundel County Library, Anne Arundel County Cultural Resources Division, Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc., and the Lost Towns Project, Inc.  This special collection was established in 2005 by Joan Beck, who chaired the AACPL Board of Trustees.  Thanks to her steadfast guidance and support over the last decade, this growing collection of over 1,400 specialized books, journals, and audio/visual materials provides an unparalleled resource for those in our local community with an interest or involved in historical research.  It is accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, including history enthusiasts, genealogists, students, and scholars.

The collections (which is accessible to the public by appointment) will be housed in two locations: the County’s Archaeology Laboratory (at Historic London Town in Edgewater) and the Cultural Resources Division of the Planning and Zoning Office (at 2664 Riva Road in Annapolis.)  The following categories of specialized books comprise the AACPL collection which we hope will continue to expand in the coming years:

-Archaeology Research Library-

Anne Arundel County Archaeology Lab
Historic London Town & Gardens
839 Londontown Rd
Edgewater, MD 21037

  • Historic and Prehistoric Archaeology
  • Material culture identification and interpretation, including artifacts made of ceramics, glass, metal, and bone
  • Conservation and care of artifacts
  • Decorative arts
  • Museum practices
  • Themes discussed in Discover London Town!, a permanent exhibit housed in the visitor center adjacent to the lab, including maritime history, transportation, African-American heritage, slavery, taverns, foodways, and horticulture.

-Historic Preservation Research Library-

Cultural Resources Division
Office of Planning and Zoning
Anne Arundel County Government
2664 Riva Rd., 4th Floor
Annapolis, MD 21401

  • Historic preservation
  • Architectural history
  • Research on the Colonial period through 20th century
  • Genealogical resources
  • A full set of “Maryland Historical Magazine” from 1908 to the present
  • Town planning and settlement
  • Indentured servitude
  • Cartography
  • The Planning and Zoning Location will also house site files and documentation on the County’s historic buildings, heritage sites, archaeological resources, cemeteries, along with historic maps of the County and surrounding region.

The Beck Special Collection represents an unparalleled resource for professional historians, enthusiasts, and students in the County and throughout the Mid-Atlantic region who want to research and learn more about local history. It also provides an in-house resource for County staff and consultants to conduct work related to the preservation and documentation of our County’s thousands of historic properties, archaeological sites, and cemeteries. The Beck Special Collection is also a wealth of information about the people and places that are important to our County’s past, and is a heritage resource that chronicles more than 350 years of local history.

Information for Visitors:

Search the Joan Cass Beck Special Collections.

Further Information on the Research Collections.

To make an appointment for visitation of the Joan Cass Beck Special Collections, call:

  • 410-222-1318 (Archaeology Library)
  • 410-222-7440 (Historic Preservation Library)