Maryland Historical Society


With more than 350,000 objects and seven million books and documents, this is among the world's largest collections of Americana. Highlights include one of two surviving Revolutionary War officer's uniforms, photographs from the Civil Rights movement in Baltimore, and Francis Scott Key's original manuscript of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' (displayed at the top of the hour). The 10ft-tall replica mastodon – the original was preserved by artist and Maryland native Charles Wilson Peale – is impressive. A few original bones are displayed.

There are often excellent temporary exhibits that explore the role of Baltimore residents in historic events.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Baltimore attractions

1. Walters Art Museum

0.15 MILES

The magnificent Chamber of Art & Wonders re-creates the library of an imagined 17th-century scholar, one with a taste for the exotic. The abutting Hall of…

2. Washington Monument

0.18 MILES

For the best views of Baltimore, climb the 227 marble steps of the 178ft-tall Doric column dedicated to America's founding father, George Washington. The…

3. Enoch Pratt Free Library

0.19 MILES

Established in 1882 when philanthropist Enoch Pratt gave the city a $1 million endowment toward the remarkably progressive idea of a establishing a…

4. Basilica of the Assumption

0.22 MILES

Also known as America's First Cathedral, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (much more commonly known as the…

5. Edgar Allan Poe's Gravesite

0.54 MILES

Horror writer and poet, Edgar Allan Poe was buried (twice) on the grounds of Westminster Hall. His body was first deposited in an unmarked grave behind…

6. Babe Ruth Museum

0.84 MILES

Celebrates the Baltimore native son who happens to be the greatest baseball player in history.

7. Port Discovery

0.84 MILES

Two blocks north of the harbor, Port Discovery is a converted fish market that now wows younger kids with an urban tree house, an Egyptian adventure, a…

8. Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum

0.86 MILES

Home to Baltimore's most famous adopted son from 1832 to 1835, it was here that the macabre poet and writer first found fame after winning a $50 short…