The George Peabody Library is the 19th century research library of The Johns Hopkins University. It is located on the Peabody campus at Mount Vernon Place in Baltimore, Maryland. The collections are available for use by the general public, in keeping with the philanthropist George Peabody’s goal to create a library “which is to be maintained for the free use of all persons who desire to consult it.”
Peabody, having become a wealthy man in Baltimore through commerce during the 1810s and 20s, “gave $300,000 as a beginning sum for the Peabody Institute” in February 1857. The library’s 300,000 volume collection is particularly strong in religion, British art, architecture, topography and history; American history, biography, and literature; Romance languages and literature; history of science; and geography, exploration and travel.
Completed in 1878, it was designed by Baltimore architect Edmund G. Lind in collaboration with the first Peabody provost, Nathaniel H. Morison. The neo-Grec interior features an atrium that, over a black and white marble floor, soars 61 feet to a latticed skylight surrounded by five tiers of ornamental cast-iron balconies and gold-scalloped columns. Photograph by MATTHEW PETROFF – (source)