Introduction to the University of Maryland

Location of Campus and Nearby Academic Resources

Situated on 1,300 acres in the suburban town of College Park, the University is centrally located in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. This unique location, just nine miles from downtown Washington, D.C., and approximately 30 miles from both Baltimore and Annapolis, enhances research opportunities for faculty and students by providing access to some of the finest libraries and research centers in the country. 

The University houses seven separate libraries. Together they contain 3 million books, 5,000 journal titles, and 2.3 million microforms. The University's main library is the Theodore R. McKeldin Library. Its collection of books, reference materials, newspapers, journals, and electronic resources is especially strong in the life sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Among its 1.2 million volumes is one of the best collections of Judaica in the region.

In addition to the general collection, the University of Maryland is home to several archives: the Gordon W. Prange Collection is one of the world's largest repositories of published and unpublished Japanese-language materials from the period of the Allied Occupation. It contains Japanese newspapers, monographs, periodicals, pamphlets and newsletters, textbooks, maps, news photographs, and political posters produced primarily between 1945 and 1949, a time of Allied civil censorship controls. The collection is especially rich in fiction and poetry, including reprints and first editions. These rare manuscript materials have attracted scholars from around the world and have been utilized frequently in recent Japanese and Western scholarship on post-World War II Japan. They are complementary to the American government documents that are housed in National Archives II, immediately adjacent to the College Park campus.

The East Asia Collection, available since the mid-1960s, includes Japanese, Korean, and Chinese language monographs, periodicals, and newspapers. It currently contains about 74,000 catalogued items, and is particularly strong in scholarly works in the humanities, in the behavioral and social sciences and in reference and serial publications. With the exception of the Japanese Division of the Library of Congress, this is the largest East Asian language collection to be found in any academic institution in the tri-state region of Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia.

The University's collection of Government Documents and Maps is the Regional Federal Depository Library for Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. This collection includes more than one million government publications from 1789 to the present, spanning virtually all subjects from arts to zoology. Congressional documents and laws, census data, and consumer guides are among the most popular items. The map collection contains nearly one-half million topographic and thematic maps from federal agencies as well as some produced by foreign governments, including a collection of World War II maps. Accompanying the paper maps are GIS workstations with gigabytes of map files and geo-referenced statistical data.

The UM Libraries system includes six branch libraries in addition to McKeldin:

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Library (EPSL) contains materials in physics, engineering, mathematics, and geology with other significant collections in computer science, environmental sciences, water resources, and aerospace science. EPSL is also a U.S. patent and trademark depository library, and its large Technical Reports Center contains collections from NASA, ERDA, Rand Corporation, and other agencies and organizations.

The Charles E. White Memorial Library (Chemistry) is a collection of 80,000 volumes covering chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, enzymology, immunology, microbiology, and molecular genetics. Materials include books, periodicals, major indexes, and comprehensive spectra collections.

The Architecture Library contains materials on architectural design, theory and history, urban design, landscape architecture, and building technology. This library's special collections include rare architecture books dating as far back as the 17th century, with materials on world expositions from 1851 to 1937.

The Art Library collects materials in art history, studio art, art education, photography, graphic arts, interior design, and textiles. Special collections include art reproductions and art exhibition catalogs.

Opened in 2000 as part of the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library is the central location on the College Park campus for music, theatre, and dance materials. Included in the Performing Arts Library is the International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM), which houses one of the world's most extensive concentrations of piano recordings, books, scores, and related materials, including the personal papers of many great classical pianists. Special Collections in Performing Arts houses research collections maintained through joint agreements with national and international performing arts organizations, as well as collections donated by individuals, such as the Charles Fowler Papers and the Howe Collection of Musical Instrument Literature.

Hornbake Library is home to the bulk of the University's special collections.

The Maryland Collection represents a variety of materials, including more than 60,000 books and periodicals about Maryland, current and historical. A fine collection of rare Maryland items includes scarce copies of the almanac published by Benjamin Banneker, early American imprints, and strong holdings in literature by and about Marylanders. The Baltimore News American Photograph Archive of over 1.5 million images dating from 1920 to 1986 is part of the Maryland Collection, which also features broad holdings in Maryland newspapers both on microfilm and in original form.

The Rare Books Collection in Hornbake contains books and pamphlets from the 15th to 20th centuries. Approximately 17,000 volumes represent all areas of the humanities and sciences, with strong holdings in natural history, especially in botany and agriculture.  Other notable rare book collections include French political pamphlets published during the civil war of 1649-1652 and the French Revolution, pamphlets documenting slavery and African-American life in America, and works by and about William Morris.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation Library Collection in Hornbake Library includes 13,000 volumes covering preservation topics from the technical to the aesthetic and more than 300 periodical titles on international, national, state, and local historic preservation issues.

The Archives and Manuscripts Department is also located in Hornbake Library.  Historical Manuscripts collections include holdings pertaining to the Maryland region, labor union history, women's history, and University of Maryland faculty and administrators. Highlights of the historical manuscripts collection include the papers of political leaders from Maryland, such as U.S. Senator Milliard E. Tydings, Governor Theodore R. McKeldin, State Treasurer Lucille Maurer, and Vice President Spiro T. Agnew.  Significant holdings documenting women's history include the papers of the League of Women Voters of Maryland, the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, and the Association for Childhood Education International. The details of day-to-day life throughout Maryland history are recorded in the personal and family papers collections, which include diaries, correspondence, and photographs. The literary manuscript collections center on the papers of two prominent twentieth-century women writers: Katherine Anne Porter and Djuna Barnes. The Katherine Anne Porter Room is a permanent installation in Hornbake Library that houses Porter's library, art, and artifacts. On display are photographs, furnishings, decorative arts, and books that belonged to Porter. The University Archives is the repository for a broad range of materials, including official office records, printed publications, photographs, and memorabilia, documenting the history and present activities of the University of Maryland. The University Archives' photograph collection features campus views and scenes, individual and group portraits, and University of Maryland events.

Established at the University of Maryland in 1990, the National Public Broadcasting Archives serves as the official archival repository for the primary national agencies of noncommercial broadcasting in the United States. Organizations represented include the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Public Broadcasting Service, National Public Radio, and the Children's Television Workshop. The Library of American Broadcasting holds a wide-ranging collection of materials devoted exclusively to the history of radio and television broadcasting in the United States. Representative collections include material from the papers of broadcasting giant Arthur Godfrey and the papers of Edythe Meserand, radio executive and first woman president of the American Women in Radio and Television.

Nonprint Media Services is the central audiovisual department for the University of Maryland Libraries. In addition to American movies and documentaries, its holdings include the complete BBC Shakespeare Plays, the JVC/Smithsonian Video Anthology of World Music and Dance, and the Library of African Cinema.

Research is supported in the UM Libraries with a variety of technological tools. The online catalog identifies library materials from the collections of libraries on all campuses in the University of Maryland System. Access to this information is available through public terminals located throughout the library systems and can be accessed through internet connections in homes, offices, and libraries around the country. Research Port allows students, faculty, and others connected with the University of Maryland to access databases and e-journals from on and off campus. Patrons can search for journal articles and books in databases, e-journals, and library catalogs; access databases and e-journals from on and off campus; search an individual database OR several databases simultaneously; search databases and the UM Libraries' catalog simultaneously; and find full-text articles. They can save lists of databases, e-journals, searches, and articles in My Research Port, as well as e-mail and save citations.

The Digital Repository at the University of Maryland (DRUM) provides digital repository services for the University. Currently three types of materials are being collected: faculty deposited documents, a Library managed collection of UM doctoral dissertations and master's theses, and a collection of technical reports. DRUM provides a distribution service by making files available via the Internet. As a repository, DRUM maintains files for the long term. Unlike the web, where pages come and go and addresses to resources can change overnight, DRUM items have a permanent URL.

Borrowing library materials is aided by several services in addition to basic circulation assistance. Direct borrowing privileges at the other University of Maryland System libraries are available for registered UMCP graduate students. Through Inter-Library Loan, one can obtain loans or photocopies of materials from other libraries that are not available at the University.  All of the University libraries are equipped with study carrels and group study areas, wireless internet access, and computer terminals.


The University of Maryland is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools and is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities. Individual graduate programs may be accredited by their appropriate agencies. Students should check with their graduate program of interest for particular accreditations.

Non-Discrimination Statement

The University of Maryland is committed to the elimination of discrimination on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, or on the basis of the exercise of rights secured by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Human Relations Code is established to prevent or eradicate such discrimination in accordance with due process within the University community. In doing so, the University recognizes that it must strive actively and creatively to build a community in which opportunity is equalized.

Every effort will be made to make students and potential students, employees and potential employees, faculty members and potential faculty members aware of the opportunities that the University provides for every individual to develop and utilize his or her talents and skills. It is the intent of the University to observe and promote respect for each member of the community's own race, ethnic background, sex, or sexual orientation. The Human Relations Code is accessible in its entirety online.

Under advice of the Maryland Attorney General's Office, the University may interpret the Code to include both gender identity and gender expression.


The provisions of this publication are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between the student and the University of Maryland. Changes are effected from time to time in the general regulations and in the academic requirements. There are established procedures for making changes that protect the institution's integrity and the individual student's interest and welfare. A curriculum or graduation requirement, when altered, is not normally made retroactive unless the alterations are to the student's advantage and can be accommodated within the span of years normally required for graduation. When a competent authority judges the actions of a student, using established procedures, to be detrimental to the interests of the University community, that person may be required to withdraw from the university.