Joan Cass Beck Collection

The Anne Arundel County Public Library is proud to offer a special collection of materials on Anne Arundel County heritage, archaeology, history and preservation. The Joan Cass Beck Collections, comprised of over 1,500 books, journals and audio/visual materials, are housed at the Anne Arundel Archaeology Lab at Historic London Town in Edgewater and at the Historical Preservation Research Library in the county's Division of Planning and Zoning.

These unique collections, established in 2005 at the suggestion of Library Board of Trustees Chairperson Joan Beck, represents a partnership between the Anne Arundel County Public Library, Anne Arundel County Cultural Resources Division Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc., and the Lost Towns Project, Inc.

This growing collection provides an unparalleled resource for those in our local community with an interest or involved in historical research.  It is accessible by appointment to people of all ages and backgrounds, including history enthusiasts, genealogists, students and scholars.

Library plaques: Historic Preservation Research Library, Archaeology Research Library: Joan Cass Beck Collection

The collection is divided as follows:

Archaeology Research Library

  • 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.

The library is located at the Anne Arundel County Archaeology Lab, Historic London Town & Gardens, 839 Londontown Rd, Edgewater, MD. 410-222-1318 (please call to make an appointment)


Historic Preservation Research Library

  • 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.

This library is located at Cultural Resources Division of the Office of Planning and Zoning, Anne Arundel County Government, 2664 Riva Rd., 4th Floor, Annapolis, MD. 410-222-7432 (please call to make an appointment)


The Joan Cass Beck Special Collections represent an unparalleled resource for professional historians, enthusiasts and students in Anne Arundel 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.