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Western Maryland Room

Western Maryland Room collage of images

The John Clinton Frye Western Maryland Room was established in 1968 to provide and preserve historical information about our region. The Room contains approximately 10,000 books and over 400 cubic feet of archival material including maps, newspapers, photographs, ledgers, manuscripts, ephemera, and a limited number of artifacts covering the Cumberland and Shenandoah Valleys; all of Western Maryland, including Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties; plus Frederick and Carroll Counties in Central Maryland. Some material is also included for all counties adjacent to those five Maryland counties in the three surrounding states of Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Highlighted in the collection are a large Civil War research collection, a family research (genealogy) collection, and a substantial holding of information on canals, railroads, local culture and industry. Numerous yearbooks from schools located in Washington County are also part of the collection. The WMR sponsors the Robert H. McCauley Historical Lecture Series and holds workshops on genealogy topics and caring for archival materials such as photographs and rare books.

We invite you to contact us with questions or visit to explore our historical library and archives!

The John Clinton Frye Western Maryland Room is located on the 3rd Floor at the Alice Virginia & David W. Fletcher Branch of the Washington County Free Library located at 100 South Potomac Street, Hagerstown.

The link below is to our vertical file which is a large local history subject file collection.  We also have a few of our larger processed collections catalogued in the Library catalog.  Search the Catalog and click on All Items and choose W. Md. Room ItemsSearch Collection, and you will find a number of them listed.

* * * Vertical File Collection * * *

* * (See right for full list of events) * *

 You are also invited to attend these free programs:

The Washington County Genealogical Society will be holding their first meeting in over a year in the Western Maryland Room.  All are welcome!

Tuesday, July 13, from 7-8:30 p.m.

Carol Miller-Schultz will present:  Navigating

Please RSVP to Carol Miller-Schultz at 301-791-2585 or Elizabeth Howe at 301-739-3250, ext. 350 (or   

Questions about the WC Genealogical Society? Contact Carol Miller-Schultz at 301-791-2585.

See the newest material that has been added to the Western Maryland Room.


* * * Effective July 6, 2021 * * *

Monday – CLOSED
Tuesday – Open 10-2 & 5-9
Wednesday – CLOSED
Thursday – Open 10-6
Friday – Open 2-6

Appointments are encouraged if you would like research assistance when you are here. 

Call or email Elizabeth Howe at 301-739-3250, ext. 350, or   


Off street parking available.

Elizabeth Howe, Librarian & Certified Archivist

Phone: 301-739-3250 x350

The Friends of the Western Maryland Room provide financial support for the publication of such books as:
St. Mary’s Catholic Church Records 1818 – 1900
Beaver Creek Evangelical Church Records 1844–1917
Washington County Obituary Locator 1790-2003

Please call 301-739-3250 for more information on joining the Friends