The Delaplaine is known for its exhibition galleries and art classes, workshops, and camps. But did you know that it also houses one of the largest free art libraries in Maryland regularly open to the public? Located on the second floor, the Etchison-Davis Library—named after James Etchison, its benefactor, and P. Jean Davis, its first volunteer librarian—offers more than 3,500 art reference books, most contributed by generous donors. Visitors and students can use the library to research art and architecture, movements and materials, and art history. The non-circulating library is open daily, and admission is free.

Browse our online catalog.

Library Committee, 2023. Left to right: Lee Newman, Dennis Bautista, Jim Starner, Katelyn Kearns, Kristen Butler

Book Donations

We accept art book donations. We are looking to fill gaps in our collection, such as contemporary arts, women artists, LGBTQ+ artists, Black/Indigenous/People of Color (BIPOC) artists, and non-European arts. If you would like to donate books to us, please take a photo of the spines or type a list of titles and authors and send it to us for consideration. Thank you for your support!

Small Conference Space

The library also serves as a conference room and eclectic meeting space for outside groups of up to 12 people. The library has a handsome wood conference table, a wall-mounted LED screen that is Bluetooth and HDMI enabled, WiFi access, and an adjoining kitchenette. Surrounded by inspiring books, with art galleries just beyond the door, a beautiful park outside, and restaurants within a few minutes’ walk, meetings take on a special feeling here!

Contact us for more information about rentals.