The Society Library

The Prince George's County Genealogical Society Library houses 5,500 volumes, many periodicals, surname files, family group sheets, Bible records and microfilms. The library is housed in a circa 1961 Bowie ranch-style house. The library is open to the public 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each Wednesday except the first Wednesday of the month (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and by appointment on the last Saturday of each month. Research tours for groups may be scheduled on days other than Wednesday if prior arrangements are made with the archivist or staff.

Library Information

12219 Tulip Grove Drive, Bowie, MD 
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10 AM to 7 PM every Wednesday except the 1st Wednesday (10 AM to 1 PM).
Also, the last Saturday of every month by appointment.
Due to the corona virus, the city of Bowie is closing all museum managed properties. This includes the PGCGS library, which will be closed until further notice.

Mailing Address: 

Prince George's County Genealogical Society, Inc. 
P.O. Box 819 
Bowie, Maryland 20718-0819

Telephone: 301-262-2063  

Research tours for groups are available on days other than Wednesdays if advance arrangements are made with the Archivist or staff.

History of the PGCGS Library

The Prince George’s County Genealogical Society was founded in 1969 and is the oldest county genealogical society in continuous existence in the State of Maryland. As the Society grew so did the need for a Library.

Initially the Founding and Charter members loaned books from their personal libraries to one another. As the Society acquired books through purchase or gift, a Library Committee was appointed and the Librarian transported the small collection to and from meetings.

In 1981 H. Ivan and Dorothy T. Rainwater, long time Bowie residents, were instrumental in finding a home for the Library in Bowie. Acting in concert with Bowie City officials, the Library has been housed in the Belair Mansion, the Belair Stables Museum and now shares space with the Curator of the City of Bowie in a house owned by the City. The Library is comprised of a reading room, staff office and stacks room.

The Library Collection

From a handful of books (49 in 1975) the Library now comprises over 5,500 volumes! Books are acquired by purchase, individual gifts and estate collections. In addition to books, there are many state periodical titles, an extraordinary collection of family surname periodicals, microfilm and microfiche, Bible records, published family genealogies, CDs, video and audio cassettes, maps, a Surname File and the Registrar’s files and notebooks.

The scope of the Library’s holdings is nationwide in many respects. While Maryland and Prince George’s County are the primary concentration, there is also heavy emphasis on other Eastern states, migration routes and specific topical interests.

Lending Library

While the Library is open to the public, only Society members may borrow books, periodicals and video and audio cassettes. Members may borrow 8 books, unlimited periodical issues and the cassettes for one month at a time. Regardless of a member’s residence, they can access the library and perform their research in the comfort of home.

The library may be accessed in person, by mail, e-mail, or telephone. Request the item(s) of interest by title, author and call number. If by mail, the order is processed and sent by USPS at Media Mail rate. A form listing the titles sent and a return mailing label are enclosed with the books. If care is used in opening the package, often times it can be used to return the borrowed items. Mail patrons are required to enclose a check in the amount of postage reimbursement made payable to PGCGS with the returned items.