The Library is in the same physical structure as the Peabody Conservatory, but functions as a different unit of Johns Hopkins. It hosts a variety of public and private events in addition to its function as a library.
George Peabody rose from poverty to become one of the leading merchants and financiers in the United States. He worked to secure and maintain lines of credit for several states during the financial crisis of 1837 and it is likely that Peabody's actions kept Maryland and other states from defaulting on their loans. Peabody gave away half of his fortune while still alive, funding numerous libraries and museums and working to alleviate the condition of working class families in the United States and Britain.