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Finding Primary Sources: Local Archival Resources

A guide to finding primary sources at Smith Library.

Archival Resources -- Austin & General Areas

Texas Historical Commission / Austin, Texas

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is the state agency for historic preservation. THC staff consults with citizens and organizations to preserve Texas' architectural, archeological and cultural landmarks. The agency is recognized nationally for its preservation programs.

Benson Latin American Collection/ University of Texas

The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection, a unit of the University of Texas Libraries, is a specialized research library focusing on materials from and about Latin America, and on materials relating to Latinos in the United States. 

Dolph Briscoe Center for American History/ University of Texas

As a leading history research center, Dolph Briscoe Center collects, preserve, and makes available documentary and material culture evidence encompassing key themes in Texas and U.S. history.

Harry Ransom Center/ University of Texas

The Hazel H. Ransom Reading Room and David Douglas Duncan-Cain Foundation Photography and Art Viewing Room, located on the second floor, serve readers using manuscripts, rare books, and visual materials (photographs, performing arts, art, and decorative arts/personal effects).

LBJ Library & Museum/ University of Texas

The mission of the LBJ Library & Museum is "To preserve and protect the historical materials in the collections of the Johnson Library and make them readily accessible; to increase public awareness of the American experience through relevant exhibitions and educational programs; to advance the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum's standing as a center for intellectual activity and community leadership while meeting the challenges of a changing world." -- website

Austin History Center, Austin Public Library / Austin, Texas

The Austin History Center provides the public with information about the history, current events, and activities of Austin and Travis County. We collect and preserve information about local governments, businesses, residents, institutions, and neighborhoods so that generations to come will have access to our history.

Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection/ University of Texas

The Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection (PCL 1.306) is a general collection of more than 250,000 maps covering all areas of the world.

Portal To Texas History -  University of North Texas

The Portal is a gateway to Texas history materials. You may discover anything from an ancestor's picture in a college yearbook to a rare historical map.

Texas State Library and Archives Commission

"The Texas State Archives preserves and documents the heritage and culture of Texas by identifying, collecting, and making available for research the permanently valuable official records of Texas government, as well as other significant historical resources. Maintaining the official history of Texas government, the State Archives includes archival government records dating back to the 18th century, as well as newspapers, journals, books, manuscripts, photographs, historical maps, and other historical resources." --website

Archival Resources -- Georgetown Area

Williamson County Historical Museum / Georgetown, Texas

The museum provides innovative hands-on educational programming and rotating exhibits covering the area's unique history including its earliest Native American inhabitants, the diverse ethnic cultures of pioneering settlers, cattle drives, communities, and farming and ranching heritage.

Special Collections, Southwestern University / Georgetown, Texas

Special Collections holds the library's rare books and archival collections, including the papers of U.S. Senator (1961-1985), John G. Tower. Over 4000 works were printed before 1900, the earliest of which is a leaf from a Gutenberg Bible. Other significant collections include Southwestern University archives, Texana, Methodism, hymnals, 19th century American and British works, and works related to travel and description. The campus community as well as outside researchers are encouraged to make use of Special Collection's unique resources.

John G. Tower Library and Archives, Southwestern University / Georgetown, Texas

John Goodwin Tower a Southwestern alumnus, represented Texas in the United States Senate from 1961 through 1984. Before his retirement, he named Southwestern University as the official repository for his papers.   The approximately 800 linear feet of materials primarily reflect his Senate activities and include documents, legislative files, correspondence, speeches, campaign items, photographs, and audiovisual materials.

Search for Southwestern University Alumni between 1844-1920 by name.

Georgetown Heritage Society / Georgetown, Texas

The Georgetown Heritage Society was founded in 1977 with a mission to promote the preservation and understanding of Georgetown's unique heritage.

Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO)

TARO (Texas Archival Resources Online) makes descriptions of the rich archival, manuscript, and museum collections in repositories across the state available to the public. The site consists of the collection descriptions or "finding aids" that archives, libraries, and museums create to assist users in locating information in their collections. Consider these an extended table of contents which describe unique materials only available at the individual repositories. However, in most cases, the collections themselves are NOT available online. Ask a librarian for assistance accessing these collections.