Community


Planning Your Visit

  • Although our address is 1300 Victor Street, the parking lot and entrance are around the corner at 1300 Cleveland Street;
  • The streets in our area are one-way. Be mindful when using your GPS;
  • The Reading Room on the 2nd floor can be a bit chilly; please bring a sweater or jacket;
  • Digital photographs of unrestricted materials may be made without the use of a flash;
  • Digital copies of microfilmed materials may be saved to a USB flash drive;
  • Self-service photocopying is available. We do not have a change machine, so $1 bills and coins are necessary.

For Researchers

We recommend that you first browse our Archival Collections and Library Collections so that you can gauge what you would like to see prior to your visit. If you would like to see any of our archival materials, you will need to complete an Archival Use Form and review our rules during your visit. Our archivists and our collection development librarian will be happy to assist you.

In our second floor reading room, we have two catalog-only computers that patrons may use to search our online materials. These computers cannot access general search engines, email, or other non-HPL websites. Bring your laptop or tablet and use our free wi-fi for email and internet searches.

For Schools, Organizations, and Families

Visitors are welcome to view our galleries and exhibits. While we are not a children's library, we do have a small collection of books for young readers to enjoy in our reading room.


Tour Information

Click here for a PDF of our tour guidelines.

For a guided tour fill out our Guided Tour Request form.

 

Educational Tours are encouraged to use our Field Trip Curriculum to enhance their visit. Click the "Field Trip Curriculum" button to learn more.

Self-Guided Tours with Introductions

  • Always welcome during regular business hours;
  • Staff will provide an introduction to the library and Restored Classroom prior to self-guided tour;
  • For groups of 10 or more, please contact us first. There may be other scheduled guided tours happening during the time you plan to visit, and informing us ahead of time can help ease crowding in the galleries.

Guided Tour Policies

  • Offered during these times:
  • Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 10:30am – 12noon and 1:30pm – 3pm
  • Thursdays: 1pm – 3pm and 3pm – 5pm
  • Require a minimum of 10 persons and a maximum of 50 persons
  • Large tours will be divided into groups.
  • Length of tour: 45 minutes – 1 hour
  • Tour groups will check in at the Welcome Desk in the lobby
  • Please arrive 10-15 minutes prior to the time of your tour
  • Please notify us if you are running late. A late arrival of 30 minutes or more may result in a cancellation or a self-guided tour.
  • Tour group members will maintain low to moderate voice levels in order to avoid disturbing other customers.
  • Cell phones should be silenced prior to start of tour
  • Food and/or drink may not be consumed during any part of the tour.
  • Artwork and collections may not be touched or photographed. Photographs are allowed outside the building and in the lobby.

To book a tour:

Please complete the Tour Request Form linked at the top of this page. You will need the following information:

  • The full name, daytime phone number, and email address of the group and tour coordinator
  • The number of tour attendees
    • One adult chaperone (18 years or older) must be assigned to every 10 children
  • 3 suggested times and dates for your tour

Disclaimer
While we are happy to process your request, please note that all requests are not guaranteed for approval. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance of the date you wish to visit and include alternate dates and starting times to expedite processing.


Our Galleries

The Restored Classroom gives visitors a glimpse as to what the Gregory School looked like at its inception in 1926.

The Freedmen's Town Gallery chronicles a crucial period in Houston African American history when this community was established following Emancipation. The exhibit incorporates a wide variety of stories, using artifacts and photographs, proving the power of a people's commitment to one another by building and sustaining family, communities of worship, and social organizations which built this thriving, self-contained neighborhood.

The African Americans in Houston Gallery honors generations of people whose cultural heritage played a significant role in what the city of Houston is today and what it will be tomorrow. Integral to the exhibit are photographs and artifacts representing the principles that are universal to the development of communities.

Special Exhibits present new and exciting exhibits featuring themes in African American history, culture or the arts. Visit our Exhibits page for more information.


 

Please read the guidelines before submitting a meeting room request.

To request a booking use our Meeting Room Request Form.

The meeting rooms at the African American Library at the Gregory School are available at no charge for use by community groups for informational, educational or cultural meetings when not needed for Library purposes. Our meeting rooms offer the ideal location for your study group or team meeting. We offer complimentary wireless internet and parking.


Gift Shop

Discover unique gifts and memorabilia, including jewelry and commemorative items. If you are looking for an item to commemorate your visit, choose from our assorted collection of gifts during your visit:

  • Adinkra / Logo Items
  • Collectibles
  • Games
  • Home Decor
  • Jewelry
  • Stationery
  • T-Shirts

 

NOW AVAILABLE: GREGORY SCHOOL T-SHIRTS!

Show your Gregory School spirit with our new t-shirts.

Fabric is soft cotton, and shirts are available in deep black and slate gray.

 

Option 1: 1903 Building
 
Option 2: Sankofa
Back of Shirts
 

 


Our Volunteer Program

On behalf of the staff at the African American Library at the Gregory School, we would like to thank you for donating your time and expertise in assisting our archival library. As a volunteer, you play a vital role in fulfilling the archive’s mission to preserve and promote the rich history of African Americans in Houston. No matter your interests, skills, or schedule, you can make a significant contribution to the community by volunteering with us.

There are many shoes to fill, and we need talented people like you to fill them! Our volunteer program is based on finding the best position that addresses your skills and interests, and it allows us to expand the services we provide to our clients and our community. We hope that the personal satisfaction and enrichment you gain in your work as a part of our team will encourage you to continue as a volunteer for years to come.

 

Volunteer Positions

We have a number of jobs for volunteers, and new duties are available whenever we begin new projects. Whether you enjoy interacting with patrons or helping to process collections, there are many ways to help at the Gregory School. Below are some of our general volunteer duties. Training for each position will be provided, but basic computer and customer service skills are required.

Visitor Services

Under the supervision of the volunteer coordinator, the visitor services volunteer will be responsible for supporting various administrative projects and day-to-day duties for the Gregory School. Such responsibilities include greeting visitors, answering and transferring incoming calls, assisting in data entry for the mailing list, and preparing shipping labels. This position is ideal for an individual with strong organizational, interpersonal, and verbal communication skills.

Digitization

Houstonians have valuable pieces of history such as photos, obituaries, and letters. Because we realize that they may not want to part with the original items, we have developed a way for community members to contribute to our collection while holding on to their treasured photographs and documents. As a digitization volunteer, you will work under the supervision of our archivists to help create high-quality digital copies of these items.

Archives Processing

The archives processing volunteer will work under our archivists to upload collection data using archival software. This volunteer will be responsible for transferring data from paper files to the computer, allowing information to be safely stored on and off-site. Files in the system can then be identified by category making a search for items quick and easy. The easy access improves the library's ability to update the inventory of the archival collection.

Oral History Transcriptions

Oral histories are an important component of the Gregory School’s collections. Under the supervision of the oral historian, transcription volunteers listen to interviews and accurately record each word so that researchers and other community members can better utilize our collection.

 

Becoming a Volunteer

Important: Submission of an application does not guarantee a volunteer position.

Click here for general information on the Houston Public Library's volunteer program.

1. Complete an application.

Click here to access HPL's volunteer application.

This is a system-wide application, so be sure to clarify that you are interested in volunteering at the Gregory School. Of course, you are free to express interest in any other HPL volunteer opportunities as well.

2. Let us know you are interested.

Once you submit your application, send an email to hpl.gregoryschool@houstontx.gov so that we know you've begun the process.

3. Meet with HPL's Volunteer Coordinator.

You'll undergo a brief interview with the HPL Volunteer Coordinator. You will also have to pass a criminal background screening. If you have any questions about this stage of the process, please feel free to contact the HPL Volunteer Coordinator at hplvolunteers@houstontx.gov or 832-393-1481.

4. Attend an Orientation and Training at the Gregory School.

Once you are cleared through the HPL Volunteer Coordinator's office, you will visit us so that we can give you a tour, talk to you about your interests and skills, and decide on your volunteer schedule.

 

Back to The African American Library at the Gregory School