Community Resources

clayton meeting area

Plan your visit

Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research is located at: 5300 Caroline St., Houston, TX 77004 832-393-2600. Clayton Library has free parking for library visitors. When entering the parking lot, the Main Building (which houses the genealogy research collection) is on the left, and the historic buildings (Clayton House, Carriage House, and Guest House) are on the right. Coin-activated lockers are available for storage of items in the lobby. Food and drinks are not permitted in the library. Public computers are available for genealogical research. A Houston Public Library MyLink card or daily guest pass is required for logon and database access. Apply for a MyLink card here. Free Wi-Fi is available inside the library, if you would like to bring your own laptop computer or other portable electronic device.

Items to bring:

* Information about the family you are researching (full names and birth/marriage/death information is helpful)
* Houston Public Library MyLink card (or a TX driver’s license or ID if you would like to apply for a MyLink card)
* Sweater or jacket (building temperatures are generally cool)
* Small bills or coins for photocopiers (we are unable to provide change for larger bills)
* Flash drive for scanning/saving documents from computers, microprint, or books
* Notebook paper

Group visits

If you would like to have a group come in for an orientation and/or introduction to genealogy please call 832-393-2600 and speak with the Manager, Susan Kaufman, Assistant Manager, Melissa Hayes, or Librarian, Irene B. Walters. If your genealogical or lineage society would like to come to Clayton Library for a full day research trip, please call 832-393-2600 to give us a head’s up.

Request a speaker

If you would like to have a staff member come speak to your group for an introduction to genealogy, or on a specific genealogical subject, please call 832-393-2600 and speak with the Manager, Susan Kaufman, Assistant Manager, Melissa Hayes, or Librarian, Irene B. Walters. We prefer a month’s notice to ensure adequate staffing at the library while the staff member is at your location.

Copies of Material

Clayton Library will accept requests for copies of materials located within the Clayton Library collection only when an exact citation is provided. Depending on the type of materials requested, your query may be forwarded to one of several locations within the Houston Public Library system. Please send exact citations for the source you are requesting pages from, including title and page number(s).

* Photocopies are $2.00 per citation plus $1.00 per page. Please send payment along with the exact information. Checks and money orders are accepted and should be made out to “Houston Public Library Foundation”.

* Clayton Library staff members are trained to offer research strategies and assist the researcher in locating materials which will aid in their research. We are unable to perform in-depth research for patrons. Requests that would involve extensive searches through a variety of sources are considered in-depth research. Clayton Library's usual practice with requests for in-depth research is to send a list of private researchers with whom you can contract for services. The presence of a name on this list does not constitute an endorsement by Clayton Library. For a copy of the list, send a self-addressed stamped envelope to Clayton Library or request a copy through e-mail reference.

* To best assist you, we recommend visiting us in person at the library and speaking to one of our reference staff.  You can also call us at 832-393-2600 or email our reference staff at  Inquiries by postal mail should be sent to the following address: Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, 5300 Caroline St., Houston TX 77004-6896.

Photo scanning

Clayton Library can help you preserve your photo memories to use them in your family history with the help of two machines.

* Photograph preservation equipment, Kodak EZ Photo Scanner, a device capable of high-quality bulk photo scanning at the rate of 25 photos per minute along with a flatbed photo scanner for photographs that cannot or should not be put through the bulk photo scanner.

* Slide preservation equipment, Kodak SlideSnap Lite, a quick and easy way to convert photographic images found on slides into digital images.

To use either of these machines at Clayton Library you will need to bring a flash drive to save the images on. We also ask that you call ahead (832-393-2600) to make a reservation.

Houston Public Library also has another set of these machines in the TechLink section of the Scenic Woods Library. Additional machines at the TechLink location allow you to scan large format materials, books, and documents, as well as convert VHS tapes to DVDs and audiocassettes to MP3 files. To use their machines, you reserve your time slot using a free Niche Academy account. To find more information about using the TechLink photo scanning machines click here. For more information about using the TechLink audio and video equipment click here. You can also call the TechLink staff at 832-393-2407 to get answers to your questions. We hope you have fun going through your family photos and adding them to your family history.

Meeting Rooms

Clayton Library's main building houses one large meeting room space which can accomodate groups of up to 20-30 people.  Clayton Library’s Carriage House (located on the library's historically-preserved property) is a larger meeting room space capable of holding 50-60 seated individuals, or 75+ non-seated individuals.

The meeting rooms at the Clayton Library are available at no charge for use by community groups for informational, educational, or cultural meetings and programs, when not needed for Library purposes. Use of the meeting room does not constitute Library or City endorsement of the viewpoints, beliefs, ideas, or policies expressed by organizations or individuals using the space.

To make a reservation, a completed Meeting Room Request form must be presented at Clayton Library. You may call the library for availability; however, the room is not considered reserved until a completed and signed form is on file at Clayton Library. You may download the Meeting Room Request form and then bring the completed form to the Clayton Library. Guidelines for using the meeting rooms at Clayton Library can be found here.

Meetings must be free and open to the general public. Library staff retains the right to attend any meetings or events scheduled at the Library to ensure compliance of the room usage. If you are interested in reserving the historic property buildings for a special event, please contact the HPL Special Events team at 832-393-1646 or e-mail

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