The Houston Public Library has three distinct and historic library buildings which house historically valuable items specifically on African American history, Houston history, Hispanic history, and family history research. Read on to learn more about what you can do at a history research center and how to research the special collections!
Search for your ancestors and learn about local history.
Discover specialized databases and online collections.
See a variety of materials like historic maps, photographs, microfilm, and city directories.
Use materials and consult with subject matter experts.
Research the Collections
Special collections and archives collect subject specific materials and resources. The Houston Public Library’s special collections focus on African American history, genealogy and family history, and Houston and Hispanic history. In order to maintain these historically valuable materials, access to the special collections and archives are available on-site, with some materials also available online. Start your research!
One of the leading cultural institutions in Texas, devoted to the research, preservation, and exhibition of materials focused on African American history and experience in Houston, the neighboring regions, and the African Diaspora.
Race and Social Justice - A collection of stories and responses to race and social justice topics on inequity, police violence, and racial discrimination and activist movements in Houston and the United States.
Originally established in 1968 in the former home of Houston businessman and statesman William Lockhart Clayton, the Clayton Library has grown to house one of the nation’s top genealogical research collections. Housing genealogy research materials covering all U.S. states and sources for international family history research. Staffed by experts who work individually with researchers, they invite you to share your research questions with us.
This research library archives and houses materials for the study of Houston’s history. Books, maps, building plans, journals, photographs, vertical files, and oral histories all help to shed light on Houston’s past.
Hispanic Collections - A special component of the HMRC is the over 100 collections of papers and photographs representing the contributions of Hispanics to Houston’s history and their experiences in the Bayou City.