The Houston Public Library (HPL) recently announced that its current special collections libraries now serve under the new banner of HPL’s History Research Centers.
The Houston History Research Center, formerly Houston Metropolitan Research Center, was the first HPL special collections library. The Family History Research Center at the Clayton Library Campus was established in 1968 as the Clayton Library for Genealogical Research, and the African American History Research Center has been known as the African American Library at the Gregory School since 2009.
The respective archives and origins of the History Research Centers are unchanged. The former Gregory School located in the historic Fourth Ward stands as the African American History Research Center (1300 Victor St.), devoted to documenting the Black experience in Houston and beyond. The Julia Ideson Building (550 McKinney St.), home to the Houston History Research Center, anchors the dual history of HPL and the city with a repository of architectural drawings, Hispanic Collections and an expansive local photographs and audio-visual collection. The house that William Lockhart Clayton built is synonymous with genealogy and family history research. The Family History Research Center at the Clayton Library (5300 Caroline St.) has grown to be among the top of its kind in the nation, with resources freely available in-person and online.
Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Director of the Houston Public Library states that with this renaming, the Houston community and visitors stand to gain a greater understanding of what can be found at the History Research Centers.
“The History Research Centers are wonderful destinations that will appeal to anyone wanting to discover what’s hiding in plain sight,” Dr. Lawson stated.
Remarking on what the public can expect, Angela Kent, Head of History Research Centers, notes, “While HPL’s special books collections and archives remain housed at their current locations, we hope that visitors can recognize and come to know all the things one can see and do at the History Research Centers. We link people to history.”
Individuals and groups can tour the historic buildings, view exhibits, and attend library programs, while also continuing to access and research HPL’s rare and unique special collections and archives.
HPL’s History Research Centers are open to the public Tuesdays through Saturdays.
For more information visit: https://houstonlibrary.org/research-centers.