Reference Services - Austin History Center

Reference Services

**Our reference service is currently impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The Austin History Center building is currently closed, but staff are working remotely and able to access many online resources. We are doing our best to answer patron inquiries, but inquiries requiring consultation of onsite resources will have to wait until such time as we can access the building. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. You can check here for updates from the Austin Public Library.**

The Austin History Center (AHC) strives to make information about Austin and Travis County readily available to the public. Our books, periodicals and much of our media collection are listed in the Austin Public Library's Catalog and many of our archival collection finding aids have been posted to Texas Archival Resources Online. Our other materials may be accessed using a variety of in-house indexes, catalogs, databases and research guides. Our Reading Room staff is available to assist you in the use of these items.

Contact Us
If you have a question that requires only a short, factual answer, you may submit your question using our online form or call our reference desk at 512-974-7480.

Requests for photocopies of newspaper articles, obituaries or more detailed research questions require a fee and are discussed below. 

Requests for Obituaries, Photocopies and In-Depth Research
The Austin History Center offers limited research assistance through the mail, including photocopies of newspaper articles and obituaries. The AHC charges a $15.00 non-refundable fee that entitles you to one obituary or up to 30 minutes of staff research time and up to 5 pages of photocopies ($16.24 for Texas residents due to sales tax).

To initiate a research request fill out the Research and Copy Order Form. 

You may print and mail the Research and Copy Order form to PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768-2287. Credit card information may be submitted on the final page or you may enclose a check or money order with the form. Staff will contact you for a method of payment for orders submitted electronically. Work on your request will begin when both the order form and complete payment are received. Orders are completed within two weeks.

Customers are limited to two obituaries or one hour of research per month (which includes up to 10 pages of photocopies). Requests that do not include full payment or exceed a user's allotment for the month will be returned unanswered.

Please note that the Austin History Center reserves the right to refuse to fill any copy request because of potential damage to a fragile original or other concerns. We will make every effort to quickly inform customers if we cannot fill an order.

If you are unable to visit the Austin History Center in person and your project is one that requires in-depth research beyond the service that we are able to provide, you may wish to consider hiring a researcher from the Texas State Library's Private Researchers List or the Briscoe Center for American History's Proxy researcher list.

Other Duplication Requests
In addition to photocopies of research material, we are able in many cases to duplicate photographs and audio-visual materials for a fee. We also facilitate duplications of some oversized items through an outside vendor.