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About Us

As the local history division of the Austin Public Library, the Austin History Center provides the public with information about the history, current events, and activities of Austin and Travis County. We collect and preserve information about local governments, businesses, residents, institutions, and neighborhoods so that generations to come will have access to our history. 

The Austin History Center's rich collections and expert staff support exhibits, programs, and research by the public in our Reading Room.

On our website you can:

We are always ready to answer your questions and help you find the information you are looking for. Contact us here.

Plan Your Visit

Plan Your Visit link

If you will be conducting research in the AHC Reading Room, please be aware of what you can expect.  You can also get a head start on some research from home.

Our parking lot is unavailable due to construction. So for now, when you visit the AHC, you'll need to pay to park in a metered spot on a nearby street. Metered parking is free before noon on Saturdays and all day on Sundays.

Holiday Schedule

Holiday Schedule link



New Year’s Day:
Monday, January 1*

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday:
Sunday and Monday, January 14 & 15*

Presidents Day:
Sunday and Monday, February 18 & 19*

Staff Development Day:
Friday, March 22

Sunday, March 31

Memorial Day:
Sunday and Monday, May 26 & 27*

Wednesday, June 19*

Independence Day:
Thursday, July 4*

Staff Development Day:
Friday, August 16

Labor Day:
Sunday & Monday, September 1 & 2*

Veterans Day:
Sunday & Monday, November 10 & 11*

Thanksgiving Day:
Wednesday, November 27 (close at 6 PM); Thursday and Friday, November 28* & 29*

Staff Development Day:
Friday, December 13

Tuesday & Wednesday, December 24* & 25*


New Year’s Day:
Wednesday, January 1*

* Dates are official City of Austin holidays.

What to Expect Researching In Person

What to Expect Researching In Person link

To ensure the security and preservation of our materials, when you arrive at the Austin History Center we will ask that you:

  • Sign in at the front desk.
  • Place all bags and personal belongings in the lockers provided. Exceptions are provided for cameras, phones, and laptops, as long as you lock up the case.  You may also bring in up to five (5) loose sheets of your own notes.
  • Use pencils, not pens, while in the Reading Room. We provide pencils and note paper.
  • Fill out a call slip to request materials and staff will retrieve materials for you.
  • Use all of our materials in the Reading Room. Items may not be checked out.
  • Archival research can be time-consuming; please plan accordingly and provide yourself sufficient time to do your research. 

Also available in our Reading Room:

  • Photocopier.  The rate is $.20 per page, payable by cash, check or credit cards when you are ready to leave.
  • Four microform reader-printers. Two of our machines can scan microforms to a PC. The image files can then be either e-mailed via webmail or transferred to a flash drive. Unfortunately, the current computers cannot burn files to a CD.
  • Two computers to access Austin History Center and Austin Public Library reference databases.
  • Televisions, VCRs, DVD players, record and audiocassette players for accessing items from our Audio-Video collections.
  • Adaptive equipment: Kurzweil reader, Jaws and Magic.

Videos about the Austin History Center

Videos about the Austin History Center link

The Austin History Center Archive

An introduction to archives produced in-house by Austin History Center staff.


Saving Austin's History

An Alpheus Media film for the Austin History Center/Austin History Center Association, 2014


Austin History Center - Behind the Scenes from Alpheus Media on Vimeo.

An Alpheus Media film for the Austin History Center/Austin History Center Association, 2015


Video Collections

To learn more about our video collections visit our Collections page. You can allso subscribe to our YouTube channel to see clips of videos from some of our collections