[Austin-Travis County Collection at Main Library], 1972, PICA 01594 detail
In 1955, the Austin Public Library established a small file devoted to local history called the Austin-Travis County Collection. Through the hard work of Helen Swanson and the collection's first curator, Katherine Drake Hart, the Austin-Travis County Collection grew from a single file folder into a separate section of the Austin Public Library's Reference department. After the opening of the new John Henry Faulk Central Library and due to the efforts of the second curator of the Austin History Center, Audray Bateman Randle, along with community leaders such as Sue McBee, then-Mayor Carole McClellan, and members of the Austin History Center Association, the original central Austin Public Library building became the Austin History Center. See more events in the development of the Austin History Center on our timeline or learn about the history of our beautiful building.