Guidelines for Patrons of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission

When in the building and using the Reading Rooms, patrons are expected to abide by these guidelines, as well as follow the instructions of staff members. Patrons who are consistently uncooperative may be asked to leave the premises.

The Archives and Genealogy Reading Rooms are reserved for researchers who are actively using the materials in those collections. Other party members and patrons are welcome to use the Reference Reading Room. The patron lounge is available to consume food and drink and should not be used for extended periods of time or in lieu of using the Reading Rooms.

Personal Belongings

Briefcases, computer cases, rolling bags, luggage, backpacks, camera bags, large purses, fanny packs, parcels, shopping bags, etc., must be placed in a locker. Patrons are responsible for locker keys and, if needed, a fee will be charged for replacement.

Lockers are located on the first floor near the Reference Reading Room and in the Archives Reading Room. We are unable to store or monitor items that will not fit in a locker nor are they allowed in the reading rooms. Items should not be left unattended in the Reading Rooms and remain the responsibility of the patron.

Use of Materials

Personal scanning equipment is not permitted. Non-flash photography of most materials is permitted, though some exceptions apply.

Patrons must not lean against, mark, fold, trace, or handle materials in any way that may result in damage.

Cell phones and other electronic devices should be silenced.


To register, patrons must agree in writing to abide by these guidelines, as well as follow the instructions of staff members.

Use of Materials in the Texas State Archives Reading Room

Current registration is required.  Please be prepared to show valid photo identification and proof of current address. Allow 15 minutes for the initial process.

Researchers between the ages of 13 and 16 are permitted to use the materials if supervised by an adult. One adult per juvenile researcher is required. Children age 12 and under are not admitted unless they are participating in escorted group presentations.

Personal belongings must be placed in a locker. These include, but are not limited to, hats, coats, rain gear, sunglasses, purses, personal books, notepads, and notebooks. Any garment later removed must also be placed in a locker.

Researchers are expected to follow all other instructions as provided by staff members.

Please note:

  • Telephone conversations are not permitted.
  • Tables will be assigned.
  • The number of individual items allowed on a table at one time will vary according to format.
  • Materials must be fully supported at all times.
  • Loose sheets of paper and pencils must be used to take written notes. Pens and other markers are prohibited.
  • One folder may be out of a box at a time and the designated marker must be inserted as a place holder.
  • Materials must remain in the existing order. If an error is thought to exist, notify a staff member.
  • Photographs must be examined using the provided gloves.
  • Photocopy requests must be completed using the proper form.
  • All materials will be collected by staff 15 minutes prior to closing.
  • Belongings must be presented for inspection before leaving.




Page last modified: September 15, 2015