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 and to follow the instructions of staff members. Any behavior that interferes with the use of the library by other patrons or with library employees' performance of their duties is not permitted.

The Archives and Genealogy Reading Rooms are reserved for researchers who are actively using the materials. Other party members and patrons are welcome to use the Reference Reading Room. Food and drink are not allowed in the Reading Rooms. 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

Patrons should follow the instructions of staff and place the following items in lockers: large bags and purses; zippered cases and briefcases; rolling bags or cases, luggage, and backpacks; fanny packs, parcels, and shopping bags of any size; among other items at the determination of reading room staff.

Lockers are located on the first floor near the Reference Reading Room and in the Archives Reading Room. Patrons are responsible for locker keys and, if needed, a fee will be charged for replacement. 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 and remain the responsibility of the patron.

General Use of Reading Rooms and 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. Materials must be fully supported at all times.

Cell phones and other electronic devices should be silenced. Telephone conversations are not permitted.


To register, patrons must agree to abide by these guidelines, as well as follow the instructions of staff members. Please be prepared to show valid photo identification and proof of current address. Allow 15 minutes for the initial process.

Use of Materials in the Texas State Archives Reading Room

Current registration is required prior to access to the Archives Reading Room. 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 items permitted at the assigned workspace are personal computing devices, camera, cell phone, and single sheets of paper. All other items must be stored in a locker. In addition:

  • Tables will be assigned.
  • The number of individual items allowed on a table at one time will vary according to format.
  • 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.


All researchers are expected to follow instructions as provided by staff members.
Patrons who are consistently uncooperative may be asked to leave the premises.


Page last modified: July 28, 2017