Before You Visit

This information is intended for researchers wishing to visit the Texas State Library and Archives Commission at 1201 Brazos Street in Austin.  Before you visit, please review the Guidelines for Patrons using our public service areas.

Hours | Location and Directions | Parking | Resources | Sign In | Lockers | Registration | Equipment | Photocopies

Hours

Our facilities are closed on most Federal holidays.  For information on known closures, please see our agency calendar online at:

www.tsl.texas.gov/calendar/agency.html

The public service areas of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin are open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.  Please be aware of the following time schedules:

  • 4:30 p.m.: Computers and Microform equipment shut off
    • Archival materials collected and removed from the reading room

In addition, the public service areas are open the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Please be aware of the following time schedules:

  • 3:45 p.m.: Computers and Microform equipment shut off
    • Archival materials collected and removed from the reading room

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Location and Directions

The Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building is located at 1201 Brazos Street in Austin, Texas directly east of the Capitol Building.  Please see our Visit Us page for directions.

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center is located at 650 FM 1011 in Liberty, Texas.  Please see their Web site for directions and additional information about the procedures and available services at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center.


Parking

Parking is available in the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage located at 1201 San Jacinto Street, directly east of the Lorenzo de Zavala Archives and Library Building.  Metered spaces are available throughout the Capitol Complex and on San Jacinto Boulevard.

In addition to the handicapped parking spaces in the Capitol Visitors Parking Garage, limited handicapped parking spaces for the Capitol Complex are located in the front of the building on Brazos Street.


Resources

In preparation for your visit, you may wish to search the online library catalog and/or the online descriptive guides for available resources.

Researchers intending to use archival materials are encouraged to contact staff before their visit in order to help identify and prepare appropriate archival materials, if needed.  A request for archival materials may involve a delay in retrieving materials from off-site storage or in reviewing materials for information excepted from public disclosure under the Texas Public Information Act and other statues.

For more information, please contact staff at 512-463-5455 or by email at archinfo@tsl.texas.gov.

Records of the legislative and executive branches of the state government and local government records held by the State Archives are subject to the provisions of Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, also known as the Public Information Act.  The Act makes records open for research with certain exceptions.  The Texas Office of the Attorney General publishes its Public Information Act Handbook biennially, as a guide to understanding the Act.

For additional information, please review our page Texas Public Information Act and Research in the State Archives.

To submit a Public Information Act request to the Texas State Archives, please view our page The Public Information Act.


Sign In

All visitors must sign in at the Welcome Desk in the lobby and receive a visitor's badge to wear during the duration of their visit.

All cell phones and beepers should be turned off or silenced at this time.

Food and drink may be consumed in the Patron Lounge on the first floor behind our reception area.  The lounge contains snack and cold drink vending machines.  In the interest of protecting our valuable documents and resources, we do not allow consumption of food or beverages elsewhere.


Lockers

We request that visitors to our three public service areas place belongings in lockers located in the reception area or in the Archives Reading Room.  These free lockers are secured by individual keys for the privacy and safety of your belongings.  The interior dimensions of the lockers are 17.5" deep and 10.5" wide and can accommodate items of up to 5' in length.  Staff are unable to store or monitor items that will not fit in the available lockers, so please plan accordingly.

Briefcases, computer cases, rolling bags, luggage, backpacks, camera bags, large purses, fanny packs, parcels, musical instrument cases, 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.


Registration

While registration is not required to visit the Reference and Genealogy reading rooms, researchers who are visiting the Archives Reading Room for the first time will be required to register.  Please allow approximately ten minutes for this process. After presentation of a valid photo identification and proof of current address, the researcher will be issued a registration number.  The number will be used on materials request forms and on all copy requests.  Patrons will be asked to renew their registration annually.


Equipment

Free WiFi service is available throughout our building.

There are self-service photocopy machines available for the public in the Reference and Genealogy reading rooms.  The charge is $.10 per page.

A self-service overhead scanner is available for the public in the Reference reading room.  Researchers may save scanned images from the scanner to a personal USB drive at no charge.

Most materials accessible in the Reference and Genealogy reading rooms may be reproduced on the self-service photocopy machines or the overhead scanner.  Please see the Photocopies section for information about reproducing archival materials.

The microform readers in the Reference reading room allow users to print images or save scanned images to a personal USB drive.  The charge for print outs is $.10 per page, there is no charge for saving scanned images to a USB drive.

Please note: USB ports are disabled on the public computers in the research rooms.


Photocopies

While copies of archival materials may be requested, please be aware that due to factors including size and condition, not all archival items can be photocopied.  Staff will determine their suitability for photocopying.

We may or may not be able to meet all of your copy needs on the day of your visit.  Although we handle requests in the order they are received, we are usually able to provide same-day turnaround for copy requests of 25 or fewer pages.

Our copy fees are $.10 per 8.5" x 11" or 8.5" x 14" page and $.50 per 11" x 17" page.  If your copies are to be mailed to you, the total charge will include the cost of postage.  We accept cash, personal checks and money orders for payment.

While we do not provide scan services, researchers may take non-flash photographs of archival material with personal cameras, cell phones or other devices with cameras.  Personal scanners, however, are not permitted.

 

Page last modified: January 17, 2017