Alana Inman

Manager, Sam Houston Center

Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center Begins Museum Renovation Project, Welcomes Public for Behind-the-Scenes tour on 3/18

Friday, February 17, 2017 • Liberty, TX • News Release

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission has contracted with Exhibit Concepts, in collaboration with Pony Allen Studios to renovate the museum space and reception area at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center. The project will include an upgrade to the 1,900 square foot museum exhibit space with updated furnishings, displays, signage and a permanent exhibit highlighting the history of the Atascosito District.

“One of the challenges unique to this project will be balancing the stories of the ten individual counties with the overall story of the historic Atascosito District,” stated museum exhibition designer, Pony Allen. “The ten counties have a shared history as a region, they have each developed unique and individual histories with various industries and distinct personalities. We will strive to share and celebrate the stories of the entire District as well as the individual counties in a way that is inclusive of all.”

Allen and his staff will dedicate several months conducting research and exploring the available collection of artifacts while design concepts for the exhibits will be explored and refined. Once all of the design and writing of the exhibits has been approved and finalized, fabrication of all the components will begin. The installation of all the components and artifacts will take between four to six weeks. Allen projects a targeted completion in the fall.

“The stories explored in the new exhibit will broaden area residents’ understanding of their neighbors, their adjoining counties, and the history of the Atascosito District,” commented Allen. “Ultimately, our hope is to create a sense of pride and ownership with the stories that have been written and that are being written today. “

The public is invited to visit for a behind-the-scenes tour of the archival holdings of the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center Saturday, March 18, 10:00 am – 2:00 pm. The tour serves as an opportunity for visitors to receive up close and personal viewings of items that may be in the exhibit. In preparation for the renovation archival staff will be seeking artifacts and documents that help to tell the story of the Atascosito District. This event is a unique opportunity for neighbors in the surrounding counties to bring personal items and consult with TSLAC’s conservator on their preservation.

The Center serves as the official regional historical resource depository for the ten county region including Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, and Tyler. The Center's primary mission is to collect, preserve, and provide access to historically significant state and local government records and publications of the designated region, and to secondarily to serve as a library of Texana and genealogical resources for the region.

The Center’s holdings include over 12,000 cubic feet of historical materials related to Southeast Texas, comprised of local government records, manuscripts, fine art prints and photographs, blueprints and maps, newspapers, books and journals, three-dimensional artifacts, and audio-visual materials and microfilm. The Center is also responsible for five historic buildings, ranging in date from 1848 to circa 1930, and the Jean and Price Daniel Home and Archives, constructed in 1983.