Reference and Research Assistance at the Ready: Remote Services Are Here for You

By Maria Barker, Access Librarian

Did you know that you can still visit us virtually from home during this period of social distancing? Not only is our reference staff ready to respond to your questions via email and voicemail, you may also access material through our digital collections and databases. For details about resources available to you from home, read on. For information about COVID-19 and the status of all TSLAC services please visit https://www.tsl.texas.gov/services.

Although our reference staff are away from their familiar spot at the reference desk while TSLAC”s reading rooms are closed, librarians are still available virtually to assist patrons with reference and research inquiries.

Reference Staff at the Ready

In addition to answering your reference questions at ref@tsl.texas.gov and 512-463-5455, consider seeking assistance with your research through the following services and resources.

  • City Directory Look Ups

We can search names or addresses in our collection of City Directories and respond with scanned results if a match is found. If we cannot find a match, we will provide referrals and alternative resource suggestions based on your area of research.

  • Vital Statistics Look Ups

Staff can search up to five names in our collection of Vital Statistics indexes and report back the results over the phone or via email. In addition, staff can provide background and referrals on the availability of this information based on the time period of interest and your research goals. 

  • 2nd Saturday Workshop Topics

While our live presentations have been suspended, workshop content and links to relevant resource pages can be found on our website. Here are a few select topics:

o   Introduction to Newspaper Collections

o   Introduction to the Texas State Archives

o   Ancestry.com Texas Collections

Research Using Online Collections

Put away the gloves and magnifying glass, our staff has done the heavy lifting. Learn more about our publications and original documents by visiting the databases and information pages tailored to our collections.

Publications and Government Documents

While state agencies may be closed, a record of their service and history lives on through the following TSLAC resources.

TRAIL captures and preserves information posted to state agency websites. Whether you are looking for a specific report or simply want to see a state agency website as it existed at a certain point in time, TRAIL can help.

Energize your research with a search through our online catalog. As a depository library for both state and federal documents, a home to archival collections, and an institution with roots dating back to the early years of our state, the range and depth of our material is substantial. See our Newly Added Titles and On Display pages for a slice of our latest collections. Contact reference at ref@tsl.texas.gov with questions about our records and access.

Recently registered?

If your registration is current, TexShare services are still available to you via your TSLAC library account. With a library of databases covering everything from health news to craft tutorials, this is a resource to have on hand if you want to learn something new. Email ref@tsl.texas.gov to confirm your current registration and receive the password to access this service.

We look forward to assisting you via ref@tsl.texas.gov or 512-463-5455.

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