Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center
Hours: Open Tuesday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center is a component of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission's (TSLAC) Archives and Information Services Division (ARIS) and serves as the official regional historical resource depository for the 10 Southeast Texas counties of 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 secondarily to serve as a library of Texana and genealogical resources.
Through its collections, historic buildings, and educational exhibits and initiatives, it also honors the distinguished public service of former governors, organizations, and citizens of the Atascosito District.
The Sam Houston Center is a direct result of the people of Southeast Texas and their desire to preserve their regional history and provide a centralized place for its study. On September 27, 1973 former Governor Price and Jean Daniel donated 117 acres of land to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for the construction of a regional historical resource depository. An additional 10 acres was donated in 1985, creating a 127 acre complex.
This beautiful and historic site was part of the original B.W. Hardin League, immediately south of the Hardin Cemetery and north of the site of Atascosito. Atascosito was a 1756 Spanish outpost, which became the seat of government for the area in 1826. The name of the town and district changed to Liberty in 1831. All or portions of the ten counties served by the Center were carved from the Atascosito-Liberty District.
Local sponsorship and fundraising was organized by the Atascosito Historical Society with Charles W. Fisher, Jr. as president and by the building committee, cochaired by Ambassador Edward Clark and Mrs. Camilla Davis Blaffer Trammel from 1973 to 1976. The Lamar University Board of Regents voted on November 7, 1973 to join as regional sponsors. In 1975 the Center's construction was named as a Texas State Library American Bicentennial Project.
By the fall of 1975 when construction began, over $700,000 was raised from private donations. The majority of the funds were given by the following: The M.D. Anderson Foundation; The Family of E.W. Boyt; the Cullen Foundation; Governor and Mrs. Price Daniel; Will Daniel, Ann Daniel Rogers, Sue Daniel Parker and Dani Daniel Haberle; Mrs. Wirt Davis; The Mary Gay Trust; Mr. Fred Hartman; The Houston Endowment; The Humphreys Foundation; Mrs. Triphene Middleton and John Middleton; The Moody Foundation; Mr. & Mrs. Allen Neyland; Miss Miriam Partlow; the Family of Governor Ross Sterling; Thomas A. Wheat, Jr. and John Nixon Wheat.
The Center takes its name from one of the region's most significant historical figures, and Jean Daniel's great-great grandfather, Sam Houston. The building was dedicated and opened on May 14, 1977. The modern archival facility has 17,600 square feet divided into exhibit areas, the archives and library, a meeting room, and offices.
Special thanks to the Atascosito Historical Society. The society serves as a support group for the Sam Houston Center, maintaining all of the historic buildings and contributing funds for special events and acquisitions which otherwise would not be possible.
The Sam Houston Center houses local government records, rare books, manuscripts, archival materials, photographs and other media format covering a wide range of Southeastern Texas history. Our holdings do not circulate, but may be used in our reading room.
The Reading Room is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm.
- Local Government Records available at the Sam Houston Center
- Jefferson County
- Liberty County
- Newton County
- Abstract of Title Collection
- American Red Cross, Liberty County Chapter
- Ashe-Brashear Papers
- Jean Houston Baldwin Collection
- Greg D. Box Photograph Collection
- Jesse Key (Bill) Brett Papers
- Callender, Goldsmith, and Cox Family Papers
- Phillip E. Carrico Collection
- Champ d'Asile Research Collection
- City of Liberty Map Collection
- H.O. Compton Collection
- Governor Bill and Vara Martin Daniel Collection
- Greater Port Arthur Chamber of Commerce Records
- Record Collections related to Price Daniel
- Texas Attorney General Price Daniel Records
- U.S. Senator Price Daniel Papers, 1928, 1938-1939, 1942-1961
- Texas Governor Price Daniel Records, 1944-1966
- Texas Governor Price Daniel Appointment Files, 1957-1962
- Texas Governor Price Daniel Campaign Files, 1950, 1956-1962
- Price Daniel Audiovisual Materials and Related Papers, 1952-1962,1980, undated
- DeBat Family Papers
- Robert Demler Collection of Southeast Texas Images
- Martin Dies Papers
- Henry Lloyd Dugat Sr. Papers
- George Gordon Papers
- The Hardin Family Papers
- Benjamin Franklin Hardin Family Papers
- Sam Houston Hearne Collection
- Andrew Jackson Houston Papers
- Elizabeth Stafford Hutchinson Papers
- Don Kelly Southeast Texas Postcard Collection
- John Henry Kirby Papers
- Andy Kyle World War II Collection
- Jean Laffite Collection
- Margaret Legath Papers
- Liberty (Tex.) City Officials Photograph Collection
- Liberty Woman's Club Collection
- William M. Logan Papers
- Ed T. and Marjorie H. Malloy Photograph Collection
- Walter H. and Vera DeBlanc Mathews Family Papers
- Adah Isaacs Menken Collection
- Marcel Moraud Papers
- Norman Family Papers
- Eloise Reid and Stephen Decatur O'Brien Jr. Family Papers
- Olympic Torch Relay Collection
- Pickett and Pickett Law Office Papers
- Vernon F. Poole Collection
- Port Arthur City Manager's Office Subject Files
- Port Arthur Mayor's Office Subject Files
- Sam Houston and Josie Bond Reid family papers
- J.F. Richardson Papers
- Betty I. Hook Rienstra Papers
- Alfred W. Roark Papers
- Rotary International 5910 Collection
- Thomas Samuel Partlow U.S. Army Scrapbook
- Christine Moor Sanders Collection
- Clyde and Thelma See Glass Plate Negatives Collection
- Lois M. Short Collection
- Charles Nutter Smith Papers
- Anna Margaret Stroud Collection
- United States National Weather Service Trinity River Materials
- Horald V. Watson Collection
- L.J. Whitmeyer Glass Plate Negatives Collection
- Sergeant James H. Young Collection
Please note: This list contains a small sample of our larger collection.
Learn more about our research collections and services in the video below:
Introduction to the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center
In addition to research support, the Sam Houston Center offers tours, exhibitions, and meeting space for educational programming.
Located on the Center's grounds are four historic buildings and the Jean and Price Daniel Home and Archives. These buildings document 19th and 20th century Southeast Texas history.
Tours of the Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building are self-guided and do not require an appointment. Tours of the other buildings are available by appointment. We recommend booking your tour at least two weeks in advance. Tours with less notice will be accommodated based on staff availability.
The structure preserves and displays the library, archives, furnitures, and mementos that document the Daniels' lives and years of public service.
Visit the Center's newly renovated museum featuring the exhibit, Atascosito: The History of Southeast Texas. The exhibit chronicles the region's past through dynamic displays of artifacts, photographs, maps, and historical documents. The exhibit showcases the developments of the area, including its river economy, timber industry, rice agriculture, and expansive oil fields, while also sharing stories of the thousands of years of growth and movement of people through what has become the 10-county region of Jasper, Jefferson, Hardin, Liberty, Orange, San Jacinto, Polk, Newton, Chambers, and Tyler. To get a taste of what is included in the museum, you can access an online children’s activity book here (PDF).
Every visitor is responsible for assisting in the preservation of the documents and artifacts deposited in the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center. Our rules are intended to protect and preserve these materials to ensure that the information they contain is available for subsequent visitors. Visitors to the Center are asked to review the following:
Records of the legislative and executive branches of 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 pulishes its Public Information Act Handbook biennially, as a guide to understanding the Act. For additional information, please review our page Public Information Act and Research in the State Archives.
When citing citing materials used from the Archives collections, please use the suggested formats outlined in the Texas State Archives Citation Form.
Interested in donating to the Sam Houston Center? The Center collects materials in eight areas:
- State government records
- Local government records
- Library materials
Please note: Only items related to Southeast Texas, as defined as the counties of Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, and Tyler, are accepted, with the exception of a limited number of published library materials on the state as a whole.
For more information, please review the Sam Houston Center's Acquisition Policy.
The Center is located three miles north of Liberty, Texas, at 650 FM 1011, approximately 200 miles east of Austin and just 41 miles northeast of Houston. The repository is located between Houston and Beaumont off of State Highway 146.
Travel US Highway 90 east to State Highway 146 north, then exit on FM 1011. Road signs direct to the Center.
Travel US Highway 90 west to State Highway 146 north, then turn left onto FM 1011. Road signs direct to the Center.
Take Interstate 45 south to TX-150 east, take exit 103 to continue on TX-150 east, take FM 1725 to State Highway 105/TX-105 east, take State Highway 146 south/TX-146 south, and take a right onto FM 1011. Road signs direct to the Center.
For more help finding us, call (936) 336-8821.