Discover Rosenberg Library
A library information series
designed to give patrons and visitors to the site a closer look at the many special rooms and features of the Rosenberg Library.
ROSENBERG LIBRARY - The Galveston & Texas History Center
he Galveston and Texas History Center collects, preserves and organizes archival materials that document the history of Galveston and Texas, focusing on Galveston from the city’s incorporation in 1839 through the present. The collection also relates to Texas from the Spanish period to the end of the Civil War.
When the Rosenberg Library was built in 1904, historical Galveston documents and manuscripts were being preserved by the Galveston Historical Society. In 1895, Rabbi Henry Cohen and E.G. Littlejohn reorganized it into the Texas Historical Society. A part of the Society's archives was lost or damaged in the
Great Storm of 1900
, and when the library was built, the Texas Historical Society moved its remaining papers into the new building where they were bundled, carefully labeled and filed in drawers by date.(1)
In 1921, the Texas Historical Society asked that the Rosenberg Library take on the role of official custodian of its collection while the Society retained ownership. Ten years later, the Society transferred ownership to the library. When librarian Frank Patten died in 1934, cataloguing of the collection stopped, and eventually the papers were stored in the library's attic. In 1945 the library hired Ruth G. Nichols to organize and catalog the archives into one large indexed file, and in 1971 when the Moody Memorial Wing was added to the library, doubling its size, a fire-proof, climate-controlled vault with a reading room, workroom and department offices were created to house and manage the archives. A separate book room was added in 1996.(1)
The ever-increasing archived collections have occupied space in various areas of the library over the years aside from the History Center, including the Morgan Room
, the Museum curator's office
, and the Fox Room
The archives department was officially renamed the Galveston & Texas History Center in 1983. Located on the fourth floor of the Moody Memorial Wing, the Galveston & Texas History Center (GTHC) is open to the public
for research, and its staff is available in person and by phone to answer requests for information about Galveston and Texas in addition to providing public programming events and displays, collecting historically important documents, photos
and manuscripts, and conducting oral histories. The History Center has contributed thousands of historic photographs and documents to published books, films and TV programs.