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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Historic Preservation

Archives and Special Collections

Resources at UT

The Alexander Architectural Archives at the University of Texas at Austin is an architectural research center of national importance. As a unit of the University of Texas Libraries within the Architecture and Planning Library, the Archives support research and education about the history of the built environment by acquiring and preserving research collections and by making them accessible. The Archives also support learning opportunities and scholarly activities for students studying preservation of the cultural record and archival enterprise.

As a leading history research center, the Briscoe Center for American History collects preserves, and makes available documentary and material culture evidence encompassing key themes in Texas and U.S. history.

Eugene C. Barker Texas History Collection, Briscoe Center for American History is the most extensive collection of books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, photographs, and recordings related to Texas.

Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection contains historical maps, city maps, park maps, sanborn maps, and topographical maps of Texas. Some of the maps are available digitally.

The University of Texas Archives is comprised of adminstrative papers of UT Departments and personal papers of leading academics.

Resources Beyond UT: TEXAS

Austin History Center has over 60,000 architectural drawings and documents from projects designed by over 150 local firms. Holdings are listed in the Austin Public Library online catalog.

The Houston Metropolitan Research Center is an archival branch of the Houston Public Library which focuses on the history of Houston. HMRC's collections include books, photographs, maps, architectural drawings, oral histories and other archival materials. An assortment of these materials have been digitized.

The Portal to Texas History offers a digital gateway to rich collections held in Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, and private collections.

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) is the state agency for historic preservation.

The Texas Historical Atlas features nearly 300,000 site records, including data on Official Texas Historical Markers and National Register of Historic Places properties in Texas.

The Texas State Library and Archive Commission collects official records of Texas government and other significant historical resources.

The Texas Archival Resources Online allows you to conduct a search for the finding aids of many of these collections and others across the state.

The Shape of Texas is a radio program hosted by the Texas Society of Architects. The program can be accessed on the Texas Society of Architects' website.

William J. HIll Texas Artisans and Artists Archive was created by the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. This freely-searchable online archive documents the lives, work, and products of Texas artisans and artists through 1900.

The General Land Office houses maps, archival documents, and land grants.

Texas Secretary of State includes records, rules, and regulations.

Texas Department of Transportation: Photo Library includes TxDoT subjects and landscapes.

Texas Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio Texas

Beyond UT: National Resources

ArchiveGrid includes over four million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers, family histories, and more. With over 1,000 different archival institutions represented, it helps researchers looking for primary source materials held in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies.

The Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) contains metadata records —information describing an item —for millions of photographs, manuscripts, books, sounds, moving images, and more from libraries, archives, and museums around the United States. Each record links to the original object on the content provider’s website. The DPLA brings together the riches of America’s libraries, archives, and museums, and makes them freely available to the world. It strives to contain the full breadth of human expression, from the written word, to works of art and culture, to records of America’s heritage, to the efforts and data of science. The DPLA aims to expand this crucial realm of openly available materials, and make those riches more easily discovered and more widely usable and used.

Library of Congress

National Archives and Records Administration

Please Note

  • Please be sure to consult the policies of the archives and repositories before visiting them  to ensure the accessibility of the materials and required documentation for access.
  • Some of the resources may have digital or online content that is accessible, while others may provide a finding aid to help you access the physical collection.

Sources for Research

While this guide, How to Research Architecture by Cynthia Van Ness, is local to Buffalo, she includes the types of resources that you might consider consulting as you look for material on your subject. Ignoring the Buffalo specific, think about where you might find some of these types of resources. If you are not sure, you can always consult your local librarian, Katie Pierce Meyer.

The Clarke Historical Library at Central Michigan University also has guide that identifies different types of resources one might consult while researching a house.

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