Austin History Center

The Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, is one of the premiere local history collections in the country. It began in 1955 as a small collection of vertical file folders called the Austin-Travis County Collection in the Reference Department of the library, and has grown to include:

  • Over 45,000 published books and City of Austin reports
  • Over 7000 linear feet of archives and manuscript material
  • Over 1000 historic maps
  • Over 1 million photographic images
  • Over 25,000 audio and video recordings

In addition, the AHC acts as the official Archives for the City of Austin, caring for all historic and archival city records. The City Archives includes copies of city reports published by all departments, records of former mayors, council members, city managers and assistant city managers, and records created by various city departments. The AHC collects, preserves, and provides access to information about local government, businesses, residents, institutions, organizations, and neighborhoods in the greater Austin area.

Austin History Center slide
Beer trucks belonging to the Lightsey Carroll Company Distributors stand at the ready to deliver beer to thirsty Austinites. Featuring the Capitol in the background lends and air of legality to beer distribution, particularly considering that Prohibition had ended just five months before the picture was taken. May 25, 1934. Image # C06561, Russell Chalberg Photograph Collection, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.