Texas Historical Commission Library - Austin, TX
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Raven
N 30° 16.668 W 097° 44.367
14R E 621241 N 3350241
Quick Description: The Texas Historical Commission (THC) Library is situated inside an old Lutheran church originally built in 1883. Open by appointment only, it houses the state's Historical Marker files and a collection of the state's National Register sites.
Location: Texas, United States
Date Posted: 11/30/2014 4:10:52 PM
Waymark Code: WMN03F
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Dorcadion Team
Views: 1

Long Description:
The Texas Historical Commission, originally known as the "Texas State Historical Survey Committee", was formed in 1953 by the State of Texas Legislature to oversee state historical programs. Specifically, its mission was to "lead, coordinate, sponsor projects, and act as a clearinghouse and information center to survey, record, preserve, restore, and mark all phases of Texas history by working with and through the state, regional, and local groups and individuals". This ultimately included the "preservation and designation of historic houses, sites, and landmarks; preservation of important papers, documents and relics that record Texas life; and publication and distribution of materials concerning Texas history".

The Texas Historical Commission (THC) Library in situated inside the old Gethsemane Lutheran church, originally built in 1883 and now both a Texas Historical Landmark as well as listed in the National Record of Historic Places. Open by appointment only, it includes four main areas: museum studies, archeology, state and local history, and historic preservation and architecture. Per its own website:

"Two of the library's most significant resources include the agency's historical marker files, which number about 15,500, and a file collection of the state's more than 3,100 National Register sites. Notable library resources include:

* Survey reports of archeological and cultural resources Maps from the 1936 county survey
* Slides and photos of state historic sites and buildings
* City and county histories
* A general reference section
* A collection of archeology and history periodicals"

A brief description and history of the library's building grounds, per the National Register of Historic Places records:

"[the building is a] simple brick Gothic revival church with graceful proportions now on the extended Capitol grounds. The church is raise[d] on a limestone basement and is built of tan used handmade Austin brick from the Capitol building. The church is rectangular in plan and has a tall front central bell tower. The paneled double doors are from the old Main building at the University of Texas and are set in a lancet arched opening with a stained glass fan light. [...]

In the interests of economizing on building and material fees, the [Gethsemane Lutheran] congregation did much of the construction work themselves. [...] they salvaged bricks and stones from the old state Capitol which had burned down in 1881. They retrieved the doors of the old Main Building at the University of Texas when it was dismantled in 1934 and used them as the front door for the church.

Gethsemane was completed in 1883. The architecture is typical of early rural churches in Sweden. In addition, it is such an outstanding example of early Texas architecture that it was featured on the cover of Texas Architect, April 1963. Measurements for Gethsemane Church are preserved in the library of Congress."
Classification of Library: Special Library (Affliated Members Only)

Internet access available: Unknown - Could not verify

Additional Internet Connection Options:

Hours of Operation:
Open by appointment only

Approximate date of opening.: 1/1/1969

Library Website: [Web Link]

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