The Austin History Center Association is a non-profit community group that supports and promotes the mission and work of the Austin History Center. The Center is the local history division of the Austin Public Library. Here, information about local governments, businesses, residents, schools, and neighborhoods is collected and preserved so we all – and generations to come – have access to our collective history. Through these stories, we are connected to people who came before us and created our city.

Click the video link below to learn more about the Center and efforts to provide space for its work:


The Center is unlike any other library, archive, or museum in Austin. It’s home to more than a million photographs of the people who have helped shape our city; more than 35,000 drawings by planners, architects, developers and builders; and thousands of oral histories, letters, diaries, and records that tell stories of the ordinary, the famous, and the infamous people and organizations that left their mark on Austin. More of these treasures come through the doors of the Austin History Center every day, but space for storage has run out.

PICA 16871, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library


The building at 9th and Guadalupe Street that hosts the Austin History Center was built in 1933. The Center's archives could fill more than two buildings that size. Recognizing this, the Austin City Council has endorsed the expansion of the Austin History Center into the neighboring John Henry Faulk Central Library building, but that building now needs more than $11 million just to bring it up to current safety code. City leaders and the AHCA continue to try to find sources of money to pay for the Faulk repairs that would open the door for the Austin History Center expansion.

Housed in the building that served as Austin’s first public library, the Austin History Center is the anchor of Austin’s downtown historical district, with resources that reflect every corner of our community.

PICA 06369, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library


Investing in the renovation and expansion of the Austin History Center will bring visitors and generate revenue for the City of Austin.

People want to know what made Austin what it is today. Who charted its course? Who had a hand in its development? Whose voice guided its collective conscience? The answers to these questions and more live at the Austin History Center. Already researchers, authors, and film makers from around the globe come to the Center to tap its vast archives, but there’s potential for so much more. Imagine Austin, the city’s comprehensive plan, sees the AHC as a draw not only for residents, but visitors, too. An expanded AHC can accommodate more and larger groups of students – field trips that can help integrate Austin’s history into school curriculum.

As the anchor of Austin’s west downtown historical district, an Austin History Center Visitors Center is uniquely positioned to draw tourists anxious to learn how Austin came to be, while providing Austin students and other citizens better access to information from their past.

PICA 16817, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library


Our ability to continue capturing Austin’s history rests on the support of people like you. Many elected officials already understand the importance of preserving our rich history. But they need to know it’s important to you, too. Hearing from you encourages moving forward with a partnership to get the renovations and space the Center desperately needs. Clickable links below on how to help:

Our ability to continue capturing Austin’s history rests on the support of people like you. Many elected officials already understand the importance of preserving our rich history. But they need to know it’s important to you, too. Hearing from you encourages moving forward with a partnership to get the renovations and space the Center desperately needs. Clickable links below on how to help:

Call or email your Austin City Council member and the members of the Bond Oversight Committee.

Tell them you support funding for the expansion of the Austin History Center.

Contact the AHCA Executive Director Jeff Cohen to discuss the expansion advocacy effort, or to be added to the AHCA email list. Jeff can be reached at jcohen@austinhistory.net or by calling 512-270-0132.

PICA 06369, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library

Visit the Austin History Center. Take in an exhibit or peruse the historic newspapers, photographs, and other archives available in the Center’s Reading Room. There’s value and benefit in learning about our city’s triumphs, tragedies, turmoil, and tenacity – all the elements that have shaped our community and continue to do so.

PICA 20338, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library