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Legislative Reference Library of Texas
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Library collection


The Legislative Reference Library was created by Acts 1969, 61st Leg., p. 154, Ch. 55 (Senate Bill 263) and placed under the direct supervision of the Texas Legislature. Before 1969, the Library existed as the Legislative Reference Division of the Texas State Library, one of its earliest divisions, created in 1909 for the use and information of the members of the Legislature. In the early 1960s, the division's holdings consisted of 20,000 bound volumes, mostly law books, statutes of all 50 states, and reference books. Included in the holdings was a card file indexing all bills introduced in the Texas Legislature since the early 1920s and a newspaper clipping file with over 90,000 clippings.


Today, the library's collection has grown to approximately 46,354 titles and 131,545 volumes. The oldest Texas print title is Laws Passed at a Special Session of the Sixth Congress of the Republic of Texas, dated 1842. The core collection includes:

  • Texas resources (statutes, session laws dating back to the Republic of Texas, Texas House and Senate Journals back to the 1890s)
  • Original bill files from the 63rd Legislature to the present
  • Selected federal sources
  • Books covering a wide range of topics
  • Reference books
  • Texas agency documents
  • About 100 subscriptions to magazines, law reviews, and newsletters

The print collection is enhanced by electronic sources, including both commercial and in-house databases, many of which are available on the library's website:

Use of the collection

While many of these resources can be accessed outside the Capitol Complex, some research tools are accessible only in the Library. Researchers who visit the State Capitol can use the library's public computers to access:

  • The Legislative Clipping Service and Clippings Archive, which expand the Texas State Library's original newspaper clipping file, covers the period 1900 to the present, and includes links to bills and reports referenced in the clippings.
  • The DTPA collection provides resources dating from 1973 through 2001 to assist researchers in compiling legislative intent and history for the Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act, including legislative drafts, transcripts of hearings, correspondence, news clippings, talking points, and other commentary.

The Legislative Reference Library is open to the public for study and research purposes; however, circulation privileges are generally limited to legislators, their staff, and employees of other legislative agencies.