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:
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:
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 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.