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Library Update: COVID-19

In an effort to assist with controlling the transmission of COVID-19, the LRL is closed to the public. However, we are able to continue to provide many of our usual services. Librarians will continue to offer reference and research assistance via phone (512-463-1252) or email.  We will continue to produce Current Articles and the Legislative Clipping Service.

Updated Poets Laureate Exhibit

"WHEREAS, There is a close connection between the long growth of civilization and the development of literature; and WHEREAS, It has been customary in all ages for governments to recognize this relation by elevating the poet to the same plane as statesmen and military leaders; and WHEREAS, The recognition of outstanding poets in this State and their elevation to places of honor will have a wholesome and beneficial effect on literature in this State ... "


So was it resolved in SCR 82, 43R, that every two years, “some outstanding and recognized poet, who is a citizen of Texas” would be designated as state poet laureate.


In 2019, the 86th Legislature named Carrie Fountain (HR 903, SR 455) and Emmy Pérez (HR 897SR 456) as the latest poets laureate. Learn about them and other recently honored Texas poets laureate in our display on the north end of the library.


Library Update – Back in the Capitol!

Following our temporary relocation, the Legislative Reference Library is back in our Capitol space! With thanks to the Texas State Preservation Board for their leadership in the renovation process, we are enjoying new carpet, paint, public computer stations, and updated staff work areas.


Peruse the photos below to see some of the work in-progress and the final results. Come visit! And as always, please continue to call us at (512) 463-1252 and/or email us at with your reference and research needs.


When a carpet is 20+ years old, it needs replacing! The new carpet is the same pattern, following our historical room treatment, but now the colors are more vivid.


Updated offices and reference desk will help us better serve our patrons.


The final results!

Photos courtesy of the Texas State Preservation Board and LRL staff.

Happy Anniversary, LRL!

Happy anniversary to us! The Legislative Reference Library marks its 50th anniversary as an agency this September. The Legislative Reference Library was created as "an independent agency of the legislature" by Acts 1969, 61st Leg., p. 154, Ch. 55 (Senate Bill 263),


As noted last week, we are currently marking our anniversary year with a renovation project—but we will continue to offer reference, research, and other library services while we are relocated. We look forward to many more years of serving the legislative community! 

Library Update

After being in our restored space for more than 20 years, the Texas State Preservation Board has planned a renovation of the Legislative Reference Library. New carpet, paint, public computer stations, added staff work areas, and other updates are on the horizon for the LRL.


As with any big renovation project, this means that the LRL's operations will have to temporarily relocate from the Capitol! We will be based on the fourth floor of the John H. Reagan Building; our Capitol space will be closed. The LRL will continue to offer reference and research assistance, check out library materials, send Current Articles and New & Noteworthy emails, produce the Legislative Clipping Service, and provide other library services. The renovation will begin in August and will take approximately five months.


Please continue to call us at (512) 463-1252 and/or email us at with your reference and research needs.


New Exhibit: Paths to Inauguration

Learn a little about the backgrounds of Texas governors in our updated exhibit, Paths to Inauguration

  • View a thread map showing the birthplaces of all of the governors born in Texas—interestingly, only two out of twenty-one were born in the same town. (Rusk gave us both Gov. James Stephen Hogg, the first governor to be born in Texas, and Gov. Thomas Mitchell Campbell.)
  • Consider the higher education institutes that helped prepare twenty-eight governors for leadership. (There are a lot more commonalities here than we saw in birthplaces!)
  • Enjoy photos and other memorabilia from inauguration festivities, 1939 to 2019. 

Cover image: The Ross Volunteer Company—a special unit in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets that is the official Honor Guard of the Governor of Texas— escort Gov. Robert Allan Shivers and First Lady Marialice Shivers’ car as they head to the Capitol for the January 20, 1953, inauguration ceremony. Neal Douglass Photography Collection, Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.

Texas African American History Memorial Exhibit

Entering the Capitol grounds from the south, one of the first monuments visitors see is the Texas African American History Memorial. Unveiled on November 19, 2016, the monument commemorates African American Texans and their contributions to the history and evolution of the Lone Star State. 


To see how the memorial developed in sculptor Ed Dwight's studio and learn about its legislative history, visit the Legislative Reference Library's display featuring the piece. Photographs showing components of the sculpture in different stages, alongside images of the final product, give insight into the artist's process. Placards lining the top of the case outline the eight bills that the legislature passed in the process of making the memorial a reality. (You can also learn more about the monument's legislative history here.)


As Texans prepare to commemorate Black History Month, we hope you'll visit our display and the Texas African American History Memorial to learn more about the wide array of contributions made by Black Texans.


Images, clockwise from top: 

The Texas African American History Memorial display is located in the case nearest the reference desk.


Photos from sculptor Ed Dwight's studio came to the library courtesy of Bill Jones, Esq., Chair of the Texas African American History Memorial Foundation, and help us to see the many steps and intricate work that went into the 27-foot high and 32-foot wide monument.

Legislative Agency Service Fair, January 24

At the beginning of each session, the Legislative Agency Service Fair provides an opportunity for new members and their staff to learn more about the services each agency offers.


This year, the fair will be held on Thursday, January 24, from 10:30 until noon, in the Legislative Reference Library, Capitol, 2N.3.


Staff from the following legislative agencies will be in attendance: Legislative Budget Board, Legislative Reference Library, State Auditor's Office, Sunset Advisory Commission, and Texas Legislative Council. Also attending will be a representative from the National Conference of State Legislatures. You might come away with more than information—we will have selected publications and other items to give away.


Please drop by the fair to learn more about how legislative agencies can support your work!


Rep. Dade Phelan (HD-21) reviews materials from the Legislative Reference Library with LRL Assistant Director, Catherine Wusterhausen, at the 2015 agency fair.

Updated Exhibit: Legislator/Artist

Learn about the creative side of some Texas legislators in our recently updated "Legislator/Artist" exhibit. 


See a painting by Sen. Craig Estes (77th–85th Legislatures) and drawings—on Texas legislature subjects—by Reps. Neil Caldwell (56th–64th Legislatures) and Louis H. Scholl (34th–35th Legislatures).


Know of any other legislators, past or present, who have artistic talents? Let us know so we can add their work to our display!


Cover image ("Jack passed his court bill") by Rep. Neil Caldwell. Reproduced from Inside the Texas Legislature with State Representative Neil Caldwell, 1969.

Organizing, Preserving, and Providing Access to Legislative Information Since 1969

The Legislative Reference Library recently updated our exhibit about the library and its work. Come by and learn more about our creation and leadership, discover answers to frequently asked questions, enjoy now and then photos of our reading room, and see photos documenting our work over time.


Now and then, the LRL in 2018 and 1910. See that bucket next to the man in the foreground of the picture? Yup, that's a spittoon. Our tables don't come with spittoons anymore, but visitors can bring their (covered) drinks to our library!

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