(Please be aware this post was written in 2004 and published at that time in the Houston Chronicle (Houston, Texas) newspaper. Some of the news in this post, therefore,  may not be current. Current and future posts on this blog may revisit and update news on this and other posts on this blog. If you have questions and/or suggestions, please send Mic a note using the comment page -Don’t forget to use the orange “subscribe” button to receive new posts-Thanks, Mic)

Houston’s Clayton Library is one of the best genealogical libraries in the United States. Because of it’s great reputation it has a tendency to overshadow some of the other wonderful libraries in the Houston area.

One library often overlooked by researchers is the Houston Public Library’s Houston Metropolitan Research Center affectionately known as the Texas Room.

The HMRC is located on the second floor of the Julia Ideson Building at 500 McKinney and is next door to the Central Library in Downtown Houston. The HMRC is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. It’s staff may be reached at 832-393-1669.

Through it’s archival and manuscript divisions the HMRC’s mission is to locate, preserve and make available to researchers the documentary history of Houston.

The Texas and Local History Collection of the HMRC consists of a world class Texana book collection, periodicals including newspapers and magazines dating from the 1800’s to present, more than 1,500 maps, a massive Texas government publications collection, an extensive newspaper clipping file plus city directories and telephone books from across the state.

Within the collection there are several specialized and concentrated collections such as the African-American, Mexican-American, Architectural, Photographic, Oral History and Jazz components.

These collections usually contain photographs, records of businesses, community and civic organizations, religious institutions and other public and private groups which have influenced Houston over the years.

In addition the HMRC collects private and personal papers and records of persons who have made a mark on the city’s history. Included would be the papers of civic, business and professional leaders, educators and politicians. The fruits of the collections are made accessible by a series of wonderful finding aids.

A group formed several months ago as a friends organization, the Friends of the Texas Room, was created to promote and protect the historic Ideson building and each of the collections held within her walls. The Friends group may be contacted by writing PO Box 27827 Houston, TX 77227-7827 or by calling Dorothy Johnson at 281-497-2448.


Russlene Waukechon, Texas State Library coordinator for TexShare, wishes to convey her appreciation to the Houston Public Library and all libraries and societies in the Houston area for their contributions to the Heritage Quest fund drive. The generosity from our area made the pledge drive a success.

To access the Heritage Quest data on Texshare one must obtain a library card from a participating library. The library staff will give guidance on how to access the databases.


Elizabeth Powell Crowe has published a book computer genealogists will love. Online Genealogy discusses all aspects of being online and doing genealogy.

First there is some basic information on how to get started researching one’s family and how to conduct genealogical research online. Included are discussions on hardware, software, ISPs, SPAM, search engines, directories, chat rooms, mail lists and how to conduct online searches.

The interesting part of the book discusses major and genealogically important websites such as the Library of Congress, the National Archives, Ellis Island, LDS, online library catalogues, international, national, state, local and ethnic websites.

Genealogy Online is available for $24.99 and may be found in most neighborhood bookstores.

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