The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History is a history research center with few peers. Our archival, artifact, and library collections contain historical treasures documenting key themes in Texas and U.S. history. These treasures echo with stories of the people, places, events, and ideas that have shaped our nation’s history.
Our mission is to bring history to life. We preserve and make available resources that exist at no other research center—enhanced by the expertise of archivists and historians who are knowledgeable, passionate, and eager to assist anyone who wishes to research our collections. The Briscoe Center is a passageway to the past, where history lives for researchers, students, scholars, and lifelong learners.
We invite you to explore our collections.
American Energy Industry
The American Energy Industry collections trace the rise of the energy industry from the independent wildcatters of the early twentieth century to the multi-national corporations of today.
The Southern history collections at the Briscoe Center are recognized nationally as one of the major resources for research on the history of the American South, including the eleven states that seceded from the Union in 1860 and 1861.
Archives of American Mathematics
The only archive in the United States dedicated to preserving mathematics-related collections, the Archives is the premier resource for researchers seeking primary materials in mathematics.
Civil Rights and Social Justice
The center’s resources include a wide range of materials relating to civil rights, labor organization, anti-war protest, criminal justice and prison reform, LGBTQIA+ rights, women’s rights, and environmental activism.
Congressional and Political History
Documenting legislative activity that impacts national, and even international, affairs, the papers are important for understanding both Texas and national history.
Documentary photography offers the historian a different way of looking at the past. Documentary photographers capture the patterns and stories of history, usually in depth and detail, as well as evidence of changing social circumstances.
Our Historic Quilts Collection contains nearly 900 quilts and spans over two hundred years of quilt making and features documentary resources that support research into the role of quilts in American culture, especially during the twentieth century.
Music and Entertainment History
The Music and Entertainment History collection contains recordings, sheet music, photographs, videos, business records, correspondence, and lyrics.
News Media History
The Briscoe Center is home to one of the most comprehensive collections in existence relating to news media history containing nearly three miles of archival materials across hundreds of separate collections.
The center’s photographic collections contains more than 6 million images and spans the period from the late 1840s to the present. Our general photographic archive embraces some 750,000 images focusing on the people, places, and events in Texas.
Recognizing the importance of photojournalism to historical interpretation, the Briscoe Center began collecting the archives of major American photojournalists in the early 1990s. This collecting focus accelerated during the past decade; as of 2020, the center preserves over 70 noteworthy photojournalism archives.
Our Texas History collections includes books, manuscripts, maps, newspapers, photographs, broadsides, and recorded sound and constitutes the most extensive collection of Texas-related material in existence.
The University of Texas History
The Briscoe Center preserve and make available for research the historically valuable official records of the university, the personal and professional papers of significant individuals from its history, and additional materials that substantively document its growth from a regional college to a world-leading research institution.
The Western Americana Collection consists of some fifteen thousand volumes of rare books acquired from private collectors, supplemented by collections of archives and manuscripts, photographs, maps, newspapers, and ephemera.