The Texas Observer launched in 1954, with its mission printed manifesto-style in the first issue: to “hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it.” In the years since, the publication has lifted marginalized voices, been a disinfectant for dastardly deeds, and remained one of the few truly independent media outlets in the United States.
The Texas Observer archive is housed at the Briscoe Center, along with the papers and records of some of its most notable contributors and supporters, including John Henry Faulk, J. R. Parten, Molly Ivins, and Bernard Rapoport. This exhibit presents a selection from across the Observer’s history, reflecting the publication’s tradition of reporting on civil rights, the nuances of Texas culture, the problems in public health care, the richness of the border, the people in rural Texas, the beauty—and exploitation—of our natural environment, and the endless dealings of the Texas Legislature.
We require reservations for exhibition attendance to ensure proper social distancing. We are open weekdays from 10 a.m. to noon, and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. We close from noon to 1 p.m. for cleaning.
For the safety of all involved, we ask our in-person visitors to follow these guidelines:
- Please do not come to the Briscoe Center if you or someone in your household is sick or feels ill.
- You must wear a recommended protective face mask.
- Masks worn over the mouth and nose are required for all visitors older than two as well as Briscoe Center staff during your entire visit. Masks with a valve and face shields worn without an approved face mask are not permitted. Read more about The University of Texas at Austin’s mask policy here.
- Vaccination or a history of prior infections with COVID-19 does not alter the requirements for masking on campus.
- If you believe you are in an exempted category for the mask requirement, please contact us in advance of your visit.
- Please wash your hands well and often, and use our hand sanitizers where available.
- Practice social distancing on site by following signs and Briscoe Center staff guidance. Stay six feet away from other visitors while in the galleries. Households may remain together; children must stay with adults at all times.