About the Briscoe Center for American History

Briscoe Center for American History

The Briscoe Center is an essential stop on the research itinerary of historians from all over the world.

—H.W. Brands, PhD.

The Briscoe Center for American History is one of the leading historical research centers in the United States. Its archives, libraries, museums, and historic buildings represent The University of Texas’s commitment to the critical importance of collecting and preserving primary source material for the investigation of our past.

When the university opened in 1883, it began collecting evidence documenting the history of Texas. These collections of early records and artifacts eventually formed the Barker Texas History Center, the most comprehensive archive in existence about the history of the Lone Star State. In 1991, under the leadership of Don Carleton, the university established the Center for American History, building upon the foundation of the Texas collections and other regional and subject-specific archives. Since then, the center has broadened its collections strengths through acquisitions to become the Briscoe Center we know today. Named in honor of Governor Dolph Briscoe in 2008, the center’s divisions include Research and Collections located on The University of Texas at Austin campus; the Sam Rayburn Museum in Bonham, Texas; the Briscoe–Garner Museum in Uvalde, Texas; and Winedale, a research collection of nineteenth-century structures, material culture, and decorative arts located near Round Top, Texas.

The Briscoe Center’s collections provide a treasure trove of material for researchers to explore. Our holdings include more than:

  • 7 million photographs
  • 200,000 books and periodicals
  • 84,000 ft. (17 miles) of manuscripts and archives
  • 57,000 sound recordings
  • 35,000 maps
  • 35,000 film and video recordings
  • 5,500 newspaper titles
  • 25,000 objects of material culture
  • 13 historic buildings

The Briscoe Center collections continue to increase, providing many avenues for historical inquiry. As an active place of learning, the Briscoe Center facilitates the academic use of the collections through research services, classes and seminars, fellowships, faculty collaborations, and student internship programs. The Center also fosters the public’s engagement with the collection by producing exhibitions and public programs, video and digital projects, documentary film and books. The Briscoe Center’s extensive collections makes it possible for students of all ages to examine primary sources, form questions, seek evidence, and deepen their understanding of the American story.

Collection Strengths

Visit the Briscoe Center

Briscoe Center for American History
Sid Richardson Hall 2.106 2300 Red River St. Stop D1100 Austin TX, 78712-1426 (512) 495-4515