Texas is such a big US state that there are so many tourist attractions that you can visit there. For bookworms, libraries are arguably some of the best places to visit in different towns, cities, states, and countries, and in Texas, there are so many of them that bookworms will have a difficult time visiting them all in just a few days. In this article, we will discuss the best libraries in Texas so that you can shorten your list of libraries to visit in the Lone Star State. So, without further ado, here are the best libraries to visit in Texas.
Armstrong Browning Library & Museum
One of the most popular libraries in Texas is the Armstrong Browning Library & Museum (formerly known simply as the Armstrong Browning Library), a building that was built in 1951 inside the campus of Baylor University in Waco, Texas. This library features the largest collection of works by England-born poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and this collection was donated by a man named Dr. A.J. Armstrong in 1918.
Before the creation of the Armstrong Browning Library, the collection of works by the Browning couple was housed in Baylor University’s Carroll Library, but it was eventually moved to a new building (that will eventually become the Armstrong Browning Library) in 1951 because the collection had outgrown the space of the Carroll Library.
Houston Public Library
Another popular library in Texas is the Houston Public Library, which is a public library system that serves the locals and visitors of Houston, Texas. The Houston Public Library was first a library for the second Houston Lyceum that was founded in 1854. Then, by the end of the 19th century, the library split into a separate entity from the lyceum.
In 1892, a philanthropist and businessman named William Marsh Rice donated $200,000 to the library for the construction of their own building. However, it was only in 1904, with the help of another philanthropist named Andrew Carnegie, that the library was able to obtain its own building. The library’s name was then declared the Carnegie Library in its opening, although the government changed the name to the Houston Public Library in 1921. The library is an interesting place to visit because of its significance to the history of Houston.
Patrick Heath Public Library
The second public library on this list is the Patrick Heath Public Library, a building that was established in 1952 in Boerne, Texas. It was first known as the Boerne Public Library when it opened in 1952, and it was only a small room that was adjacent to a fire station. By 1967, the public library was moved to a larger building.
The public library moved again to another location in 1990, this time to the Dienger building, which was considered a historical site in Boerne. The library stayed in the said building until 2011 when the collection of the library was transferred to the Patrick Heath Public Library, which features beautiful glass walls that give it a modern look.
Harlan Crow’s Home Library
A very beautiful library that you should visit (once it actually opens to the public) is Harlan Crow’s Home Library, which is located in Highland Park, Texas, and contains the private collection of books, manuscripts, and other items of Harland Crow, a real estate developer that is known for being the chairman and former CEO of Crow Holdings, one of the largest privately owned real estate firm in the US.
The library is said to have been built in the 1970s and has been opened in the past for tours that locals and tourists can avail of. However, those tours have been quite rare in recent years, so you may want to wait until the estate of Harlan Crow opens the library to the public again. Once the doors of the library are open for locals and tourists, you should definitely not miss the chance to check out what’s inside.
Tyrrell Historical Library
If you are looking for Instagram-worthy libraries in Texas, then the Tyrrell Historical Library is arguably the best among the rest. The Tyrrell Historical Library is a public building that is located in Beaumont, Texas. It was originally built as the First Baptist Church in 1903, but it was turned into a public library in 1923 when it became a vacant building, and a philanthropist named Captain W.C. Tyrrell bought it and donated it to be used as the city’s first public library. The library was then opened to the public in 1926.
Because it was originally built as a church, it has a very different architecture and interior design compared to most libraries in Texas. Because of its significance to the history of Beaumont, the Tyrrell Historical Library is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and is declared a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark.
So, here are a few of the best libraries that you should visit in Texas if you are a bookworm or a person that likes to visit peculiar or uncommon tourist spots. What’s great about most of the libraries in this list is that they are open to the public, so you are free to visit them whenever you want to.