Archiving History at our Texas Public Libraries

This is the fifth in a series of posts focusing on the value of our Texas public libraries.  The first post highlighted story time for the youngest of students and their families and shared information about the Houston and Fort Worth libraries.  The second post provided a peek into maker spaces within the North Richland Hills and El Paso libraries.  The third post shared information about summer reading programs at the San Antonio and Abilene public libraries.  The fourth post focused on book clubs at the Dallas and Longview libraries.  This post is about opportunities to archive history through various media formats at our libraries.

Guided by the Visioning Document, we realize that the potential of learning anywhere, including in the community, must be embraced.  Though this premise specifically refers to the digital learning environment, we also acknowledge the opportunities our public libraries provide to students and families when school libraries are not available, specifically on weekends and during the summer months.  This blog series will include highlights of various public libraries across the state in connection to various themes.

We also know within Article I: The New Digital Learning Environment: 1.a The technologies that make this new digital world possible must be viewed as opportunities and tools that can help us in educating and socializing the young both in and outside of school.  Such technologies may be used to archive content so that our learning community will have the opportunity to access fragile, rare, and historical documents.  As a result, students and teachers may access these authentic pieces of evidence for reference and better understand their story and the story of their own communities.

Denton Public Library


The Legacy Lab at the Denton Public Library is a self-serve lab with equipment to preserve family history by converting photos, home videos, and paper documents to digital formats.  Patrons can scan documents and photos, digitize VHS tapes, 8mm film, audio cassettes, and 3.5″ floppy disks.  Reservations can be made online and library staff are willing to support users with an overview of the equipment as well as provide training materials for reference.

What a fantastic opportunity to preserve and share stories of the community through the Legacy Lab at the Denton Public Library!

Pflugerville Public Library

Pflugerville Dig History Project Header.png

The Pflugerville Digital History Project at the Pflugerville Public Library seeks to, “preserve the cultural, geographical and biographical history of Pflugerville, Texas.”  Organized into collections, archived content includes, “photos, documents and memorabilia that are historically significant to Pflugerville and that exemplify the diverse culture of the community.”  Digitized content includes descriptions, such as names, dates, locations, and anecdotal records.

Similar to the Legacy Lab in Denton, content is digitized and archived for reference.  Students and teachers in Pflugerville and beyond may access these materials to better understand the story of their community.

Opportunities to archive history through our Texas Public Libraries provide rare and irreplaceable content into the hands of our teachers and students.  This highly beneficial use of technology opens accessibility to this content that once was not possible.

I encourage you to research opportunities to archive history through your own public library.

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