About

Museum Information

The Rosenberg Library Museum is located inside the historic Rosenberg Library in Galveston, Texas. Admission is free to the public.

The Museum offers exhibits and special displays throughout the Library. Faces and Places of Galveston and The Great Storm of 1900 exhibitions are located on the 4th floor. Many other artifacts and fine art collections are available to view throughout the building, including the McGivney Art Collection and Treasure of the Month on the 2nd floor. For directions to the Library, please click here.

The Museum maintains and exhibits artifacts that document the history of Galveston and the Republic of Texas, as well as the Library’s fine art collection. Permanent and alternating exhibits are displayed in the galleries on the fourth floor and throughout the building. For information on group or guided tours, please click here.

More information about the Library is on the Rosenberg Library website.

Holidays

The Rosenberg Library will be closed for the following holidays:

    • New Year’s Day. Closed on Monday, January 1, 2024.
    • Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Closed on Monday, January 15, 2024.
    • Memorial Day. Closed on Monday, May 27, 2024.
    • Juneteenth. Closed on Wednesday, June 19, 2024.
    • Independence Day. Closed on Thursday, July 4, 2024.
    • Labor Day. Closed on Monday, September 2, 2024.
    • Veterans Day. Closed on Monday, November 11, 2024.
    • Thanksgiving. Close at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, November 27, 2024. Closed on Thursday, November 28, 2024 and Friday, November 29, 2024.
    • Christmas Eve. Closed on Tuesday, December 24, 2024.
    • Christmas Day. Closed on Wednesday, December 25, 2024.

Contact Us

Rachel Hooper
Museum Curator
409-763-8854 Ext. 125 or museum@rosenberg-library.org

Donations

Thank you for considering the Rosenberg Library Museum as a home for your family treasures, art work, or collections. The Museum welcomes donations of objects, art, artifacts, or other items which fall within the collecting scope of the Museum, which focuses on the history of Galveston up to the present and early Texas from the Spanish period to the end of the Civil War. These donations enrich the Museum's collections and allow us to use our limited monetary resources for other purposes. Arrangements for donations should be made through the Rosenberg Library Museum Curator, Rachel Hooper.

Donations must be evaluated for scope, content, and condition before we can accept them. All museum donations must be approved by the Rosenberg Library Board of Directors. The process can take up to one month for approval.

*Please contact Rosenberg Library staff before sending donations. Unsolicited donations dropped off at or mailed to the library will not be accepted and may be disposed of without notice. We appreciate the generosity of donors but cannot accept all items.*

For photos, papers, A/V materials, maps, or rare books, contact the Galveston and Texas History Center at 409-763-8854 x127 or email smcconnell@rosenberg-library.org.

Books that are not rare and not related to Galveston or early Texas history may be donated to the Friends of the Rosenberg Library.

For information about making monetary donations to the Rosenberg Library:

Galveston and Texas History Center

The Galveston and Texas History Center, located on the fourth floor of the Rosenberg Library, provides assistance to local historians, scholars, genealogists, and students. It collects, preserves, and makes available to the public historic records of Galveston and early Texas. The collection focuses on Texas through the end of the Civil War, particularly the Republic of Texas, 1836 – 1845, and Galveston from its founding in 1839 through the present.

Rosenberg Library Mission Statement

The Rosenberg Library represents Galveston’s past, present, and future, a unique institution serving as the principal repository of Galveston’s historical heritage and providing technological and traditional services, all as a continuing source for the community, its children, and it’s children’s children.

Henry Rosenberg (1824 – 1893), benefactor and namesake of Rosenberg Library, emigrated in 1843 from Switzerland to Galveston where he made his fortune in banking, real estate, and transportation. Upon his death in 1893, Rosenberg bequeathed a sizable port of his estate to build a public library:

 About

“… I desire to express in a practical form my affection for the city of my adoption and for the people among whom I have lived for so many years, trusting that it will aid their intellectual and moral development, and be a source of pleasure and profit to them and their children, and their children’s children, through many generations.” – Henry Rosenberg

The Rosenberg Library represents over a century long tradition of community service. The Library traces its lineage to the opening in 1871 of the Galveston Mercantile Library, the first public library in Texas. Organized through a resolution by the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, the Mercantile Library to the City of Galveston, which placed it under public management. The Galveston Free Library, later known as the Galveston Public Library, was discontinued in 1905, when the city transferred its collection to the newly opened Rosenberg Library.

 About

In 1901, the Rosenberg Library’s Board of Directors held a national competition to select the designer of its building. They selected the architectural firm of Eames & Young of St. Louis. A Masonic service was held in October 1902 for the laying of the cornerstone. Constructed of brick, stone, and terra cotta, the three-story, Italian-renaissance style structure included high ceilings well suited to the Gulf Coast’s climate. The building was completed at a cost of $155,000, and dedicated on June 22, 1904 – Henry Rosenberg’s birthday. At the opening, the building held 7,505 volumes.

Completed in 1971, The Moody Memorial Wing more than doubled the Rosenberg Library’s floor space. In February 1968, the Moody Foundation of Galveston informed the Rosenberg Library Association of its intention to grant $500,000 for the construction of a new wing for the Library. Significant donors included the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund of Galveston and Mr. and Mrs. John W. Harris. Architect Thomas M. Price of Galveston designed the Moody Memorial Wing, which was built of travertine marble and constructed to blend with the original wing. The addition increased the Rosenberg Library’s floor space by an additional 33,000 square feet and provided space for a children’s reading area, the Galveston and Texas History Center, and the Lykes Maritime Gallery.