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The University of Texas at Austin

Research Visit


We always welcome scholars, students, and members of the general public to conduct research at the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History Research and Collections Division. In 2016 the Briscoe Center will undergo a major renovation of the first floor of Sid Richardson Hall, Unit 2, that will considerably enhance exhibit and research spaces.

Beginning February 22, 2016, our public reference services will operate from the Rare Books and Manuscripts Division in the LLILAS Benson Latin American Collection, our neighbors in Sid Richardson Hall, Unit 1. We are very grateful to our colleagues at the Benson Collection for sharing their space with our researchers and us. Without their generosity, the Briscoe Center would need to close to research entirely during the renovation.

Sid Richardson Hall
(L-R) Sid Richardson Hall, Unit 1, 2, and 3

While every effort will be made to maintain public research access to our collections during our renovation, limited space at the Benson Collection requires several changes to our reference and access policies and procedures. In order to use the Briscoe Center's resources during the renovation, researchers will need to make an appointment (Additional information below).

Request Appointment


The Briscoe Center public services will assume the same hours as the Benson Rare Books and Manuscripts Division: Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. We will not be open evenings or weekends during the renovation. As always, we recommend that researchers check this page and the hours page since our hours occasionally change due to special events or University holidays.


  • It will be necessary for researchers to make an appointment to use materials. Researchers can begin making appointments on January 13, 2016, for February 22nd forward. Check this page on January 13th for a link to the appointment request form.
  • We will accommodate walk-in researchers as seating in the reading room becomes available. It is especially important for researchers traveling some distance to obtain an appointment prior to purchasing plane tickets.
  • One appointment will cover as many days as needed to conduct research – researchers do not need to make a new appointment for each day. If researchers have made appointments but find they no longer need to do research at the Briscoe Center, we ask that they notify us as soon as possible so we can offer that space to another researcher.

Retrieval Limits

  • Researchers will be limited to three boxes, five clipping files or books, or two map folders on hold or in use at one time.
  • Research materials will be delivered to the Reading Room once an hour.
  • Retrieval of materials from offsite storage will continue, but there will be a limit of seven items on hold at one time. We encourage researchers to work with the reference staff and the offsite coordinator to request materials at least a week before they visit.

Class Visits

Professors wishing to bring their class to the Briscoe Center for archival instruction or research orientation should contact the head of Public Services, Margaret Schlankey.

Preparing for Visit

Researchers can save time by using the Briscoe Center's online tools to register, request onsite and offsite materials, and get reference assistance from Briscoe Center staff.

We look forward to working with you throughout the renovation of our first floor space. While we are under construction, we ask for your patience and we welcome your feedback. The result of the renovation will be a new, more comfortable reading room from which we can provide better reference service.