Special Collections & Local History

About Our Special Collections

The Special Collections room contains more than 8,500 items. Subject areas include Genealogy, the Civil War, Texana, and local history (Palestine and Anderson County). Our vertical files contain information on cemeteries, individual families, houses, and businesses in Palestine and general information about Anderson County.

Ancestry Library Edition , NewsBank and Heritage Hub database subscriptions are available. Free local newspapers dating to 1857 are available on microfilm as are several years of the late 19th century for the Galveston Daily News. (Note: some issues are missing).

Volunteers who have photographed headstones and found death records and obituaries have helped move the Anderson County Cemetery database closer to being ready to post to the library's website. This compilation of records which includes directions, GPS coordinates, enumerations, photos, obituaries, and more will prove invaluable to researchers. There is still plenty of work to do and volunteers are always welcome.

Genealogical information using Internet resources, maps, city directories, and telephone books, and genealogical-historical journals are available for browsing. A microfilm reader is available.

Library staff members may assist patrons in finding historical and genealogical material only. The library is not staffed for extensive research. See below for basic query research we can provide. If extensive research is needed, you will need to find a professional researcher, the library may not recommend anyone at this time.

Digital Database subscriptions

These databases are available to all users while physically on site

These databases are available to all users while physically on site and from any computer via the web with a PPL Library card

1940 Census LogoAccording to the 72-Year-Rule, "the National Archives releases census records to the general public 72 years after the Census Day".

The 1950 Census was released in April 2022. The 1960 Census will be live after April 2031 on AncestryLibrary.com.

Visit the Ancestry Library website to enter the database when using the library computers. The National Archives has embedded some brief videos on its website that explain the importance of the Census and how details about population, housing, and agriculture can furnish clues to your ancestral lines.

Other Sources for the Census Images