Harris County Law Library Celebrates 100th Anniversary with Centennial Exhibit

September 23, 2015

Contact: Joseph Lawson
Deputy Director, Harris County Law Library

One hundred years ago, some of Harris County’s most notable figures came together to launch a law library that would serve a booming region. Notable figures will come together again next month to celebrate the library’s 100th anniversary.

“A century after its founding, the Harris County Law Library has become a robust resource for Harris County residents,” said Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, “by providing patrons access to current and practical legal information.”

The Law Library will mark the centennial of its grand opening with a celebration from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on October 1, 2015, at the library’s downtown location, 1019 Congress Street. Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht will deliver a keynote address at the celebration of this milestone.

The library’s Centennial Exhibit, featuring the people, events, and technology that have shaped the institution’s history, will also be on display now through October.  The exhibit features artifacts and anecdotes from the Law Library’s 100-year history that are also part of Houston’s history. Biographies of the original founders are showcased, including James A. Baker, the attorney who saved Rice University, and Thomas H. Ball, the namesake of Tomball, Texas, who was instrumental in the building of the Houston Ship Channel. Visitors will also find a Soundscriber—a desktop device that recorded sound onto records—that was used by attorneys to dictate notes in the 1940s, and other historic items.

The Harris County Law Library is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. An accompanying digital exhibit, titled Harris County Law Library – A Century of Service: 1915-2015, is available at www.HarrisCountyLawLibrary.org/100.

The Harris County Law Library is a public library that serves the legal information needs of self-represented litigants, legal professionals, the judiciary, and county and other governmental officials. The library is committed to providing free access to a comprehensive legal research and reference collection, in print and digital formats, and offering educational programs for all patrons.

“Public access to legal information is a critical component of open and equal access to the justice system,” said County Attorney Ryan.

Law Library Deputy Director Joseph Lawson and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan with a 1940s soundscriber machine. 

Law Library Deputy Director Joseph Lawson and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan with a 1940s soundscriber machine.