Next door to the modern public library, this center, which was the original city library, now holds various materials of Austin's past. Built in 1933, the Renaissance revival-style building displays lots of architectural details and rich materials, including beautiful work in stone, wood, and iron. In the main gallery, there's always an exhibit illustrating some facet of the city's history. This gallery leads back to the main reading room, where you'll often find genealogical researchers going over old public records. Among its other possessions, the center also has a large and interesting photographic collection.