State Law Library

By: Roy M. Mersky

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: April 6, 2019

The State Law Library, established by the state legislature in 1971 to replace the libraries of the Supreme Court, the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the attorney general, is a legal-research facility for these agencies, other state commissions and agencies, and the citizens of the state. It is located in the Supreme Court Building in Austin and has reading rooms on two floors. The library is administered by the State Law Library Board, which is composed of the chief justice of the Supreme Court, the presiding judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the attorney general, or their designated representatives. The director of the library reports directly to the board. The library maintains legal reference materials and provides computer-assisted legal research for state-agency legal personnel. The collection includes a wide variety of treatises and monographs with a special emphasis on Texas law. In it every published case in American law, as well as most British cases, can be located. The library holds a wide variety of legal journals and periodicals, both scholarly and popular, and offers a large number of loose-leaf services, search books, and practice aids. The library is a selective depository for United States government documents, mainly in law-related areas and areas of special interest to Texas. The rare-book collection contains Spanish and English editions of the early Spanish and Visigothic codes that were the origin of many Texas legal institutions. Original copies of session laws of the Congress of the Republic of Texas are used when necessary to check the accuracy of reprints. The State Law Library also provides low-cost photocopying for inmates of the prison system and other users, giving them access to materials from the files of the Court of Criminal Appeals as well as other holdings of the library. As of 1992 the State Law Library was authorized eight employees. Appropriations were $756,440 in 1992 and $735,636 in 1993. See also LAW.

Texas Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations, Handbook of Governments in Texas, 1973. University of Texas at Austin LBJ School of Public Affairs, Guide to Texas State Agencies, 1972.

  • Law, Law Enforcement, and Outlaws
  • Law Firms and Law Profession

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Roy M. Mersky, “State Law Library,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 30, 2022,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

April 6, 2019