The Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library is part of the Alamo historical complex in San
Antonio. It has been developed, and is supported and maintained, by the Daughters of the Republic
of Texas to serve objectives written in their charter of 1895.
The Library was established on October 12, 1945, in Alamo Hall, a converted fire station
southeast of the Alamo church. The opening ceremonies honored Dr. William Eager Howard, who
had donated the nucleus of the library collections - over 2,000 Texas books, documents,
manuscripts, paintings, and newspaper clippings - two years earlier.
The present library building was dedicated December 2, 1950, immediately west of Alamo Hall.
It was constructed with funds donated by Mrs. Sallie Ward Beretta as a memorial to her husband,
Mr. John King Beretta, a friend of Dr. Howard's.
Since 1950, the holdings of the library have grown steadily, through purchases and donations of
material by members of the organization and interested library patrons. This growth necessitated
two building expansions in the 1970s and later installation of special equipment, shelving, and,
in 1989, an enlarged temperature and humidity-controlled vault for the storage of rare books,
photographs, and manuscript material.
The main library, support offices, and vault are protected by a Novec 1230 fire suppression
system funded by the Halsell Foundation, Ansul Corporation, The Summerlee Foundation, the DRT
Native Texan License Plate Fund, the Joan and Herb Kelleher Foundation, the Dorothy May Ehlinger
Penshorn Fund, and the Alamo.
The library collections are available on an equal basis to all researchers. Materials are in
closed stacks with access provided through inventories and an online public access catalog on a
computer network provided in 1996 by The Summerlee Foundation and The Summerfield G. Roberts
Foundation. The catalog is also available at the library's web site, http://www.drtl.org, or
by typing in the following URL http://188.8.131.52/D92004Staff/OPAC/index.asp.
Major collection areas include:
The general collection: 17,000 book titles, primarily history,
but including genealogy, politics and government, art, natural history and science, religion,
folklore, and fiction, all associated with Texas. The library is fortunate to have received the
extensive libraries of Dr. William Eager Howard, C. Stanley Banks, and Maury Maverick, Sr.
Archival collections: Approximately 450 collections of personal and
family papers and organizational records dating
from 1519 to the present. The "Archival Collections" page in the "Research" section of the DRT Library website provides an overview of these collections. The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections, maintained by
the Library of Congress, lists 246 of our archival collections. Among the outstanding
- Bustillo Family Papers, 1772-1936: papers of an early San Antonio family.
- Cassiano-Perez Family Papers, 1741-1954: papers of an early San Antonio
family including their land and business records and Civil War letters.
- Cumings Family Papers, 1824-1926: family papers of an original
settler of Austin's Colony and her descendants.
- James T. DeShields Collection, 1863-1940: research and writings
on Texas history, including art and photographs.
- Leo M. J. Dielmann Papers, 1881-1969: personal and professional papers of
a San Antonio architect.
- Gentilz- Fretéllière Family Papers, 1793-1962: art, manuscript material,
and artifacts of noted artist Theodore Gentilz and the Fretéllière family.
- John Herndon James Papers, 1812-1938: family and professional papers of
a San Antonio attorney and judge.
- Samuel Augustus Maverick Family Papers, 1803-1870: Maverick's annotated printed
copy of the Texas Declaration of Independence, a printed pass for Maverick's release from
Perote prison, land and financial records, and the letterpress book of William H. Maverick.
- Santiago Rabia papers, 1836-1852: Notebooks, military returns, legal documents,
letters, and a photograph documenting Rabia's military, business, and personal activities.
- Ernst Schuchard Papers, 1893-1972: research in San Antonio history, particularly
the missions, mills, and irrigation systems, and associated photographs and art.
- John W. Smith Papers, 1822-1934: papers of an early San Antonio mayor and resident.
- Yanaguana Society Records, 1931-1960: records of a San Antonio historical society
and its collection of important early Texas paintings by Theodore Gentilz and Carl G. von Iwonski.
Photography Collection: Nearly 40,000 photographic images recording
the history of the Alamo, San Antonio, and the people of Texas. Major collections include:
- Claude B. Aniol Collection, 1870s-1950s: San Antonio streets, buildings,
historic sites, aerial views, customs, and events.
- C. J. Ekmark Collection, 1930s-1950s: military life and activities, primarily at
Texas bases; also tourist and historic sites in and around San Antonio.
- Edward Grandjean Collection, 1870s-ca.1910: San Antonio street scenes, commercial,
religious, and domestic architecture, and local customs.
Fine art and print collections: Approximately 1,000 pieces of
graphic art, paintings, and decorative art, in addition to collections of prints and posters, are
in our fine art and print collections. Artists include Theodore Gentilz, Robert Onderdonk,
Hermann Lungkwitz, Bernhardt Wall, and the illustrated Civil War journal of Morgan Wolfe Merrick.
Periodicals: 65 titles including regional, state, and local
historical publications, genealogical society publications, and general interest magazines
associated with San Antonio and Texas.
Newspapers: Bound volumes of consecutive editions, including
Mexican War newspapers and the Niles Register, individual copies of newspapers associated with
historic Texas events, and microfilm of early Texas newspapers.
Maps: More than 1,000 maps - land plats and world, national,
state, county, and city maps, including a map dated 1579 by Abraham Ortelius; an 1827 manuscript
map of Austin's Colony drawn by Stephen F. Austin, part of the Cumings Family Papers; and
digital images of maps from the Robert L. B. Tobin Map Collection.
Clipping file: Approximately 400 linear feet of file folders
containing newspaper clippings, letters, photocopies of documents, pamphlets, and genealogical
charts. Files are arranged in two divisions, San Antonio and General, with each division
subdivided by topic.
Sheet music: Approximately 200 sheet music titles relating to
the Alamo, San Antonio, and Texas. Original pieces date from 1835 and include Go Ahead: A March
Dedicated To Colonel Crockett,1835; The Flag of Texas : A National Song, 1836; The Texas Quick
Step, 1841, and Smith's March, 1848.