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Old Vault Collection

Identifier: MSS 0113

Scope and Contents

The primary emphasis of the collection is correspondence from the early founders of Texas and Houston, such as Sam Houston, A. C. Allen, J. W. Fannin, and Thomas Bagby. The papers are helpful to the study of the Republic of Texas. They also include many miscellaneous business and legal documents relevant to nineteenth century Texas.


  • 1796-1890s


Access Restrictions

Access to the physical materials in this collection requires an appointment. However, many of the documents have been scanned and are available online via the Houston Public Library Digital Archives at

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Old Vault Collection must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Historical Note

The Old Vault Collection contains documents, records, and correspondence relating to Texas history. The materials date from as early as 1796 to the late 1890s. The accumulation of these early papers began before the establishment of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, and were originally kept in the library vault for safekeeping. This arrangement of the material explains the diversity of the collection and its peculiarly eclectic nature.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



In an effort to organize these diverse papers, the collection is now primarily arranged topically, and may include several types of materials within a certain heading. Because of the diversity in material, some topics contain very few materials; others contain many. The major divisions within the collection are by names of individuals.

Processing Information

Processed by Claire Wilkins, 1978.

Old Vault Collection
Updates Needed
February 3, 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houston History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002