The Rosenberg Library was opened in 1904 and named for Henry Rosenberg who left his sizable fortune to be used for various civic projects in Galveston. The largest portion of the funding, $400,000, was to be used to build a free public library for the people of Galveston.
The Rosenberg Library offers rotating exhibits on the fourth floor, as well as exhibits throughout the Library and several cases on the main level with rotating displays. The current exhibit on the fourth floor in the Harris Gallery is The Storm of 1900. There are several interactive stations where you can read letters from survivors and listen to interviews with people who lived through the storm as children. You can view the exhibit during regular library hours from 9am-5:45pm Monday thru Saturday.
Treasure of the Month Exhibit
This series was created to share some of the thousands of works of art that have been acquired by the Rosenberg Library over the years. Exhibits include the Historic Bell from Mission Concepcion, Steinhagen Mortar Balls from the Battle of Galveston on January 1, 1863, a Terrestrial Table Globe from John Cary, London depicting the independent Republic of Texas after the negotiated Oregon Treaty with Britain, U.S. Flag circa 1891, and a Glove Stretcher with Wedding Gloves from the mid 1900s.
Rosenberg Library Historical Marker Inscription
The oldest free public library in continuous operation in Texas. Established and endowed in 1900 by the will of Henry Rosenberg (1824-1893), a native of Switzerland who came to Galveston in 1843 and achieved prominence as a banker and merchant. In his will he stated, “In making this bequest, I desire to express in practical form my affection for the city of my adoption and for the people among whom I have lived for so many years, trusting that I will aid their intellectual and moral development, and be a source of pleasure and profit to them and their children and their children’s children, through many generations.”
This library is the successor to the Galveston Mercantile Library established by the Chamber of Commerce in 1870, Donated to the city of Galveston in 1874, and absorbed by the Rosenberg Library in 1905.
Collections include over one million books, manuscripts, letters, documents, objects of art, and historic memorabilia. The library is one of the major repositories of original documents and artifacts related to Texas history.