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Digital Archives - Special Collections



Welcome to the digitized portion of the special Collections Section of the Huntsville Public Library.  This section of the Library is committed to making available to the general public family and local histories, records, documents, newspaper articles, and other materials not found in bound books on the shelves.


Sources for our Special Collections Section range from donations of genealogical material from individuals and estates, to privately collected scrapbooks, manuscripts, photos, obituaries, and social announcements, to materials submitted by businesses, genealogical and historical societies, and lineage groups, just to name a few.


To navigate the digitized portion of the Special Collections Section, a digital archive index has been created and is on a separate thumb drive.  The archive index is updated as the collection is updated and is in alphabetical order.  You may use a CTRL+F to bring up a “Find” query box.  Type your name or subject and hit “enter”.  The index will show you what Collection and sub-Collection to find your request.  The index spelled names as they were found on the inventory sheets so it would be appropriate to also search spelling variations.  Also, if the same name is in the same Collection and sub-Collection several times, it is only listed once but make sure you look through the sub-Collection for extra information.


Unable to find what you are looking for? The digitized Special Collections Section and archive index are updated every month, with new material being added all the time.  Check back again soon.


  • Addicks Cemetery – contains cemetery fiduciary and plot records for this Huntsville City Cemetery.


  • Cox Funeral Home Records – contains funeral records of certain individuals whose services were handled by the Cox Funeral Home.  This can be an invaluable resource for researching African-American ancestors from Walker County.


  • Current Events – contains newspaper clippings, pamphlets and articles about events and happenings affecting local citizens, the prison, university and churches of Walker and surrounding Counties.


  • Dorothy Mae Hightower Collection – this one-of-a-kind collection contains funeral programs from the African-American community.  A labor of love by Mrs. Hightower, this collection has a wealth of information that can be found nowhere else.  The Huntsville Public Library is proud to be a host of this collection.


  • Huntsville Item Unclaimed Photos – contains photographs which were submitted by individuals to the Huntsville Item newspaper.  Owners of the photographs never returned to the newspaper office to reclaim them.  The Huntsville Item subsequently donated these photographs to the Library.  The identification of the people in the photographs is unclear.  The identification marks on the back of each photograph may indicate the name of the actual person in the photograph or the name of the person who left the photograph for publication.  Although the persons in these photographs are currently unidentified, perhaps through future research or technology, their identities can be discovered.


  • James Patton Collection – the Walker County Genealogical Society along with the Thomason Room of Sam Houston State University Newton-Grisham Library were privileged to be the recipients of James Patton’s remarkable collection.  Currently, the genealogical records of E. L. Angier are the only entry in this collection but more shall be added in the future.


  • LaDeanna Hightower Holcombe Collection – contains 1,273 images of funeral programs, obituaries, photographs, and family reunion programs.  The Collection focuses primarily on African-American citizens in and around Walker County, Texas, but is also of interest to the community at large, capturing the biographies and histories of local people who have made Walker County what it is today.  Born and reared in Huntsville, Ms. Holcombe carries on the tradition started by her mother, Dorothy Hightower, who carefully saved and preserved the funeral programs and related materials of our citizens for current and future generations to use and appreciate.  The Huntsville Public Library, the Friends of the Library, the Walker County Genealogical Society, and many others are grateful to Ms. Holcombe for the many hours she spent scanning her collection and making the images available to the public.


  • Oakwood Cemetery - contains cemetery fiduciary and plot records for this Huntsville City Cemetery.


  • Obituaries #1 – contains obituaries collected by individuals from newspapers with the focus on the citizens of Walker and surrounding Counties.  Caution:  the date written on the obituary may refer either to the date of death or the newspaper publication date.


  • Postcard Collection – contains picture postcards of various locations throughout the country and Walker County.  Some are greeting cards for special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Some have correspondence written on the backside.


  • Subject Files – contains material which may include maps, histories, correspondence, and photographs applicable to certain topics and locations.  There files are not restricted to just Walker County.


  • Surname Files – contains material which may include family group sheets, pedigree charts, biographies, photographs, histories, maps, and correspondence applicable to specific individuals or families.  These files are not restricted to just Walker County.


  • Texas Newspaper Clippings – contains newspaper clipping from all over the state of Texas.  These clippings contain information on marriages, deaths, and events.


  • WWI Veterans from Jefferson County Texas – contains death certificates and other death records of African-American World War I Veterans who lived in Jefferson County, Texas.  A surprising number of these men were born in Louisiana rather than Texas and others were from various and unknown states.  One might speculate that the relocation of these men from rural Louisiana and East Texas to the more industrialized areas of Beaumont and Port Arthur paralleled the general migration of Americans during this time period.


  • WWII Veteran Questionnaires – in 1995, the Huntsville/Walker County World War II Commemorative Committee interviewed veterans and their families by mail, telephone, and in-person and created these questionnaires.  This project was done in conjunction with the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the closing of World War II.  Researchers will find some photographs, discharge papers, and other valuable documents and information.

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