The Museum offers exhibits and special displays throughout the Library, with four large gallery exhibits on the fourth floor. For directions to the Library, please click here.
Hours of operation are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday through Saturday. Holiday closings coincide with that of the Library. A schedule can be found on the Library’s website: here.
The Museum Department maintains and exhibits artifacts that document the history of Galveston and the Republic of Texas, as well as the Library’s fine art collection. Permanent and alternating exhibits are displayed in the Lykes, Hutchings, Harris, and Hallway Galleries on the fourth floor, and throughout the building.
More information about the Library is on the Rosenberg Library website.
Henry Rosenberg (1824 – 1893), benefactor and namesake of Rosenberg Library, emigrated in 1843 from Switzerland to Galveston where he made his fortune in banking, real estate, and transportation. Upon his death in 1893, Rosenberg bequeathed a sizable port of his estate to build a public library:
The Rosenberg Library represents over a century long tradition of community service. The Library traces its lineage to the opening in 1871 of the Galveston Mercantile Library, the first public library in Texas. Organized through a resolution by the Galveston Chamber of Commerce, the Mercantile Library to the City of Galveston, which placed it under public management. The Galveston Free Library, later known as the Galveston Public Library, was discontinued in 1905, when the city transferred its collection to the newly opened Rosenberg Library.
In 1901, the Rosenberg Library’s Board of Directors held a national competition to select the designer of its building. They selected the architectural firm of Eames & Young of St. Louis. A Masonic service was held in October 1902 for the laying of the cornerstone. Constructed of brick, stone, and terra cotta, the three-story, Italian-renaissance style structure included high ceilings well suited to the Gulf Coast’s climate. The building was completed at a cost of $155,000, and dedicated on June 22, 1904 – Henry Rosenberg’s birthday. At the opening, the building held 7,505 volumes.
Completed in 1971, The Moody Memorial Wing more than doubled the Rosenberg Library’s floor space. In February 1968, the Moody Foundation of Galveston informed the Rosenberg Library Association of its intention to grant $500,000 for the construction of a new wing for the Library. Significant donors included the Harris and Eliza Kempner Fund of Galveston and Mr. and Mrs. John W. Harris. Architect Thomas M. Price of Galveston designed the Moody Memorial Wing, which was built of travertine marble and constructed to blend with the original wing. The addition increased the Rosenberg Library’s floor space by an additional 33,000 square feet and provided space for a children’s reading area, the Galveston and Texas History Center, and the Lykes Maritime Gallery.