The mission of the Dallas Municipal Archives is both to document and preserve the permanently valuable and historical records of the government of the City of Dallas and to effectively provide access to information to citizens and city employees.
The purpose of the Dallas Municipal Archives is both to preserve the historical records of city government and to support the research and scholarship of its external and internal customers.
What is an archives?
An archive is a body of documents or records created or received and accumulated by a person or entity in the course or conduct of affairs then preserved on account of their permanent or enduring value. This body of documents or records exists in multiple forms, including
• audio and visual recordings
What information is part of the Dallas Municipal Archives?
• Council Records (minutes, voting tallies, ordinances, resolutions)
• Board and Commission monthly or annual reports
• City department annual reports
• Budgets and financial reports
• Maps and architectural plans and drawings
• A few unusual collections—DPD files on Bonnie and Clyde; complete DPD JFK collection [online]; annexation files on old towns (e.g., Kleberg, Renner, and Fruitdale)
o Council Members (historic)
o Recent and present Council (candids only, unless on a previous Council)
o City of Dallas buildings
o Historic images of city departments (Water, City Manager, Public Works, Dallas Transit System)
o Historic images of City of Dallas (if connected to a city service)
• Facts and figures on Dallas city government
o Elections (recent and historic)
o Who served on Council during what years
See Archives Collections for the full list of collections, grouped by subject. See the Archives Pathfinders for assistance with researching particular City of Dallas topics.
What information is not part of Dallas Municipal Archives?
• Photos of Jerry Jones or the Dallas Cowboys or Mark Cuban or the Dallas Mavericks
• Information on private entities and individuals (unless doing business with City of Dallas)
• County or state information
• Dallas Independent School District information
• City Council Resolutions
• Papers of former Councilmembers or Mayors (Record vs. Non-Record)
• Home addresses or telephone numbers of former Councilmembers or Mayors
• Birth certificates and driver licenses
• Residential floor plans, permits, and property deeds
• Non-City-of-Dallas commercial floor plans, permits, and property deeds
• Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART)
Is the Dallas Municipal Archives like a library?
While both provide research materials, archives and libraries differ in the following three significant ways:
1. Archives provide first-hand information or evidence relating to historical events or figures. The books in a library are often secondary sources of information; whereas, the records in an archive are primary sources.
2. Archived materials are arranged according to the person or organization that created them. Library books, on the other hand, are arranged by subject and author.
3. Archived materials may not be removed from the archives room. Library books can be borrowed from the library and taken home. Often, archives will have portions of their collections digitized, so that content can be viewed from any computer. However, most of the collections must be read in person at the archives study area. The Dallas Municipal Archives does provide photographic reproduction services.
Is the Dallas Municipal Archives open to the public?
The records held by the Dallas Municipal Archives are open to the public and available for research by appointment only Monday-Thursday between 9:00 am and 4:30 pm. Contact the Archives for the City of Dallas via phone or email to set up an appointment. We do not accept walk-ins.
May I make copies of any materials?
Archives staff will make photocopies for researchers and will make every effort to supply the copies while the researcher waits. Large orders may require additional time. Orders are processed in the order in which they are received but may be prioritized according to size, preservation concerns, or other factors. Photocopies and scans are ten cents per page.
For other duplication needs, including scans of photographs, see the Reproduction Price List. Rush requests for reproductions are generally not accepted. Researchers are urged to plan accordingly.
You may take photos with your camera phone, but professional recording equipment may not be used.