Dallas Municipal Archives

Dallas Municipal Archives Documenting and preserving the history of Dallas city government The purpose of the Archives is to preserve the historical records of city government and support research and scholarship by its external and internal customers.
(1)

Established in 1985, the Dallas Municipal Archives is a division of the City Secretary´s Office and contains over 2,000 cubic feet of departmental records in a variety of forms and formats, including ledgers, manuscripts and typescripts, maps, photographs, microforms, and printed materials. Among our many collections are the "Bonnie and Clyde" Barrow Gang materials of the Dallas Police Department; the John F. Kennedy/Dallas Police Department records relating to the assassination of President Kennedy; the earliest extant City of Dallas Charter; and over a quarter million images documenting the growth and public services of the City of Dallas. We also maintain thousands of permanently valuable documents, maps, and architectural plans reflecting the actions of every aspect of Dallas government. The Dallas Municipal Archives can be reached at (214) 670-5270.

Mission: The mission of the Dallas Municipal Archives is to both document and preserve the permanently valuable and historical records of the government of the City of Dallas and effectively provide access to information to citizens and city employees.

Operating as usual

Dallas looking east, 1920s.
01/20/2021

Dallas looking east, 1920s.

Happy Birthday Dallas Museum of Art!The Dallas Art Association (DAA), the foundation entity that became the Dallas Museu...
01/19/2021

Happy Birthday Dallas Museum of Art!
The Dallas Art Association (DAA), the foundation entity that became the Dallas Museum of Art, was founded by a group of 50 citizens at a meeting, Monday, January 19, 1903, at 10:30 a.m. in the Dallas Public Library. The DAA was established to support the visual arts in Dallas, with the goal of creating a permanent art organization.
Two photographs from the Dallas Municipal Archives show the museum's first two homes - both at Fair Park. The Fair Park Free Public Art Gallery opened in April, 1909; a second museum building opened May 31, 1936.

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo
01/19/2021

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo

01/18/2021
City of Dallas - City Hall

On this MLK day, the Dallas Municipal Archives shares its 2017 discussion about the MLK information in the Archives.

If you have questions, please type them in the comments area of the post.

We are LIVE in the #DallasVault with City Archivists to discuss MLK Day and what it means to Dallas. If you have questions, ask them in the comment section below and we will answer them live!

Flashback Friday - Prior to the Wright Amendment and the regional domination of DFW International Airport, the City of D...
01/01/2021

Flashback Friday - Prior to the Wright Amendment and the regional domination of DFW International Airport, the City of Dallas-owned Love Field was one busy place at Holiday time, as seen in this Christmas, 1973 image. In 1973 it was the eighth busiest airport in the United States, with 6,668,398 enplanements. Photo from Love Field Collection 01-003.

David Newton's gate sentinels, Freedman's Cemetery.
01/01/2021

David Newton's gate sentinels, Freedman's Cemetery.

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember George R. Schrader, who died yesterday. Schrader served as Dallas city ...
01/01/2021

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember George R. Schrader, who died yesterday. Schrader served as Dallas city manager 1973-1981 and played key roles in the development of several city landmarks such as Reunion Tower and the DFW International Airport. He was 89.
In 2018, City Archivist John Slate and Assistant City Archivist Kristi Nedderman conducted approximately 12 hours of oral history with Mr. Schrader. The interviews are an amazing window into the workings of local government in the 1960s-80s and one person's work to make Dallas a liveable and vibrant city. A comprehensive review of his life and career is in the Dallas Morning News.
The Municipal Archives extends its sympathies to Schrader's family and friends.

Happy Birthday to John Neely Bryan, founder of Dallas.Born on December 24, 1810, in Fayetteville, TN, and arrived in Nor...
12/24/2020

Happy Birthday to John Neely Bryan, founder of Dallas.

Born on December 24, 1810, in Fayetteville, TN, and arrived in North Texas in 1839. He returned to stay in 1842, and voilà! Dallas!

[JNB did not leave many known photos. This one, cropped from a larger image, is in the public domain.]

The Municipal Archives honors the memory of archives friend and supporter Greg Brown, who passed yesterday after a brief...
12/15/2020

The Municipal Archives honors the memory of archives friend and supporter Greg Brown, who passed yesterday after a brief illness. A frequent archives researcher and author of articles on historic preservation, Greg was most recently director of AD EX (short for The Architecture and Design Exchange),formerly known as the Dallas Center for Architecture. AD EX is also home to the Dallas chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA Dallas) and The Architecture and Design Foundation. Brown's exhibits, popular tours of Dallas architecture, and writings in the journal Columns helped open eyes to the beauty and importance of the built environment in Dallas. The Municipal Archives offers its condolences to Greg's family and friends.

Happy 95th Birthday Anita Martinez!Anita Nañez Martinez was born on this date in 1925. She was the first Hispanic and La...
12/08/2020

Happy 95th Birthday Anita Martinez!
Anita Nañez Martinez was born on this date in 1925. She was the first Hispanic and Latina member of the Dallas City Council, serving two terms, 1969-1973.
Martinez' efforts on the city council included reducing juvenile crime, the implementation of streetlights, paved roads, and sidewalks in her constituents' neighborhoods.
A tireless advocate for volunteering, she was a charter member of the Center for Voluntary Action. In 1975 she established the Anita Martinez Ballet Folklorico, a groundbreaking arts program in Dallas. The Anita Martinez Recreation Center was built in 1974 and named in her honor.

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On A...
12/07/2020

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. On Akard Street by the Municipal Auditorium is a monument dedicated to the ten men from the city of Dallas who were aboard
the U S. S. Arizona at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, most of whom are still entombed in the ship. John Evans, former Deputy Mayor Pro Tem of Dallas was among only 333 who survived the Arizona.
The reverse of the monument remembers the non- Dallas military and civilian personnel who served and were killed or wounded during the attack.

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo
12/03/2020

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember and honor veterans from all branches and all conflicts on Veterans Day ...
11/11/2020

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember and honor veterans from all branches and all conflicts on Veterans Day 2020. Special salute to veteran employees of the City of Dallas. Thank you for your service!

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo
11/11/2020

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo

Get your Halloween on early and join City Archivist John Slate for an hour of spooky stories connected to (mostly) City ...
10/28/2020

Get your Halloween on early and join City Archivist John Slate for an hour of spooky stories connected to (mostly) City of Dallas parks, cemeteries, and other sites.

Ready for true stories of Dallas' haunted historic places and the people who haunt them? John Slate opens up the Dallas Municipal Archives to bring out the best tales of forest trails and watery graves. It's a ghoulish hour to enjoy. Register at http://ow.ly/DrGE50C1eVq

Happy 103rd Birthday, Dallas Love Field!This image from the Dallas Municipal Archives shows a close-up of stationery let...
10/19/2020

Happy 103rd Birthday, Dallas Love Field!

This image from the Dallas Municipal Archives shows a close-up of stationery letterhead used by the Army Air Corps during WWI.

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember Eddie Van Halen, influential guitarist of the band Van Halen, who died ...
10/07/2020

The Dallas Municipal Archives pauses to remember Eddie Van Halen, influential guitarist of the band Van Halen, who died yesterday at 65.
The Dallas Municipal Archives contains collections documenting city-owned venues such as the Cotton Bowl and Reunion Arena.
-
Van Halen and his eponymous band performed at several City of Dallas facilities, including Reunion Arena, Fair Park's Cotton Bowl, Starplex, and American Airlines Center:
July 1, 1978 - Cotton Bowl (Texxas Jam)
June 9, 1979 - Cotton Bowl (Texxas Jam)
September 4, 1980 - Reunion Arena
September 10-11, 1981 - Reunion Arena
November 18-19, 1982 - Reunion Arena
July 15-16, 1984 - Reunion Arena
July 19, 1986 - Cotton Bowl (Texxas Jam '86)
July 3, 1988 - Cotton Bowl (Monsters of Rock)
August 5, 1993 - Coca-Cola Starplex Amphitheatre
March 24, 1995 - Reunion Arena
May 14, 1998 Coca-Cola Starplex Amphitheatre
September 25, 2004 - American Airlines Center
January 26, 2008 - American Airlines Center
June 20, 2012 - American Airlines Center
September 23, 2015 - Gexa Energy Pavilion

*does not include the 1991 outdoor show at July Alley in the West End.

October 7 Is #AskAnArchivist Day!On October 7, archivists around the country will answer your questions about any and al...
10/07/2020

October 7 Is #AskAnArchivist Day!
On October 7, archivists around the country will answer your questions about any and all things archives. The Dallas Municipal Archives is celebrating on Facebook today, but not Twitter. This day-long event, sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, is an opportunity to connect directly with archivists in your community—and around the country—to ask questions, get information, or just satisfy your curiosity.
-
As professional experts who do the exciting work of protecting and sharing important historical materials, archivists have many stories to share about the work they do every day in preserving fascinating documents, photographs, audio and visual materials, and artifacts. Increasingly, archival work extends beyond the physical and includes digital materials.
-
#AskAnArchivist Day will give you a chance to connect with archivists who are tackling the challenges of preserving our digital heritage for the future.
What questions can be asked?
We are eager to respond to any and all questions you have about archives and archival work. No question is too silly . . .What’s the craziest thing you’ve come across in your collections?...If your archives had a soundtrack, what songs would be on it?...and no question is too practical! What should I do to be sure that my emails won’t get lost?...I’ve got loads of digital images on my phone. How should I store them so I can access them later on?...How do you decide which items to keep in a collection?...As a teacher, how can I get my students more interested in using archives for projects?
-
We're ready!

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo
10/01/2020

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo

Whoooo saves, protects, and makes available Dallas history?
09/18/2020

Whoooo saves, protects, and makes available Dallas history?

YOU DID IT!
We've reached $200 over our goal of $500 for the Friends of the Dallas Municipal Archives A.R.C.H. (Archives Rescuing Collective History) Fundraiser for the Dallas Municipal Archives! Huzzah! Thank You!!!
North Texas Giving Day runs til Midnight tonight...for you night owls, won't you consider a $5 or $10 contribution to bump the governor? That's all it takes! https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/friendsofdallasarchives

Still up? Archives never close...to preserving history!
09/18/2020

Still up? Archives never close...to preserving history!

YOU DID IT!
We've reached $200 over our goal of $500 for the Friends of the Dallas Municipal Archives A.R.C.H. (Archives Rescuing Collective History) Fundraiser for the Dallas Municipal Archives! Huzzah! Thank You!!!
North Texas Giving Day runs til Midnight tonight...for you night owls, won't you consider a $5 or $10 contribution to bump the governor? That's all it takes! https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/friendsofdallasarchives

TODAY IS THE DAY!NORTH TEXAS GIVING DAY 2020 IS HERE!Our A.R.C.H. (Archives Rescuing Collective History) Fundraising App...
09/17/2020
A.R.C.H. (Archives Rescuing Collective History)

TODAY IS THE DAY!
NORTH TEXAS GIVING DAY 2020 IS HERE!
Our A.R.C.H. (Archives Rescuing Collective History) Fundraising Appeal is ON!
Please go to our donation site here: https://bit.ly/2R9Q73N

Want to help make the Frances James Cemetery Collection, the South Dallas Cultural Center Archives, and other collections available for research and use?
Due to severe budget cuts in the City of Dallas, The Dallas Municipal Archives needs your help through the Friends of the Dallas Municipal Archives.
Drastic cuts to both supplies and professional development in the coming year and beyond will affect the progress of the archives. Help save our cultural, artistic, and governmental history.
A donation in any amount will do the following:
- fund purchase archival folders, boxes, and sleeves to house rare materials
- fund a seminar for high school-graduate school instructors to encourage use primary sources in the classroom
- help Municipal Archives staff and volunteers with training and professional development

A.R.C.H. (Archives Rescuing Collective History) Fundraising Appeal is ON! Want to help make the Frances James Cemetery Collection and the South Dallas Cultural Center Archives available for research and use? Due to severe budget cuts in the City of Dallas, The Dallas Municipal Archives needs your he...

09/17/2020

Thanks NorthPark Center!

North Texas Giving Day is TOMORROW!Help save community history - City parks, rec centers, public arts and culture progra...
09/17/2020
Friends of the Dallas Municipal Archives

North Texas Giving Day is TOMORROW!
Help save community history - City parks, rec centers, public arts and culture programming are YOUR history.
Your dollars, no matter the amount, will make a difference - The Friends of the Dallas Municipal Archives supports the collections and work of the Dallas Municipal Archives. https://bit.ly/2R9Q73N

NORTH TEXAS GIVING DAY IS TOMORROW!
Our A.R.C.H. (Archives Rescuing Collective History) Fundraising Appeal is ON!
Want to help make the Frances James Cemetery Collection and the South Dallas Cultural Center Archives available for research and use? Please go to our donation site here: https://bit.ly/2R9Q73N
Due to severe budget cuts in the City of Dallas, The Dallas Municipal Archives needs your help.
Drastic cuts to both supplies and professional development in the coming year and beyond will affect the progress of the archives. Help save our cultural, artistic, and governmental history.
A donation in any amount will do the following:
- fund purchase archival folders, boxes, and sleeves to house rare materials
- fund a seminar for high school-graduate school instructors to encourage use primary sources in the classroom
- help Municipal Archives staff and volunteers with training and professional development

And another article on the WRR exhibit!  Thank you NBC5.
08/15/2020
WRR Counts Down to 100 Year Anniversary With Centennial Exhibition

And another article on the WRR exhibit! Thank you NBC5.

Ten decades of North Texas broadcast history is on display at NorthPark Center. WRR is starting its centennial festivities a year in advance with an exhibition chronicling its own history. The exhibition, First in Texas: WRR Radio’s Centennial Celebration, will be on view at the Dallas shopping ce...

Not to toot our own classical horn, but.....oh, heck!  We will toot ours and WRR's!  Please have a read of today's DMN a...
08/13/2020
WRR’s centennial exhibit offers a rich journey through local history

Not to toot our own classical horn, but.....oh, heck! We will toot ours and WRR's! Please have a read of today's DMN article on the WRR Centennial Exhibit written by Tim Diovanni.

https://www.dallasnews.com/arts-entertainment/performing-arts/2020/08/12/wrrs-centennial-exhibit-offers-a-rich-journey-through-local-history/

Located in Dallas’ NorthPark Center, the show chronicles the history of WRR, from its origins to the present day.

Happy 99th Birthday WRR 101!  We are officially one year away from the centennial of the oldest-licensed radio station i...
08/05/2020

Happy 99th Birthday WRR 101! We are officially one year away from the centennial of the oldest-licensed radio station in Texas, and the second-oldest in the US. To celebrate, our centennial celebration exhibit at NorthPark Center launches today.

Grab your mask, and take a leisurely stroll through the SouthCourt corridor between Louis Vuitton and Burberry to check it out any time between now and September 16th. You've really got to see this amazing collection of photos from the vaults of the Dallas Municipal Archives!

Today is the first anniversary of The Cemetery Lady's death.We had hoped to have her collection ready for the public by ...
08/03/2020

Today is the first anniversary of The Cemetery Lady's death.

We had hoped to have her collection ready for the public by today. Alas . . . COVID. We will have it ready soon.

RIP Frances James.

Today we pay tribute to longtime friend of Dallas city government, Frances James, who passed away this week. The self-appointed "babysitter" for forgotten and neglected Dallas cemeteries spent countless hours of personal time and expert research skills in locating and protecting the final resting places of Dallas pioneers of all ethnicities and races. From the Fishtrap/La Reunion French colonist cemetery to Oakland Cemetery, Frances documented them all.

Ms. James was a friend of the Municipal Archives who consulted the collections over many years and also served with distinction on the City of Dallas Landmark Commission and the Dallas County Historical Commission.

The Municipal Archives extends sincere condolences to the "Cemetery Lady's" family and friends.

Photo courtesy Preservation Dallas; Map of Cox and Oakland Cemeteries from Public Works Cemetery Survey Files (Collection 2005-005), Dallas Municipal Archives.

On the countdown to WRR's 99th anniversary and the exhibit opening at NorthPark Center on August 5!If you are out and ab...
08/02/2020

On the countdown to WRR's 99th anniversary and the exhibit opening at NorthPark Center on August 5!

If you are out and about, please check it out!

Look for a feature about WRR’s upcoming exhibit in the August issue of D Magazine! Out in stores now!

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo
07/08/2020

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo

Today marks the anniversary of a sniper attack on July 7th which left four Dallas Police Department officers and one Dal...
07/07/2020

Today marks the anniversary of a sniper attack on July 7th which left four Dallas Police Department officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer dead. The Dallas Municipal Archives, City Secretary’s Office pauses to remember the deceased and the wounded and their families.
-
The Dallas Municipal Archives is the official municipal repository of departmental documentation of this tragedy, as well as the local, national, and international community support received by the Office of the Mayor in the days and months following the incident. Included are cards, letters, and artwork sent from around the world.

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo
07/07/2020

Dallas Municipal Archives's cover photo

The Dallas Municipal Archives joins WRR with its BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.Starting next month, on WRR 101's 99th anniversary, a ...
07/06/2020

The Dallas Municipal Archives joins WRR with its BIG ANNOUNCEMENT.

Starting next month, on WRR 101's 99th anniversary, a year of events celebrating this vital, game-changing station kicks off. For these events, we definitely do not want you to BACH OFF! Get a HANDEL ON IT, and add this exhibit to your calendar!

The big announcement is here! We are super excited to announce our upcoming centennial exhibit at NorthPark Center with Dallas Municipal Archives! Click below for all the details: https://www.wrr101.com/exhibit/

Celebrate and remember! Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in Texas and is celebrated annually on the 19th of June...
06/19/2020

Celebrate and remember! Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in Texas and is celebrated annually on the 19th of June in many states to commemorate General Gordon Granger's reading of federal orders in Galveston on June 19, 1865, proclaiming all slaves in Texas free – a full two and a half years after Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
-
Juneteenth celebrations in the 1890s and early 1900s once took place at the private Emancipation Park on Maple Avenue, north of Wolf Street. Gatherings in Dallas public parks followed, albeit for many years in segregated facilities.
-
The legacy of slavery and segregation is found throughout the City of Dallas at city-owned public facilities and in historic neighborhoods. Freedman's Cemetery was established as a burial ground for Dallas' early African-American population in 1861, one of the largest cemeteries of its kind. The entrance gate and memorial, which contains sculptures by David Newton, was built in late 1990 to commemorate this important site.
-
Oak Cliff’s Tenth Street district, a historic freedmen’s town, includes the demolished Elizabeth Chapel CME Church, a designated city landmark, and Moore Park, named for black Dallas pioneer Will Moore and a site for Juneteenth commemorations. The district has multiple designations - Dallas Landmark District, National Register of Historic Places (1994), and State Historic Marker Program (2015).
-
Griggs Park in the Uptown neighborhood honors Rev. Allen Griggs, a former slave who became a prominent Baptist minister, an educator and a newspaper publisher.
-
The legacy of slavery is felt in many other places, such as the neighborhoods of Joppa and North Dallas – other freedmen’s communities – and Martyr’s Park, thought to be close to the site of a lynching of three slaves blamed for the Dallas fire of 1860.
-
All images from the collections of the Dallas Municipal Archives; Sanborn Insurance map courtesy University of Texas Briscoe Center for American History.

Address

1500 Marilla St
Dallas, TX
75201

Dallas Area Rapid Transit's Red and Blue lines stop at the Dallas Convention Center, directly adjacent to Dallas City Hall. http://www.dart.org/riding/stations/conventioncenterstation.asp?zeon=red

General information

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. The City's archival records are unique documents that detail governmental actions and activities. To protect these valuable resources, the Municipal Archives has established guidelines for using and handling the records. These measures ensure that the materials remain accessible and in good condition into the future. Archival records may be used only in the archives research area; they do not circulate and may not be checked out. There is a small reference collection on Dallas history in the research area that is open to all researchers. Preparing for Your Visit If you are planning a research visit to the Archives, please call or email to make an appointment. Not only will this help ensure that a staff member will be available to assist you but also it will enable us to pull the records you need before you arrive, saving you time. Additionally, it will allow us to learn more about your research topic and suggest materials that might be useful, which may help you plan your research time. We recommend that you review our online collection guides before you come in to see what kinds of materials we have relating to your topic and focus in on what you would like to look at. Our website has subject guides for frequently requested information, and Municipal Archives staff are also available by email or phone if you have questions about our holdings.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 09:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 09:00 - 16:30
Thursday 09:00 - 16:30
Friday 09:00 - 16:30

Telephone

+12146705270

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Dallas Municipal Archives posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Dallas Municipal Archives:

Our Story

The purpose of the Archives is to preserve the historical records of city government and support research and scholarship by its external and internal customers. Established in 1985, the Dallas Municipal Archives is a division of the City Secretary´s Office and contains over 2,000 cubic feet of departmental records in a variety of forms and formats, including ledgers, manuscripts and typescripts, maps, photographs, microforms, and printed materials. Among our many collections are the "Bonnie and Clyde" Barrow Gang materials of the Dallas Police Department; the John F. Kennedy/Dallas Police Department records relating to the assassination of President Kennedy; the earliest extant City of Dallas Charter; and over a quarter million images documenting the growth and public services of the City of Dallas. We also maintain thousands of permanently valuable documents, maps, and architectural plans reflecting the actions of every aspect of Dallas government. The Archives is also responsible for the preservation microfilming of the City Secretary´s council action files, which contain the originals of all City ordinances and resolutions, meeting minutes, agenda, and support documentation. -

NOTICE In order to better serve its residents, the City of Dallas utilizes user engagement tools and websites, including social media channels, to provide residents with information in more places and more ways than were traditionally available. All content and comments posted to this official City of Dallas social media site are subject to the Texas Public Information Act. Please be aware that anything you post may survive deletion whether by you or others.

Requests for emergency services should be directed to 9-1-1 and not through this site. Individual complaints, concerns, or service requests will not be addressed via Social Media unless the City specifically identifies the site for that purpose.

To protect your privacy and the privacy of others, please do not include sensitive personally identifiable information, such as social security numbers. The City hosted tools and websites should not be considered secure.

Nearby government services


Other Public & Government Services in Dallas

Show All

Comments

Day after tomorrow! Join us!