What’s a hidden business management gem? One that makes you feel powerful, all knowing. One that you love to tell those special peers about so they can be part of the inner circle. I have one I want to share with you.
Mine is the Austin History Center. Before you say “Huh?”, this is not a museum although it has exhibits. It is not just about Austin because it has materials — particularly papers — that go beyond Austin, Travis County, or Texas. It is not a library although it has books. And maps, family archives, newspapers — over 1 million items of primary research and published documents from Austin’s founding through today. It is considered one of the US best archival libraries with great archivists to help you find what you did not know even existed.
Take some time to explore what it can do for you as an Owner. It is a great “center” of business information because if there is a study or report on Austin, chances are they have it. You can read it for free. You can even copy it but you can’t take it out.
And, it’s a great place to keep up with what’s happening in local government since City Council minutes and other documents. See what everyone REALLY said, promised, etc.
Want the inside story on a local business? They probably have a file on it. Many of us insiders recycle our papers by giving them to the Austin History Center as well as those brochures, white papers etc. we have gotten from you over the years at trade shows, in the mail etc. You can discover a wealth of information there and make your own contribution to the “business history of Austin”.
Of course, it has great information about the people of Austin and who’s who or who was who. If you are new to town, you can set up a score card to keep track of everyone you need or want to know. So, great networking info here. For first hand contacts and preserving Austin consider joining The Austin History Center Association. Nice people and important work.
There is history here of course. This was originally a Carnegie Library and Austin’s first library. Go on the behind the scenes tour for the scoop. And, check out the photo lab. Many of the pictures of Austin you see in the Austin American-Statesman and elsewhere are courtesy of the Austin History Center. You can even order some for your office or store – extremely reasonable and unique.
And, if you are into Christmas and model trains, it has been my favorite place for getting into the holiday spirit. They usually set aside a Sunday after Thanksgiving for the public to enjoy music, decorations, goodies, and meeting railroaders. Hopefully, the economy won’t get to them this year!
Austin History Center
810 Guadalupe St
Austin, TX 78701
Monday, closed | Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. | Sunday, 12 noon-6 p.m.
Watch the KLRU Downtown video about the Austin History Center.
What is your favorite business gem?