Commerce Public Library

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Local History & Genealogy

The Local History and Genealogy Room on the main floor of the Library is open during regular hours of operation.   It contains more than 500 volumes relating to Commerce, Hunt county, and surrounding areas. Also, on the walls are photographs from the 1800's to 1965 of early Commerce and local citizens.  Issues of the local newspaper, the Commerce Journal, from 1901 to present are available on microfilm. The Local History Archives are located in the basement of the library and house the majority of the local history collections.  It includes hundreds of photographs dating back to the mid 1800's as well as detailed information on many of the families and businesses in the area, the Cotton Belt Railroad, fraternities, women's clubs, public and rural schools dating back to the 1800's, yearbooks, city directories, memorabilia, and much more.  Access to the archives is only available on Wednesdays and Thursdays, or by appointment.

Commerce Public Library Digital Collections

Commerce Railroad Depot 1974 

The Commerce Public Library is very excited and proud to be a partner in the “HeirLoom Project”, sponsored by TAMU-Commerce James G. Gee Library.  Select photographs and memorabilia from the library’s archives are scanned and entered into the university’s digital library database allowing world-wide access to those collections.  As one of twelve partners in the Northeast Texas region, the public library has contributed items from our popular Cotton Belt Railroad Collection and from our African-American Collection.  Please check back often as we continue to add more to the digital library.  

 Pictures of Library (former Post Office Building) being built

The Texas Historical Foundation has provided funding for the parapet project by donating money for 3 spindles.  The Library acknowledges and appreciates this support.
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Historical Highlight

(changed often)

W.A. Haynes & Sam Mathews 

City Marshall W. A. “Uncle Billy” Hanes and patrolman,

 Sam Mathews; photograph taken 1947

New Acquisitions to the Archives

Donation Type donor
Book- Cotton Belt Color Pictorial, by Steve A. Goen Memorial in remembrance of Murrel Hogue, Jr. Naurine D. Lennox
DVD- Oral History Interviews with Local Black Civic Leaders  

Converging Literacies Center (CLIC) @ TAMU-Commerce

 Please take the opportunity to come by and see how much our town has changed throughout the years and share your knowledge of Commerce History.

The Archives Wish List

  • City Directories    
  • High School Year Books   
  • Railroad items  
  • Photographs (copies can be made and the originals returned to owner)
  • Any items related to the history of Commerce and/or surrounding areas
  • Monetary donations to buy archival needs such as shelving, acid-free boxes and tissue paper, protective sleeves, equipment, etc.