The oldest free public library in continuous operation in Texas. Established and endowed in 1900 by the will of Henry Rosenberg (1824-1893), a native of Switzerland who came to Galveston in 1843 and achieved prominence as a banker and merchant. In his will he stated, "in making this bequest, I desire to express in practical form my affection for the city of my adoption and for the people among whom I have lived for so many years, trusting that it will aid their intellectual and moral development, and be a source of pleasure and profit to them and their children and their children's children, through many generations."
This library is the successor to the Galveston Mercantile Library established by the Chamber of Commerce in 1870, donated to the city of Galveston in 1874, and absorbed by the Rosenberg Library in 1905.
Collections include over one million books, manuscripts, letters, documents, objects of art, and historic memorabilia. The library is one of the major repositories of original documents and artifacts related to Texas history.