ALTAFF designates Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building Literary Landmark

Contact: Jillian Kalonick

Marketing/Public Relations Specialist




For Immediate Release

Dec. 21, 2009

PHILADELPHIA – The Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building in Austin, Texas, the headquarters of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, was named a Literary Landmark by the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

Former U.S. and Texas First Lady Laura Bush spoke at the dedication ceremony, held Dec. 3, 2009, on the steps of the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. Mrs. Bush, along with Gail Bialas, manager for the Texas Center for the Book, presented the Literary Landmark plaque to Peggy Rudd, Texas State Library and Archives Commission director and state librarian.

“Today’s dedication recognizes the inspiration that this building and the resources it houses has provided for great writers for decades,” said Mrs. Bush. Noted Texas authors used the state archives and library for research and inspiration, including James Michener (“Texas”), Walter Prescott Webb (“The Texas Rangers”), and Jack “Jaxon” Jackson, author of graphic novels on Texas history.

The Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, which opened in 1961, is currently undergoing a major renovation thanks to a $15.5-million appropriation from the Texas Legislature, and private funds raised by the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas. The renovation is expected to be complete in spring 2010.

The Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas and the Texas Center for the Book joined ALTAFF in supporting this Literary Landmark dedication.

The Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building is the fourth structure in Texas to receive Literary Landmark designation; other Texas Literary Landmarks are the O. Henry House and Museum in Austin, the Menger Hotel in San Antonio, and the Katherine Anne Porter Home in Kyle.

The Literary Landmarks Association was founded in 1986 by former Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) president Frederick G. Ruffner to encourage the dedication of historic literary sites. The first dedication was at Slip F18 in Bahia Mar, Fla., the anchorage of the Busted Flush, the houseboat home of novelist John D. MacDonald's protagonist Travis McGee. In 1989, the Literary Landmark project became an official FOLUSA committee. The Literary Landmark program continues under ALTAFF, the newly formed division of ALA created by the joining of FOLUSA and the Association for Library Trustees and Friends (ALTA). More than 100 Literary Landmarks across the United States have been dedicated since the program began. Any library or citizens group may apply for a Literary Landmark through ALTAFF; for more information, visit

ALTAFF is a division of ALA with approximately 5,000 Friends of the Library, Trustee, Foundation and individual members and affiliates representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. Begun in early 2009, the new division brings together Trustees and Friends into a partnership that unites the voices of citizens who support libraries to create a powerful force for libraries in the 21st Century. For more information about ALTAFF, please contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or