Nesbitt Memorial Library

Who We Are

The Nesbitt Memorial Library is the municipal library of the City of Columbus, Texas. It is named in honor of the family of Lee Quinn Nesbitt, who financed the construction of the building. The collection of the city's previous municipal library, the Mansfield Memorial Library, which was named in honor of Joseph Jefferson Mansfield, who provided the land for the building and its initial collection, was absorbed into that of the Nesbitt Memorial Library.

The Mansfield Memorial Library opened on March 2, 1948. The Nesbitt Memorial Library opened March 18, 1979. Less than a decade later, a major addition, paid for by Miss Nesbitt's estate, nearly doubled the size of the building, and added a special archival vault and Texas Room. The addition was formally opened on October 25, 1987.

Mission Statement: As it appears in 2001 Code, Section 38-3 of the Ordinances of the City of Columbus, "The Nesbitt Memorial Library's mission is to encourage all of the citizens of the community to use the library by providing them with the highest quality library materials that meet their needs in a positive spirit of service under the budgetary specifications of the city."


The library is primarily supported by the City of Columbus, Texas, but also by contributions from Colorado County, Texas, and from a private foundation, the Nesbitt Memorial Library Foundation, Inc. Donations to the foundation may be sent to the library.


The library is at 529 Washington Street in Columbus, Texas (78934), across the street from the city's public elementary school and some two blocks from the courthouse.

Hours of Operation 

In a routine week, the library is open to the public for 49 hours. The library open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 am to 6 pm. Tuesday and Thursday from 10 am to 7 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. The library is closed every Sunday.


The library follows the City of Columbus holiday schedule, plus, should any of the holidays fall on a Friday, the library will also be closed on the following Saturday.  The library is closed every Sunday. We are closed for the following holidays: New Years Day, Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterens Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. 


The library has three full time staff members. They are:

Advisory Board       

The library has a seven member advisory board established under the Ordinances of City of Columbus, Texas, Chapter 1 General Provisions, Article 1.10 Library, Division 2 Library Advisory Board. The board meets at 4:30 p.m. every second Thursday of the month. The members are: Vicki Wiste (chairman), Roger Wade (Vice Chairman), Bob Gillespie (secretary), Rebecka LaCourse, Larry McWherter, Virgil Thompson and Lois Robinson.

For more information check out the City Ordinances.

Electronic Resources 

The library has fourteen public access computers, which provide patrons access to the card catalog, the Internet, and various word processors, games, etc. The library has a free Wi-Fi environment.

Book Event Once a year the library conducts a public event with items it has culled from its collection and items that were donated by the public, but not added to the collection, available for a small donation. Donations from this event directly benefit the Nesbitt Memorial Library Foundation, Inc.
Used Books 

The library has an ongoing supply of items it has culled from its collection and items that were donated by the public, but not added to the collection. These can be obtained for a small donation. The proceeds directly benefit the Nesbitt Memorial Library Foundation, Inc.

Meeting Room 

The library's meeting room has 754 square feet of useable floor space (26 x 29), plus a kitchenette, a video projector, large screen, and sound system, a podium, a dry-erase board, and numerous tables and chairs. It will accommodate about 70 people. It is available to groups or individuals whose purposes are compatible with the library's mission, i.e., they are informational, educational, cultural, or charitable in nature, provided those groups agree to abide by the restrictions in the Brief Rules for Use of the Meeting Room, Application for Use of Meeting Room, and the complete Use of the Meeting Room section of  Library Policy.

Special Collections

Texas Collection 

In keeping with the wishes of Lee Quinn Nesbitt, the library's donor and benefactor, the library places a strong emphasis on the history, genealogy, literature, and culture of Texas and local residents. The Texas Collection includes books and other printed material collected by Lee Quinn Nesbitt and by the Colorado County Historical Commission. It was greatly augmented with funds provided by the estate of Catherine Dumraese, a Colorado County resident who died in 1981, and by donations of books from the Shropshire-Upton Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy.

The library's Texas Collection contains about 4000 books, about half of which are incorporated into the circulating section of the library and half of which are classified as reference material and shelved in the Texas Room. Some extremely rare or poor condition books are stored in the archival vault, and are accessible only by request and only under the direct supervision of library staff.


The Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library exists to collect, preserve, and make available for research, original source materials that are historically significant to Columbus, Colorado County, and the surrounding area. In the 1970s, the Colorado County Historical Commission established the Colorado County Archives, which was housed at the courthouse for most of its existence. In 1986, the facility was discontinued and the collection moved from the courthouse, with part of it being deposited in the Eula and David Wintermann Library in Eagle Lake and part of it in the Nesbitt Memorial Library. Since being established in 1987, the Archives of the Nesbitt Memorial Library has incorporated the genealogy and local history papers compiled by Lee Quinn Nesbitt and numerous documents and photographs from other Colorado County families.

The archives consists of documents, photographs, newspapers, various printed materials, maps, audio tapes, and video tapes. The archives does not include artifacts, furniture, clothing, or other items commonly considered to be museum pieces.

The archives has more than fifty collections of documents, more than 6000 photographs, copies (on microfilm or on paper) of every known extant issue of every known Colorado County newspaper, numerous local telephone books and school annuals, and dozens of maps of the county and its communities. The material in the archives is available for use only by request and only under the direct supervision of library staff.

From 1989 through 2001, the archives published the Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, which featured articles and other material directly relevant to Colorado County and its history. In all, 37 issues of the journal were produced.

Genealogy Collection 

The library has the most comprehensive collection of Colorado County genealogy materials, and a useful collection of genealogy materials regarding Texas and the states of the southern United States. The collection includes the census schedules for Colorado and the four surrounding counties (Austin, Fayette, Lavaca, and Wharton), some local church records, family files, and a number of land, military, and immigration records.

In 1987, the library began locating and cataloging the cemeteries of Colorado County. A list of all persons known or suspected to have been buried in Colorado County, together with a description of all identified cemeteries and burial sites, can be found elsewhere on this website.

Doll Collection 

The library is home to Lee Quinn Nesbitt's extensive collection of dolls, which is on permanent display in the children's section. In recent years, other persons, including Tracey Wegenhoft, Dorothy Albrecht, Terry Ford, and Elizabeth Massey, have donated additional dolls to the collection. The collection now boasts more than 200 dolls and doll related artifacts from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Art and Art Reproductions 
The library has a small collection of original art, including works by Porfirio Salinas, Kindred McLeary, and Paulina Van Bavel-Kearney.