The Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research is one of three special collection libraries within the Houston Public Library system. With that said, it is a genealogy library, and most archival collections relating to area history are located at the Houston Metropolitan Research Center downtown.
As far as genealogy goes, Clayton has pretty much everything that every other major genealogy collection has, and more. There is something for every kind of researcher. For the serious researcher, the Clayton has items such as Records of Ante-bellum Southern Plantations and the Papeles Procedentes de Cuba (Cuban Papers) on microfilm. There are many finding aids to the special collections on microfilm not found anywhere else. In addition, there are the usual online subscriptions for researchers who want to drive half way across the country to type a name into a computer screen. Also, Clayton has a partnership with the LDS Family History Library that enables patrons to order microfilm on loan (short-term or permanent) from the LDS catalog to be viewed at Clayton. So, mostly anything not in the library can be obtained one way or another. Many genealogy libraries do not have the LDS affiliation and those who want to view LDS film have to go to an LDS church viewing site. The LDS viewing site at Clayton is located on site. All of these resources, when used to COMPLEMENT each other, make Clayton one of the best genealogy research centers in the United States.
They are used to accommodating out-of-town visitors, also. There is a separate snack area with vending machines, a smoking patio, restrooms on each floor, elevators, and adequate parking. Not to mention its location within the museum district and located on the light rail line.
The only semi-negative review I can see here is the individual who said that Dallas had more family histories. Although family histories are a great starting point, there is an understanding among serious researchers that most of them are rather unreliable, so this specific critique indicates what kind of researcher the reviewer is. Just because you have done something for a long time doesn't necessarily mean you are good at it. Family histories are typically produced by an individual after decades of hard work, often independently published, and donated to genealogy libraries. Then, other "genealogists" come in and just copy the work of those individuals instead of conducting the arduous process of doing the primary research themselves.
As one well-known genealogical research guide defines genealogy: "Genealogy: That branch of history which involves the determination of family relationships. This is not done by copying but rather by research"(Val D. Greenwood, 2000, p. 3).
If you own or manage Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.