In anticipation of our virtual rededication ceremony at 2 p.m. Central today, the Harris County Robert W. Hainsworth Law Library has curated two exhibits honoring our namesake, one physical exhibit in the Law Library lobby and one digital exhibit available online. Both are titled, “Robert Wendell Hainsworth: Undaunted Advocate.” Learn more about Mr. Hainsworth by exploring these exhibits and by visiting our webpage dedicated to him:  

Physical Exhibit 

Our physical exhibit consists of three glass wall panels and three glass display cases. The first wall panel depicts aspects of Mr. Hainsworth’s life, while the second panel and display case include artifacts of Robert Wendell Hainsworth v. Harris County Commissioners Court. In that case, Mr. Hainsworth challenged as unconstitutional the 1950s requirement that African American patrons of the Harris County Law Library were required to sit at a specific table designated by a sign that read “Colored.” However, his plea that the law library of the time provide open and equal access for all was denied by both Texas courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. The third wall panel portrays details of Mr. Hainsworth’s continued advocacy, including his role in establishing the Houston Lawyers Association and running for the Texas Senate.   

People in the downtown Houston area are able to view our physical exhibit located in the lobby of the Law Library. However, due to current health and safety protocols, the Law Library is currently open by appointment only. If you have legal research needs, you can make an appointment through our website ( or reach us through our Virtual Reference Desk ( Please note that the Law Library will be closed next week on Dec. 23 & 24, in observance of a county holiday.   

Digital Exhibit 

Our digital exhibit, available here, compiles photographs and documents that showcase Robert W. Hainsworth’s personal lifeeducationmilitary service, and his tireless efforts as an undaunted advocate for justice. There is also a dedicated collection of materials related to the court caseRobert Wendell Hainsworth v. Harris County Commissioners Court

Hosted on Preservica, visitors to the digital exhibit can browse by collection or conduct a search across all collections or within a specific collection. Collection materials are provided by Harris County Archives, Harris County Clerk’s Office, Harris County District Clerk’s Office, African American Library at The Gregory School of Houston Public Library, and Vernon E. Jordan, Jr. Law Library of Howard University School of Law.