The Smith County Historical Society is housed in the Carnegie History Center, formerly know as the Carnegie Public Library.
The Carnegie Public Library was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. The dedication of the new Tyler Public Library left the former location an empty building whose future was in doubt. The City of Tyler leased the building to the Smith County Historical Society on the condition that the building would be completely renovated. The restoration preserved the historic integrity of the building, while modernizing it to assure the comfort of its patrons and to comply with building codes. In 1984 the building opened as the Carnegie History Center, the home of the Society museum and archives. The Payne Auditorium on the second floor serves as the location of the Society’s monthly meetings.
The museum displays artifacts that reflect the historic, social, economic and political culture of Smith County, Texas. Most of these artifacts were donated by public-minded citizens to the Society over the years. Dioramas covering topics ranging from the Caddo Indians to the Twentieth Century are presented in chronological order. There are also several interesting videos on local history. Various items, including photographs and publications, are available for purchase.