Welcome to Archives & Manuscripts

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Guidelines for Researchers | Finding Aids | Selected Records on Microfilm | Local Records | Appraisal Reports | Online Exhibits | Conservation and Preservation | Materials Missing | FAQs for State Agencies | FAQs for Legislators | FAQs for Governor Rick Perry researchers

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Genealogy | About Texas | Sam Houston Center | Texas History | Legislative Research


The Texas State Archives preserves and documents the heritage and culture of Texas by identifying, collecting, and making available for research the permanently valuable official records of Texas government, as well as other significant historical resources. Maintaining the official history of Texas government, the State Archives includes archival government records dating back to the 18th century, as well as newspapers, journals, books, manuscripts, photographs, historical maps, and other historical resources. By these records, all three branches of Texas government are accountable to the people. Taken together, the holdings of the Texas State Archives provide a historical foundation for present-day governmental actions and are an important resource for Texas studies.


Guidelines for Researchers

Visitors to the Texas State Archives are asked to review our guidelines for researchers. Every researcher is responsible for assisting in the preservation of the documents deposited in the Texas State Archives. Our rules are intended to protect and preserve these materials to ensure that the information they contain is available for subsequent visitors.

Records of the legislative and executive branches of state government and local government records held by the State Archives are subject to the provisions of Chapter 552 of the Texas Government Code, also known as the Public Information Act. The Act makes records open for research with certain exceptions. The Texas Office of the Attorney General publishes its Public Information Act Handbook biennially, as a guide to understanding the Act. For additional information, please review our page Texas Public Information Act and Research in the State Archives.

When citing materials used from the Archives collections, please use the suggested formats outlined in the Texas State Archives Citation Form.


Archival Finding Aids

Finding aids guide researchers in the use of archival holdings that have been prepared for research. Many of the finding aids to the holdings of the State Archives are available on the Web at TARO (Texas Archival Resources Online).

Processed State and Local Records and Processed Manuscript and Photograph Collections are indexes to the finding aids of the prepared holdings of Texas State Archives. The indexes include finding aids available only in print in the Archives search room as well as links to those finding aids that are also available on the Web at the TARO site.

Unprocessed State Agency Minutes is a list of the minutes transferred by state agencies to the State Archives that are not described in finding aids.

Map Collection is a searchable database to descriptions of over 8,000 maps. Digital images of more than 900 maps are also accessible through this database.

Civilian Conservation Corps Drawings is a searchable database of over 3,900 digitized large-format drawings documenting Texas park development through the efforts of the Corps, created by Congress in 1933 as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "New Deal." The collection documents 41 Texas state parks developed between 1933 and 1942 and includes some later drawings that record revisions and additions.

Republic Claims series is now available in digital form as well as microfilm. It includes claims for payment, reimbursement, or restitution submitted by citizens to the Republic of Texas government from 1835 through 1846. It also includes records relating to Republic pensions and claims against the Republic submitted as public debt claims after 1846.

Index to Confederate Pension Applications is a database which provides the name, county of residence, and pension number for some 54,634 approved, rejected, and home pensions issued by the Texas government between 1899 and 1975.

Texas Adjutant General Service Records, 1836-1935, is a series that combines both official service record files from the Adjutant General's Office and alphabetical files created by other agencies which contain records related to an individual's service in a military unit. The database provides the name, the military organization, and the call number. Please note that the listing does not include the names of ALL persons who served in Texas military organizations. It indexes only the names of persons who have files in this record series.

Confederate Indigent Families List is an index to the names of families that received aid through the 1863 "Act to Support the Families and Dependents of Texas Soldiers."

Annual Reports of Railroad Companies is an index to reports 1859-1867, 1873-1885, 1890-1996. Each report details the company's organization, operation, and financial condition. The index includes the names of the railroad companies and the dates of the reports as well as the call numbers for the reports, annotations made on the reports, the forms used, and the companies' alphabetical rankings.

The Records of Governor George W. Bush are located at the George W. Bush Presidential Library in Dallas, Texas. Finding aids describing the records are available on the Web at TARO (Texas Archival Resources Online). Other finding aids listed here will also assist researchers in locating records of interest. Public information requests for Governor Bush's records will continue to be submitted to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Republic of Texas Passports, a collection of 55 documents, has been digitized and a complete listing of names is available.

The Andrew Jackson Houston collection database is a searchable index of the collection, which is comprised of papers inherited by A.J. Houston from his father, Sam Houston. The collection of approximately 4,800 items contains correspondence, reports, resolutions, proclamations, affidavits, depositions and a wealth of other material dated, primarily, between 1835 and 1859. As Governor of Tennessee, Commanding General of the Texian Army during the Texas Revolution, twice President of the Republic of Texas, U.S. Senator from Texas and Governor of Texas, Sam Houston witnessed and participated in significant political, military, and governmental affairs. Topics covered in the collection include Texas politics during the Republic era and the pre-Civil War period of statehood, annexation, secession, and Indian affairs, to name a few. Correspondents include many Texas political and military figures of the era, as well as members of the public.

Brief descriptions of the finding aids can be found in the Online Library Catalog.
 


Selected Records Available on Microfilm

1867 Voters' Registration On March 23, 1867, Congress passed legislation that called for a registration of qualified voters in each military district. The text of this legislation can be found in the Statutes at Large in volume 15, page 2 (15 Stat 2). The commanding officer in each district was required to have, before September 1, a list of these voters from each county. These lists would be used to determine all who would be eligible to vote for any proposed Constitutional Convention in the state.

Election Registers The law defining the duties of the Secretary of State, passed in 1846, includes a provision that he shall, "in a separate book, suitable for the purpose, keep a complete register of all officers appointed and elected in the State..."

Executive Record Books "Executive Record Books" is a general title including 1) records of the Executive Department filed in the Secretary of State's Office, and records proceeding from executive functions which were originally filed by law in the Office of the Secretary of State, and 2) records created by the Department or Secretary of State.

Nacogdoches Archives These archives include a variety of records maintained by national, regional, and local officials--both political and military--of the Mexican government from the mid-eighteenth into the early nineteenth century.

Texas Convict Record Ledgers and Indexes The record ledgers are excellent sources of individual convict descriptions and information regarding their incarceration.

Index of County Records on Microfilm is available online, along with instructions for borrowing rolls through interlibrary loan. Although the microfilm is housed in depository libraries throughout Texas, the Genealogy Collection houses the film for the following counties: Atascosa, Bandera, Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Caldwell, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Hays, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, Llano, McMullen, Medina, Uvalde, and Wilson.

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Local Records

Index of County Records on Microfilm is available online, along with instructions for borrowing rolls through interlibrary loan. Although the microfilm is housed in depository libraries throughout Texas, the Genealogy Collection houses the film for the following counties: Atascosa, Bandera, Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Caldwell, Comal, Frio, Gillespie, Guadalupe, Hays, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, Llano, McMullen, Medina, Uvalde, and Wilson.

Local Records Available at the Sam Houston Center are available only for on-site use in Liberty, Texas. The county records listings shown here represent the paper holdings of the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center only. The records represent the following counties: Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, and Tyler.

Finding aids of the prepared holdings of local records held at the Texas State Archives are listed in the index Processed State and Local Records.


Archival Appraisal

Archival Records Appraisal Reports
Reports of the archival appraisal of records present in state agencies.

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Online Exhibits

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission produces online exhibits showcasing various topics in Texas history, displaying many documents and photographs from our collections. Browse our complete list of online exhibits.

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Conservation and Preservation

The State Archives provides Preservation Tips for book- and paper-based collections held by smaller institutions and for personal treasures in the care of individuals.

TSLAC Conservation chronicles events in the conservation lab at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Focusing on the treatment of book and paper items, issues addressed include conservation processes and decision-making, as well as broader challenges within library and archives collections.

Texas Historical Foundation - The Texas State Library and Archives Commission received grant monies from the Texas Historical Foundation for the preservation of early Supreme Court files dating from 1840 through 1870. The files from this period are tri-folded or rolled and need humidification and flattening to make them available for research and digitization. The Foundation’s gift will fund an intern to humidify, flatten, arrange, describe and index the case files and identify items for evaluation and possible conservation treatment.

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Materials Missing from the Texas State Archives

Learn more about materials missing from the Texas State Archives, and read our statement about the sale of government records.

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The State Archives Answers FAQs for State Agencies

Find answers to questions the State Archives frequently receives from state agencies.

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The State Archives Answers FAQs for Legislators

Find answers to questions the State Archives frequently receives from state legislators and their offices.

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The State Archives Answers FAQs for Governor Rick Perry researchers

Find answers to questions the State Archives frequently receives from researchers concerning information about Rick Perry as an elected official.

Page last modified: April 1, 2014