Local Records Available on Microfilm
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About the Program
The following text is from the 1990 edition of Texas County Records, published by the Texas State Library.
Most of the microfilm listed in this guide was obtained by the Archives and Information Services Division through agreement with the Genealogical Society of Utah. In return for listing records to be filmed in each county and making pre-filming arrangement with courthouse officials, the division receives user copies of the microfilm.
From the beginning of the agreement, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, which governs the operations of the Texas State Library and its divisions, resolved to make the film available through interlibrary loan to researchers throughout the country.
The worldwide efforts of the Genealogical Society of Utah to preserve on film public and private records of genealogical and historical interest are well-known. Filmers from the Society attempt to capture on film the best possible image of each page of each document. If a first shooting does not result in film acceptable to quality control personnel in Salt Lake City, retakes are scheduled.
But best efforts do not always result in microfilm that is easy to read. Some records are in such poor condition that producing high-quality microfilm images of them is very difficult. Especially troublesome are records that were created in the nineteenth century using iron-based inks. Over the years the iron-based inks have chipped away, leaving behind a faint reddish-brown "ghost" script that is extremely difficult to read. When the writing was done on blue paper, as it often was because of the popularity of that color with nineteenth century paper manufacturers, the document is now often illegible or nearly so, even to the naked eye.
Filmers are also careful in their handling of records during filming. In the exercise of this care, they sometimes are forced to sacrifice sharp legibility to avoid damaging a record. For example, in some counties, record books have been rebound in a manner that prevents them from being opened fully, making capture of a legible image of an entire page difficult. Researchers should attempt to see the original document in those instances in which the quality of the microfilm is poor.
Some of the microfilm listed in this guide came to the Archives and Information Services Division from other sources. The tax rolls were filmed by the State and Local Records Management Division of the Texas State Library from originals in possession of the State Comptroller of Public Accounts. The State and Local Records Management Division also filmed the City Council Minutes of the City of Gonzales. The microfilm of the Hopkins County Commissioners Court Minutes and the Wilson County Divorce Minutes resulted from a pilot filming project conducted under the auspices of the Local Records Division. The Walker County Scholastic Censuses were the generous gift of the Honorable Frank Robinson, County Judge of Walker County.