Archiving Texas history

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Second graders from Round Rock ISD visit to see the Travis letter on display in the lobby of the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building.

Today is Texas Independence Day and we celebrated by welcoming three groups of second-grade students from the Round Rock ISD to see the Travis letter which is on display through Friday in our lobby.

How wonderful that these students can actually see the very letter written by Col. William Barret Travis from the Alamo on February 24, 1836, appealing to all Texans and Americans for aid in the battle against a vastly overpowering army. Through that letter on display, those students had a direct link to that most dramatic of all events of Texas history. Those students are the latest generation of Texans who will enjoy this and thousands of other documents and artifacts of Texas history that are safely preserved in the State Archives because of the vision of state leaders who acted over a hundred years ago to protect those documents for Texans in perpetuity.

Now, as we are in the digital age, it is equally important to the future that we are also able to preserve archival documents in electronic format. We came closer to that reality last week when a House Appropriations subcommittee chaired by Rep. Sylvester Turner of Houston recommended the addition of a budget item requested by our agency that would create the Texas Digital Archive. We applaud Chairman Turner and the committee for their vision and leadership in acting to preserving digital resources from the state agencies for the study, enrichment and enjoyment of future generations of Texans.

Happy Texas Independence Day and we hope everyone will come visit our building at 1201 Brazos in Austin to see the Travis letter and other historical documents on display in our lobby.

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