Launching the Texas Digital Archive

We were very excited to announce a few days ago that The Texas Digital Archive is now officially opened to the public on our website. The TDA can be accessed at https://www.tsl.texas.gov/texasdigitalarchive. The TDA is live at this point with the first set of documents from Governor Rick Perry as well as some historical photographs and other materials from our collection. Staff are working with the three target state agencies (Texas Historical Commission, Office of the Attorney General, and the Railroad Commission) to bring their materials into the archive as promised to the Legislature during this biennium.

The launch was reported in both Library Journal and American Libraries magazines as well as in several Texas newspapers. And indeed this is big news for us and for the state. The launch of the Texas Digital Archive is a significant milestone for the agency and for researchers, state government, libraries and archives, and information seekers everywhere. This is the first time a centralized depository of state agency digital resources has been available in Texas and over time we expect it will grow to be a very important resource for the state on a level of the physical archives housed in our building. The project was the effort of many people at TSLAC, including our state archivist Jelain Chubb, Assistant State Archivist Laura Saegert, Electronic Records Specialist Mark Myers, and many of our archivists, technical, and administrative staff who worked on various aspects of the project. We look forward to providing more information and updates on this important project as it progresses.

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The cover for “The Inferno” by Dante for the Recovering the Classics project.

In other news, our Texas Center for the Book is now working on a number of very interesting projects to promote books, reading, literacy and library use statewide. Recently we were approached by a university librarian in West Texas, Cynthia Henry, who as a personal project not affiliated with her institution, wanted to purchase┬áposter versions of the 50 striking new book covers recently completed for the Recovering the Classics project and make them available in a touring exhibit. We thought the idea was exciting and innovative and we have the capability in-house to print 20 of the posters. Cynthia has found other backers to help purchase the rest of the posters and we look forward to hearing from her when the exhibit will first be appearing. This is just the sort of project that we love–one that combines an excitement about books and reading, encourages a rediscovery of the classics, reaffirms the link between libraries, books and reading, and leverages small investments from several organizations to make a creative librarian’s idea a reality. A big thank you to Cynthia for bringing this project to us. You can see the all the covers at Recovering the Classics at http://recoveringtheclassics.com/.

And in a teaser for later, I will mention we are at work on another interesting project in partnership with the organization Little Free Libraries (http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/), that has placed many thousands of these little libraries across the country. I look forward to telling you more soon about a partnership between the Texas Center for the Book and Little Free Libraries to place these libraries in Texas while promoting books, reading, literacy, and library use.

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