Dynamic displays of rare and unique items, with historical narratives, transcriptions, and links for further research.
In the Spotlight
In this exhibit, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission presents its collection of historic flags -- forty in all -- for the first time. Information on each flag includes a high-resolution image and the documentation held by this institution. Many of these flags are too large and too endangered to be exhibited or handled. This digital exhibit makes possible the most extensive exploration yet of these rare treasures of Texas history.
Congress created the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933 at the request of President Franklin Roosevelt as an emergency program devoted to the care of natural resources. The program provided jobs and income to young men and served as an instrument for preserving natural resources and developing state park lands.
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This exhibition highlights the greatest treasures of the Texas State Library and Archives, from Travis' Letter from the Alamo to the original Ordinance of Secession, from historic flags to wanted posters for Sam Bass and Clyde Barrow. New treasures and topics will be added on a periodic basis.
Henry McArdle's battle paintings, Dawn at the Alamo and The Battle of San Jacinto, have become Texas icons. The painstaking detail of the paintings was reflected in exhaustive research. McArdle's notebooks are packed with letters, notes, and photographs documenting the paintings and the events they depict.
In the years from 1877 to 1900, the Gilded Age in American history, F. E. "Ernst" and Oscar Ruffini were part of the first wave of professional architects to practice in Texas. A large collection of their drawings, specifications, and correspondence can be viewed on site at the Texas State Library and Archives. Representative examples of their work are included in this exhibit.
2011 marked the 175th anniversary of the Texas Revolution. To commemorate the 175th anniversary of Texas independence, the Texas State Library and Archives is proud to present a dozen selected documents that showcase the people and events of the Texas Revolution.
For more than three centuries, relations between whites and Indians occupied a central place in Texas life. The Texas State Library and Archives is home to a massive collection called the Texas Indian Papers. These and other documents and photographs from our collections tell the story of an epic clash of cultures.
At the time of the Texas Revolution, most Texans and Americans assumed that the Republic of Texas would be swiftly annexed to the United States. Instead, the process of annexation took nine long and bruising years. In hindsight, Texas annexation seems inevitable. But it all could have been so different.
For ten years, four very different men led the Republic of Texas down a difficult and unknown path as an independent nation. Although these men were different--sawmill operator, soldier, poet, doctor--they were also much alike. To a man they had known crushing failure. Each had the heart and nerve to take the helm of a penniless, lawless land and dream of the mighty Texas it might one day become. Each of them, for good and for ill, shaped that destiny. This is their story.
The sailors of Texas were vital to the survival of the Republic; they defended the coastline, ensured Texas supply lines, and brought in much-needed revenue from prizes and captures. In this exhibit, adventure in the Gulf is paired with a political blood feud which brought the Navy crashing down amidst charges of piracy, mutiny, and murder.
Fifty-two African-American men served Texas as either state legislative members or Constitutional Convention delegates during the last half of the 19th century, representing the first significant political achievement by the African-American citizens of this state.
Diaries and letters of Texas women, political cartoons, government documents, and photographs and postcards tell the little-known story of the women activists who fought to overcome societal attitudes and entrenched power and won the rights of full citizenship.
Historians have called the construction of the Texas highway system one of the greatest building projects in world history. Dozens of vintage photographs and documents from TSLAC’s collection of Texas Highway Department project files tell the story of Texas’s journey from frontier backwater to transportation power player.
From humble beginnings with little money or public support, the Texas prison system eventually transformed into a self-supporting network of sugar and cotton farms. But hellish conditions and brutal punishments led to one of the greatest scandals in Texas history, and began a cycle of reform that brought Texas to a new era of professional penology.
Created in 1923, the State Parks Board struggled until the New Deal poured millions of federal dollars into creating state parks for Texas. In the decades to follow, Texans who loved the outdoors promoted state parks as a public good that provides fun and serenity to the public while preserving the natural beauty of Texas. But always the parks have competed with other state needs and priorities.
Government documents, photographs, political cartoons, and other artifacts help tell the story of the agency founded in 1891 on a tide of populist resentment of the railroads that went on in the 20th century to wield legendary power over the supply and price of oil and natural gas.
Made possible by a grant from Humanities Texas, the lesson plans and activities here are intended for middle school Texas history teachers to introduce students to the practice of using historical archival materials on the web. This website focuses on the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a period of intense change which transformed Texas from a predominantly rural state into a modern industrial power.