What We Do
The Archives and Information Services (ARIS) division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission works to preserve the records of government and make accessible historically significant records and other valuable resources in many formats, including printed materials, electronic records and photographs.
The Texas State Library and Archives is one of the leaders in Texas in the areas of digitization and electronic records management.
Preserve Records of History
Our archivists work with state agencies to identify records that document their important decisions and actions. Those documents are sent to the State Archives for permanent safekeeping. Our staff also works with members of the public who have items, such as family diaries, letters, and photographs reflecting people and events in Texas history, for donation to the State Archives. We protect our holdings by storing them in a secure, climate-controlled environment and ensuring that proper handling guidelines are followed. Items that require repair are treated by a professional conservator.
ARIS provides Preservation Tips for book- and paper-based collections held by smaller institutions and for personal treasures in the care of individuals. The TSLAC Conservation blog chronicles events in the conservation lab with a special focus on treatment of book and paper items and broader challenges within the library and archives collections.
ARIS provides research assistance to the public, legislators, historians, genealogists and more. Our librarians assist patrons in the Reference Reading Room with accessing our microfilm, genealogical, print and online resources, searchable in our online library catalog.
Maintaining the official history of Texas government, the Texas State Archives holds original government records dating back to the 18th century, as well as journals, photographs, manuscripts, and other historical resources. Some records contain information restricted from public access under the Texas Public Information Act and other laws and statutes, and so they must be reviewed by archivists to remove that information before a researcher can view the records.
Make Access Happen
ARIS facilitates access to TSLAC collections through a number of ways. The cataloging department oversees descriptive work of our holdings for the online library catalog. Our staff work to make our materials searchable on WorldCat and the Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO).
The digitization department enables access to Texas records through our online collections also available through our Flickr Commons page. Our archivists describe how archival records are organized and what kinds of information are contained within them to help researchers. A descriptive guide, called a finding aid, for the records is written and published on Texas Archival Resources Online.
The Texas Digital Archive manages, preserves, and provides acess to electronic records of the Texas State Library and Archives, including those transferred by state agencies or digitized by the State Archives.
Safeguard Federal, State, and Local Documents
TSLAC serves as a repository for federal, state, and local government documents and publications. A part of the Federal Documents Depository program, TSLAC makes available to the public all federal documents and publications distributed by the Depository Library Program of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.
On the state level, TSLAC provides access to information published by or for the Texas State government through the Texas State Publications Depository program. Locally, the Regional Historical Resource Depositories program collects, preserves, and makes available for use historical records of local governments in Texas.