Austin, TX – Part of the mission of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) is to “provide Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas.” In order to fulfill this mandate, TSLAC developed the Texas Digital Archive (TDA), the infrastructure needed to manage, preserve, and provide access to records of Texas state government agencies in a variety of digital formats. The TDA now makes more than five million records of state government, as well as business, family, and organizational papers, prints and photographs, artifacts, audio, and video available for free online at www.tsl.texas.gov/texasdigitalarchive, with more being added every day.
In January 2015, TSLAC received approximately 7 terabytes of electronic records, along with 4,000 cubic feet of paper records, from the administration of outgoing Governor Rick Perry (2000-2015). Many thousands of state government records have been added in the past five years. At the same time, TSLAC has had a robust digitization program for the last decade, generating more than 150,000 digital files, including historical photographs, audio recordings, reformatted film from Texas agencies, along with the thousands of paper documents now accessible online. All records in the TDA are unrestricted, and are thus available for public use, including for scholarly research, journalism, teaching using primary source documents, genealogy and family history, and creative arts purposes. Patrons may browse collections, perform keyword searches, and view and download records through the online portal.
The Texas Digital Archive is built on the Preservica preservation system. Designed around international archival and digital preservation standards, Preservica is a comprehensive suite of preservation tools and workflows.
Preserving digital material presents a different set of technological challenges than that found with paper. The creation of a comprehensive digital archive capable of ingesting digital records, storing and managing those digital objects and associated metadata, and ensuring that digital material is accessible for the long term is essential to TSLAC fulfilling its mission to providing Texans access to the information they need.
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides Texans access to the information they need to be informed, productive citizens by preserving the archival record of Texas; enhancing the service capacity of public, academic and school libraries; assisting public agencies in the maintenance of their records; and meeting the reading needs of Texans with disabilities. For more information, visit www.tsl.texas.gov.