State Archives Educator Survey

Are you a Texas K-12 educator seeking primary sources for your classroom? Would you like to see the State Archives offer programming for you and your students? Our education outreach team wants to hear from you! Let us know more about what we may offer you and your students by completing this short survey by May 15:

Explore the collections, programs and services offered from Archives & Reference on our website here:

For information about access to TSLAC collections please contact our reference staff at or 512-463-5455.

Elizabeth Howard West: Texas Library Pioneer

Gina Watts, Reference Librarian

Elizabeth Howard West, state librarian, 1918-1925. Prints and photographs collection, 1/103-124-West. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

When Elizabeth Howard West was hired as state archivist at the Texas State Library in 1911, she had been through library training, worked in manuscripts at the Library of Congress, and held a master’s degree in history from the University of Texas. Her first task was to organize more than a thousand boxes from the Comptroller’s Office that had been collecting in a basement, and she went on to create the calendar (annotated listing) for the Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar papers. She departed in 1915 and went to the San Antonio Public Library, where she served as director.

Today we recognize Elizabeth Howard West as a pioneer in Texas history. In 1918, she became the first woman to direct any state agency when she accepted the position as state librarian. West had a vision for a state library that expanded library services to reach all Texans. When she began as state librarian, only 16 percent of citizens in Texas had access to a free public library. She worked to improve this statistic by serving as president of the Texas Library Association and helping establish a county library system. West was so skilled at this work that she helped other states do the same.

Elizabeth Howard West, state archivist, 1911-1915. Prints and photographs collection, 1/122-9. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

West also provided library services to groups and individuals who had limited or no access to books. She initiated library services for the blind in 1916 while serving as director of the San Antonio Public Library and brought these services to the Texas State Library in 1919. She acquired books in earlier forms of braille to better serve this population. She also provided services to African American library patrons despite the segregation practices of the era. Schools serving African American students were regular customers of the Texas State Library, but these patrons were not welcomed by everyone working in the Texas Capitol at the time. West developed a process to serve this group by having their requests prepared in advance and ready for pick-up when they arrived.

West was a strong advocate for maintaining a professional staff and added staff raises to her budget requests. She also stipulated training requirements for library and archives positions so that the legislature did not place well-connected but unqualified individuals in library jobs, as was a common practice by Texas politicians of the day.

After years of battling for higher budgets, more space, and better staff support, West eventually sought work outside of state government. In her wake she left behind a library that was made better by her diligence and care. Most important, she left TSLAC as a library that served everyone, not just a privileged few.

Elizabeth West’s records can be found in several collections:


Gracy, David B. The State Library and Archives of Texas: a History, 1835-1962. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2010.

Out of the Stacks and Into the Catalog: Telling the Engine Where to Search and How

Birch Griesse, Library Assistant

Search TSLAC’s library catalog online at

Understanding the search options in the Texas State Library and Archive Commission’s (TSLAC) library catalog can help patrons more quickly and efficiently retrieve records pertinent to their research needs. Earlier posts covered The Basics of the catalog search engine and The Secrets to using search fields and Boolean operators. This post takes a closer look at the available search fields – shown in Figure 1 below – and how they can be used in conjunction with the search-type options displayed in Figure 2.

TSLAC catalog’s homepage displays these basic search options:

Below the library drop-down menu is a series of buttons that tell the search engine where – that is, in what fields – to search in the catalog (Figure 1).

Figure 1. These buttons tell the catalog what to search.
  • Words or Phrase. This is the broadest option. It returns any records that contain the search terms, including in the title, in the author’s name, and in the book’s summary.
  • Author. This button looks for the search term in the author field. The author may be a person or an agency.
  • Title. This option looks for the search term within the title only.
  • Subject. This option looks for the search term within all the subjects that have been assigned to items. Subjects are chosen by catalogers from Library of Congress Subject Headings.
  • Series. This option looks for the search term only in the titles of a series.
  • Periodical Title. Similar to Title, this function narrows the search to only the titles of periodicals and journals.

Above the search bar are three options that tell the search engine how to search for your terms within the selections described above (Figure 2).

Figure 2. These options tell the catalog how to search.

When this option is selected, the search engine will display results that include the search term(s) anywhere within the field it is told to search. For example, conducting a Title search for “Texas women” with the Keyword option selected will return all titles that include “Texas” and “women” in the title.

This option tells the search engine to find records that begin with the search term, then returns an alphabetical list of records. Results always first display the record immediately preceding your search results, then the list of titles that match your search terms.

Browse/Title: A Title search for “Texas women” with the Browse option selected returns a list of titles beginning with “Texas Woman’s University, Science and Mathematics Center for Women” followed by “Texas Women” and then ending with “Texas women : interview and images” (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Results of a “Title” search for “Texas women” with the “Browse” option selected.

Browse/Subject: A Subject search for “Texas women” with the Browse option selected returns an alphabetical list of subject terms used in the catalog. A number to the right of each subject tells how many records have been assigned that term. Clicking on the subject term generates a list of these records (Figure 4).

Figure 4. Results of a “Subject” search for “Texas women” with the “Browse” option selected.

Choosing this option tells the engine to look for the search term exactly as entered.

For example, a Title search for “Texas ranger” with the Exact option selected returns ten records with that exact title. “Texas women” returns only one result, as that title is an exact match for only one resource. If there are no exact matches, the engine will return the same alphabetical list that would be generated by a “Browse” search for the same term.

Note that the title in the Item Information may not exactly match the search term, as in the result for “Texas women” in Figure 5 below. This is because the engine is also searching variant titles, which can be found in the item’s catalog record (Figure 6).

Figure 6. The variant title in the Catalog Record matches the search term.

Happy Searching! Feel free to contact reference staff with further questions about the catalog or your research needs: or 512-463-5455.

Please note: Access to our library materials is currently limited due to COVID-19 restrictions. Many items in our library collections are available online, through interlibrary loan (ILL), or at other libraries. If you are interested in specific library materials found in our catalog, please email with those details and we will be happy to help you with access options.

New Online: Recent Updates to Finding Aids and Digital Images Available Online

As our archives staff work on an ongoing basis to arrange, preserve, describe, and make available to the public the materials under our care, we spotlight new additions to the website in a regular feature from Out of the Stacks. The column lists new and revised finding aids recently made available online. We close out the piece highlighting fresh uploads to the Texas Digital Archive, our repository of electronic items.

Archivists create finding aids for collections once they are processed and add these descriptive guides to Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO). TARO hosts finding aids from institutions around the state and researchers may determine whether or not to limit searches to the State Archives. Not all collections have been processed and therefore the list of finding aids does not represent the entirety of our holdings. The Archives & Manuscripts page of the TSLAC website provides more information and guidance on how to access archival collections.

Contact or 512-463-5455 with questions about using TSLAC’s archival resources. For a comprehensive list of all recently added and updated finding aids visit Archives: Finding Aids (New & Revised).

New Finding Aids

State Records

Texas Attorney General’s Office bound briefs – AG II.05

The attorney general is the lawyer for the people of Texas and is charged by the Texas Constitution to defend the laws and the Constitution of the State of Texas, represent the State in litigation, and approve public bond issues. Records consist of bound volumes containing briefs to litigation in which the Texas Attorney General’s office played a part or had an interest, dating 1913-1938. Subjects include banking, conflicts with other states, oil and gas, railroads, taxation, and transportation.

San Jacinto River Authority minutes – TCEQ I.11

The San Jacinto River Authority, established by the Texas Legislature in 1937, develops, conserves, and protects water resources of the San Jacinto River Basin. The agency activities include supporting municipal and industrial water supply, water quality management, wastewater treatment, and water and soil conservation projects. Records consist of minutes dating 1990-2019.

Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission Office of the Hearing Examiners hearing files – TCEQ I.10

The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission was charged to protect the environment and public health and safety by reducing the release of pollutants and contaminants in the air and water, regulating the management and disposal of waste, and expediting the cleanup of contaminated sites. Records consist of hearing examiner files compiled by the commission’s Office of the Hearing Examiner’s predecessors—Texas Air Control Board, Texas Department of Health, and Texas Water Commission—as part of the permit application process, dating 1920s-1996, undated, bulk 1977-1992. The majority of the records dating prior to 1977 are exhibits.(A portion of these records are available in the TDA.)

Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission minutes – OAH II.040

The Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission, established in 2009 and administratively attached to the Texas Historical Commission, ensures that resources are available to students, educators, and the general public regarding the Holocaust and other genocides. These efforts aim to prevent future genocides. Records consist of commission meeting minutes, dating 2010-2018. (All records are electronic and available through the TDA after review for restricted information, upon receipt of a researcher request.)


United States Bureau of Reclamation Region 5 (Texas) reclamation studies – MS I.11

The United States Bureau of Reclamation is the federal agency responsible for managing water resources in the western United States. Originally, management projects focused on reclamation of lands considered inhospitable due to lack of water through irrigation, but over time they have come to include maintenance of existing projects and development of environmental protection strategies for water resources. These records, from the bureau’s Austin Development Office, document water reclamation studies undertaken in Texas related to the bureau’s proposed and completed projects within Texas borders and include memorandums, reports, and plans regarding various infrastructure projects for water resource diversion, distribution, use, and development, dating 1940-1967, bulk 1946-1966.

Samuel E. Asbury papers – MS XII.23

Samuel Erson Asbury was a chemist, Texas historian, and collector of Texana and materials of prominent Texans of the Revolution-era. The Samuel E. Asbury papers comprise research correspondence, papers, photographs, primary source transcriptions, and genealogy notes about prominent Republic-era figures and Texas Reconstruction, dating 1922-1951.

Revised Finding Aids

State Records

Texas Attorney General Mark White records – AG II.11

As the chief legal officer of the state of Texas, the attorney general is charged by the Texas Constitution to defend the laws and the Constitution of the State of Texas, represent the State in litigation, and approve public bond issues. Records of Mark White’s tenure as attorney general from 1979 to 1983 include correspondence, memorandums, newspaper clippings, photographs, legal briefs, court opinions, press releases, and newsletters, dating 1975-1982, undated, bulk 1979-1982.

Subjects include the drafting and explanation of attorney general opinions, filings of lawsuits, analyzing proposed legislation at the state and federal levels, enforcement of the Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act, the state’s criminal justice system, energy issues, Minister Lester Roloff’s children’s home and the enforcement of the Child Case Licensing Act, public education issues, and drug paraphernalia and illegal drug dealing. Image: Governor Mark White

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Resources for African American Genealogy Research at TSLAC

Studio photo of group of three African American individuals. Two women seated and one man standing.
Group portrait of two women seated with hats in lap and a man standing between them, 1905. Tina Q. Odim photograph collection, 2015/109-7. Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (View in TDA)

Genealogy researchers tracing family lines through African American ancestors, especially those who may have resided in Texas, may find the collections and reference resources at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) helpful. TSLAC’s Genealogy Collection is part of the expansive library of publications and resources that includes family and county histories, city directories, birth and death indexes, cemetery records, newspapers, and other information essential to genealogists. Online services like Texas offer digital versions of some State Archives collections. The State Archives houses the official record of the government of Texas throughout the history of the state, along with papers from organizations, families, businesses, and related Texas groups. If individuals interacted with the government on official business, it is possible that their names are on file.

Washington Edwards, 103 years old, 1889. According to the writing on the back of this photo, Edwards was brought to the United States from Africa, leaving behind a wife and family. He came to Texas shortly before the Mexican War. He never forgot his native African language. Prints and Photographs Collection, 1905/11-1. Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The history of the lives of African Americans in the United States is intertwined with the long legacy of chattel slavery. The majority of Black Americans living in the South during the 19th century before the Civil War were owned as property. Tracing family lineage is difficult, as individuals were often only referred to by gender, a general age range, and perhaps a first name. In another blog post [], Reference Archivist Richard Gilreath described how he uncovered the history of an enslaved girl named Loise through historical records. He wrote that, “Deeds, wills, court cases and tax records are some of the evidentiary documents establishing intermittent timelines of those whose lives intersected with legal transactions, including those considered, under the law, as property.” In this case, Harris County tax documents and records from court cases illuminated the course of this young person’s life.

Image: 13th Legislature, 1873, Liberators of Texas, [included African American representation]. Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Find out more about representation in the online exhibit Forever Free.

After the Civil War, Black Texans began participating in communities in new ways that offer opportunities for genealogists. For example, ancestors may have entered public office, owned property, and registered to vote. Researchers should investigate federal census records, voter registration lists and other files available through the State Archives. The Texas Genealogy Trails site lists African Americans in government office during the Reconstruction Era here:

The Freedmen’s Bureau was a federal agency that provided various means of support for former enslaved people and opened field offices in southern states, including Texas. Digital collections of these records are available online through genealogy services like FamilySearch ( and particularly useful for African American heritage searches.

TSLAC Reference staff maintain a page on the Archives and Reference website with a list of popular resources used for Genealogy research. Many of these are searchable online. Much of the list is reproduced below. These entries cover only a portion of the hundreds of collections and publications that may contain references to ancestors. Patrons may also search the library catalog for more titles and search finding aids for more archival material.

                                Access the library catalog.

                                Access archival finding aids.

Texas State Archives Collections

The Index to Confederate Pension Applications provides the name, county of residence, and pension number for some 54,634 approved, rejected, and home pensions issued by the Texas government between 1899 and 1975.

Texas Adjutant General Service Records, 1836-1935. The Service Records Series combines both official service record files from the Adjutant General’s Office and alphabetical files created by other agencies which contain records related to an individual’s service in a military unit. The database provides the name, the military organization, and the call number. Please note that the listing does not include the names of ALL persons who served in Texas military organizations. It indexes only the names of persons who have files in this record series.

Republic Claims. This series is now available in digital form as well as microfilm. It includes claims for payment, reimbursement, or restitution submitted by citizens to the Republic of Texas government from 1835 through 1846. It also includes records relating to Republic pensions and claims against the Republic submitted as public debt claims after 1846.

Confederate Indigent Families Lists. View the names of families that received aid through the 1863 “Act to Support the Families and Dependents of Texas Soldiers.”

1867 Voters’ Registration. On March 23, 1867, Congress passed legislation that called for a registration of qualified voters in each military district. The text of this legislation can be found in the Statutes at Large in volume 15, page 2 (15 Stat 2). The commanding officer in each district was required to have, before September 1, a list of these voters from each county. These lists would be used to determine all who would be eligible to vote for any proposed constitutional convention in the state.

Texas Convict Record Ledgers and Indexes. The record ledgers are excellent sources of individual convict descriptions and information regarding their incarceration. Although the original records are too fragile to be used, they have been microfilmed and may be viewed on-site or borrowed through the interlibrary loan program.

Republic of Texas Passports. The collection of 55 documents has been digitized and a complete listing of names is available.

Library Reference Resources

Vital statistics indexes are an important part of the genealogical resources available at the library. While we do not have access to the certificates themselves, the library does own selected indexes to Texas births, deaths, marriages and divorces. The indexes are available for on-site use.

Texas County Tax Rolls on Microfilm are available for on-site use from the early years of each county through the late 1970s.

Index of County Records on Microfilm is available online, along with instructions for borrowing rolls through interlibrary loan. Although the microfilm is housed in depository libraries throughout Texas, the Genealogy Collection houses the film for the following counties: Atascosa, Bandera, Bastrop, Bexar, Blanco, Caldwell, Comal, Frio, Galveston, Gillespie, Grayson, Guadalupe, Harris, Hays, Karnes, Kendall, Kerr, Kinney, Llano, McMullen, Medina, Uvalde, and Wilson.

City Directory Research at the Texas State Library and Archives. Our city directories include print and microfilm city directories.

Newspaper Research at the Texas State Library and Archives. Our newspaper collections include newspapers on microfilm, original print newspapers, and online newspaper subscriptions. Texas

The following data collections are included free to Texans via Find out how to access these digital collections here:

  • Alabama, Texas and Virginia, Confederate Pensions, 1884-1958
  • Texas, Prison Employee Ledgers, 1861-1938
  • Texas, Muster Roll Index Cards, 1838-1900
  • Texas, Wills and Probate Records, 1833-1974
  • Texas, Convict and Conduct Registers, 1875-1945
  • Texas, Court of Criminal Appeal Indexes, 1892-1947
  • Texas, Capitol Building Payroll, 1882-1888
  • Texas, Memorials and Petitions, 1834-1929
  • Texas, Bonds and Oaths of Office, 1846–1920
  • Texas, Index Card Collections, 1800-1900
  • Texas, Voter Registration Lists, 1867-1869
  • Nacogdoches, Texas, Spanish and Mexican Government Records, 1729-1836
  • Texas, Land Title Abstracts,1700-2008 (original records held by the Texas General Land Office)

For more information on the collections and services available at TSLAC, check the website here or contact Reference Staff at or 512-463-5455.

Champ d’Asile: Discover Collections, Artwork and More at the Sam Houston Center

The nineteenth century colony of Champ d’Asile became more than a short-lived community of refugees from the Napoleonic Wars who settled in what is now Texas in 1818. The “Field of Refuge,” located for about six months near the present-day city of Liberty in Southeast Texas, grew in the imaginations of the French back in Europe and spawned paintings, novels, historical texts, and a song, along with a romantic link to the state. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) is home to archival collections, publications, and works of art related to Champ d’Asile that should be of interest to those curious about the settlement. TSLAC’s Sam Houston Center (SHC) in Liberty collects materials documenting the history of the region and invites researchers to explore the legendary colony through theses resources. In the spirit of discovering the big picture of history by placing together the various pieces scattered about, have a bit of fun and relax with an online puzzle depicting Champ d’Asile.

Depiction of a 19th century  community with soldiers, a farmer and a woman and child.
Color print, 2eme Vue d’Aigleville, Colonie du Texas ou Champ d’Asile. Rivière de la Trinité, Fort Charles, magazin aux vivres et habitation du général Rigaud ca. 1818-1819. Artist: Ambrose Louis Garnerey. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Archival Collections

Champ d’Asile research collection

Champ d’Asile (“Field of Refuge”) was a short-lived colony of French Bonapartist exiles founded in 1818 on the Trinity River near the present city of Liberty, Texas. This collection consists of correspondence, publications, research material, manuscripts, maps, and articles pertaining primarily to the history of the Champ d’Asile colony and persons associated with it. Subjects include biographical information on Napoleonic generals Charles Lallemand and Antoine Rigaud, the issue of the precise location of the colony on the Trinity River, and pirate/privateer Jean Laffite’s involvement with the French exiles. Material dates 1817-1818, 1990-2008, and undated, bulk 1993-2008. Information dates from 1682 to 2008. Material consists of original and photocopied items.

The Champ d’Asile research collection was created in-house at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center from donations by various individuals and in-house photocopies. The purpose was to gather all research material in the Sam Houston Center collections on Champ d’Asile into one collection for the benefit of patrons as it is a frequent topic of research.

Notable items include an 1818 letter from Bonapartist exile Joseph Lakanal to French patriots intending to settle the Vine and Olive Colony in Alabama (image below); 1817-1818 correspondence from Marshal Emmanuel, Marquis de Grouchy, a Bonapartist exile and officer in Napoleon’s army; and two 1818 issues of the newspaper Weekly Aurora of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, containing articles about the Champ d’Asile settlement (close up).

Correspondence from Bonapartist exile Joseph Lakanal to French patriots who intended to settle the Vine and Olive Colony in Alabama, July 18, 1818. Champ d’Asile Research Collection, Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. [English translation]

Related Collections

John Clay collection, 1818, 1843, 1850, 1963, undated, about 0.75 cubic ft.

Jean Laffite collection, 1773-1986, undated, bulk 1845-1979, 3.87 cubic ft.

Jean and Price Daniel Texas history collection, 1819-1986, volume unknown [There is no finding aid for this unprocessed collection.]

Jean Epperson archives, 1969-2005, 8.85 cubic ft. [There is no finding aid for this unprocessed collection.]

Marcel Moraud papers, 1857-1975, undated, bulk 1936-1975, 6.5 cubic ft.

Steed, Tanya, “Champ d’Asile: The History of a French Settlement in Texas,” unpublished manuscript, 1979, 0.1 cubic ft. [There is no finding aid for this unprocessed item.]

Related Publications at TSLAC [select]

Additional Resources

Read a summary of Champ d’Asile and how the settlement influenced Texas history in the Texas State Historical Association’s online handbook:

For more information about the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, visit: Contact via email at or call 936-336-8821.

TSLAC Bids Farewell to Assistant Director for Archives, Laura Saegert

As 2020 comes to a close, TSLAC bids a fond farewell to long-time employee and Assistant Director for Archives Laura Saegert, who is retiring after 39 years with the agency. Laura began her tenure at the State Archives with a grant project in 1981 and came on board full time in November of that year. She was led to the profession through her interest in history. While a graduate student at the University of Texas School of Library and Information Science (now the iSchool), Laura’s graduate advisor believed she would find archival work appealing and introduced her to Dr. David Gracy. The rest, she says, “is history!”

TSLAC Assistant Director for Archives, Laura Saegert

Laura first served as an assistant archivist then moved up through the ranks of archivist I, II and III. Following the retirement of both the state archivist and assistant director in 2009, Laura assumed many new duties as “team lead” for archives. This new chapter began during the final stages of the renovation of the Lorenzo de Zavala Building, tapping Laura’s project management skills.

By the time the new State Archivist Jelain Chubb arrived in June 2010, Laura was ready for even more challenges. She assumed the role of assistant director of archives in September 2010. According to Jelain, “Laura impressed me immediately with the depth of her archival knowledge, insights into the collections, and how well she had managed all the new responsibilities that came her way. She was undoubtedly the right person for the job.”

Laura Saegert (right) during her early days at the State Archives.

Though it is difficult to imagine the archives without Laura and her encyclopedic knowledge of the collections, she leaves an impressive legacy. In an ever-evolving landscape, she has guided her team through technological innovations in archival processes and improved online access to primary sources.

Recent efforts like the implementation of content management system ArchivesSpace and the creation of the Texas Digital Archive have kept us moving forward in our mission to preserve the historical record. The archives profession was obviously a true calling for Laura and her expertise will be missed.

We asked Laura a few questions about archives, her career with TSLAC and her future plans.

Q: What is an aspect of archival work that changed the most over the years?

A: Processing. When I started, we were doing a lot of item level processing (maps, photographs), and processing agency records was slower, spending more time on arrangement and description and producing very detailed finding aids. Over the years, due to the backlog and the sheer volume of records we have to deal with, the level of processing has moved to less time spent reviewing the records and providing less detail in the finding aids. The concept of processing is the same, but the time spent on each collection is less.

Laura Saegert reviews a collection.

Q: What will you miss most about the archives?

A: Interaction with my staff and working with the records.

Q: Is there an item or a collection that is a particular favorite and why?

A: My favorite collection is the Historic Map Collection. I have always been fascinated by maps, even took a cartography course in college and learned how maps are created. I worked on the map collection part-time for 10 years and set up the online map application.

Mapa de los Estados Unidos de Mejico, Segun lo organizado y definido, par los varias actas del Congreso de dicha Republica; y construido por los mejores autoridades, 1828. Texas State Archives Map Collection, #1022. Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Other favorite collections are records involving the state prison system and the Texas Youth Commission. I processed most of the records in these groups. Life in the prison system or the juvenile delinquent system is so different than what I experience and in working with these records you see some things in a whole new light. You also see how badly these systems were managed in the past and realize that history repeats itself regarding management of these institutions.

Q: How will you spend your time in retirement?

A: For the next 12 to 18 months, starting in January, I will be taking care of my new grandson part of each weekday while my older daughter goes back to work. I will be doing more quilting, reading, and when things get closer to normal, doing some traveling.

Laura Saegert, front row, third from right, poses with Archives and Information Services staff in 2018.

We truly appreciate Laura’s impressive service to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and wish her a happy and pleasant retirement.

Out of the Stacks and into the Catalog: Searching with WebCat en español/Buscar con WebCat en español

By Birch Griesse, Library Assistant


Aunque la mayoría de los libros en las colecciones de TSLAC están solamente en inglés, el WebCat en español le puede ayudar con sus necesidades generales de búsqueda.

En el catálogo de biblioteca de TSLAC se pueden hacer búsquedas desde cualquier computadora con acceso a internet. Aunque los registros están en inglés, hay opción de hacer búsquedas en el catálogo en español. En la esquina superior derecha de la página de inicio del catálogo se encuentra un enlace a WebCat en español.

Ilustración 1. El enlace a WebCat en español
Ilustración 2. La interfaz de WebCat en español

Navegar WebCat en español

La interfaz de WebCat en español tiene botones especiales de navegación. Para iniciar una búsqueda, en vez de usar un botón de «Buscar» o la tecla Enter, se puede usar uno de seis botones diferentes que se encuentran en la parte de abajo del renglón de búsqueda.

En la cabecera de WebCat también hay enlaces de navegación. «Regresar» se usa en vez del botón del navegador para volver atrás. Hacer clic en «Enlazar con página» genera un enlace a la página actual.

“Ayuda” abre una página nueva con más información sobre WebCat en español, y “Desconexión” se usa para abandonar el sitio.

Iniciar una búsqueda

Seleccione unos de los botones azules en la parte de abajo del renglón de búsqueda:

  • Words or phrase. Recuperar cualquier registro que contenga el término de búsqueda, ya sea en el título, en el nombre del autor, o en el resumen.
  • Author. Buscar por autor. El autor puede ser una persona o una institución.
  • Title. Buscar por título.
  • Subject. Buscar por los encabezamientos de materia. La Lista de Encabezamientos de Materia de la Biblioteca del Congreso de Estado Unidos se usa para describir lo que trata un libro, articulo o documento. Note que los encabezamientos están en inglés y la interfaz en español del catálogo no los traduce.
  • Series. Buscar por título de serie.
  • Periodical Title. Buscar por título de publicación periódica.

Los botones de opción que se encuentran arriba el renglón de búsqueda se usan para cambiar el tipo de búsqueda.

  • Palabra clave. Recuperar registros que contienen alguna parte del término de búsqueda. Por ejemplo, una búsqueda de título para «Texas women» recuperaría cualquier registro con «Texas» o «women» en el título.
  • . Recuperar una lista alfabética de títulos, autores, o encabezamientos de materia. La lista empieza con el registro que va alfabéticamente antes del término de búsqueda. Si no se encuentra el término de búsqueda, se recupera la lista de registros, en la que el término iría en segundo lugar.
  • Exacta. Buscar el término de búsqueda tal como está escrito. Por ejemplo, una búsqueda de título para «Texas women» recuperaría sólo registros con «Texas women» como título.

Navegar los resultados

Ilustración 3. Resultados de la búsqueda de título «Texas women»

En la parte superior de los resultados se encuentra el número de registros recuperado. Arriba de eso, en la cabecera, se encontrarán unos nuevos enlaces de navegación. «Refine search» le deja precisar la búsqueda actual. «Nueva búsqueda» le deja iniciar una nueva.

El vínculo «Mis artículos guardados» lo lleva a una página donde se pueden guardar los registros a los que quiere volver más tarde. Para guardar el registro que le interesa, haga clic en el cuadrito de «Mantener», a la izquierda del registro.

Navegar un registro

Para ver un registro más amplio del libro, artículo o documento, haga clic en uno de los resultados. La vista «Información de ejemplar» da información básica sobre el libro, artículo o documento, incluyendo su localización. Los números de catalogación en la parte de abajo se usa para encontrar el libro, articulo o documento en la biblioteca.

Ilustración 4. La vista «Información de ejemplar» de un registro, incluyendo localización

Para ir a información aún más detallada, haga clic en «Registro de catálogo», que puede incluir encabezamientos de materia, un resumen, o una tabla de contenidos.

Para más consejos de búsqueda, eche un vistazo a la serie blog “Out of the Stacks and Into the Catalog.”

TSLAC le desea buena suerte con su investigación. Se pueden dirigir preguntas al personal del servicio de referencia a: o 512-463-5455.

Out of the Stacks and into the Catalog: Searching with WebCat en Español/Buscar con WebCat en Español

By Birch Griesse, Library Assistant


While most of the books in TSLAC’s collections are in English, some patrons may prefer the experience of using Spanish-language navigation while searching the library holdings. Anyone using a computer with internet access may search TSLAC’s library catalog to discover what we have. Although the library catalog records are in English, there is an option to search the catalog using our Spanish-language interface. Located In the upper right-hand corner of the homepage, the “WebCat en español” link will change the screen to Spanish mode. Please note that the search terms themselves should be entered in English.

Figure 1. The link to WebCat en español
Figure 2. The WebCat en español interface

Navigating WebCat en español

The WebCat en español interface has special navigation buttons, with some in Spanish and others still in English. Instead of a search button or the enter key, there are six different buttons underneath the search box.

There are also navigation links in the WebCat header. “Regresar” is used in place of the browser button to go back. Clicking “Enlazar con página” generates a link to the current page. “Ayuda” opens as new window with more information about WebCat en español, and “Desconexión” logs you out.

Starting a search

Because the majority of TSLAC’s holding are in English, searching in English will yield more results.

Select one of the blue buttons underneath the search box.

  • Words or phrase. Will bring up any materials that include your words or phrase, whether in the title, the name of the author, or the summary.
  • Author. Search by author. The author can be a person or institution.
  • Title. Search by title.
  • Subject. Search by subject headings. The List of Library of Congress Subject Headings is used to describe what an item is about. Note that the headings are in English and the catalog’s Spanish interface does not translate them.
  • Series. Search by series title.
  • Periodical Title. Search by periodical title.

The radio buttons above the search box are used to change the type of search.

  • Palabra clave. Retrieve records that contain some part of the search term. For example, a title search for “Texas women” would retrieve any record with “Texas” or “women” in the title.
  • Navegación. Retrieve an alphabetical list of titles, authors, or subject headings. The list begins with the record that goes before the search term alphabetically. If the search term is not found, it retrieves the list of records in which it would go second.
  • Exacta. Search the search term exactly as it is written. For example, a title search for “Texas women” would retrieve only records with “Texas women” as the title.

Navigating the results

Figure 3. Results of the title search “Texas women”

At the top of the results you will find the number of records retrieved. Above this, in the header, are some new navigation links. “Refine search” allows you to refine your current search. “Nueva búsqueda” allows you to begin a new one.

“Mis artículos guardados” links to a page where you can save records you want to go back to. Clicking the “Mantener” box to the left of the record saves it in this page.

Navigating a record

Figure 4. The “Información de ejemplar” view of a record, including location

Clicking on one of the results retrieves the item display. The “Información de ejemplar” view gives basic information about the item, including its location. If you find a title you are interested in, contact the Reference Desk: Knowing the call number (“call number” in figure 4) or title will help identify the title more quickly.

Clicking “Registro de catálogo” directs you to more detailed information, which can include subject headings, a summary, or a table of contents.

For other catalog search tips, check out the “Out of the Stacks and Into the Catalog” blog series.

TSLAC wishes you good luck with your research. Questions can be directed to the reference staff at: or 512-463-5455.

Postcard Puzzlers for Holiday Fun: The Don Kelly Southeast Texas Postcard Collection

Our Don Kelly Southeast Texas Postcard Collection offers the ideal imagery for the meditative pastime of assembling jigsaw puzzles. The collection captures the scenery of twentieth century life in that region of the state and adds a bit of nostalgia to the pleasure of piecing together a moment in time. Choose your favorite postcard and start your online puzzle. Come back when you feel like taking on another scene!

A color-added photograph of Green Avenue in Orange. The street itself is not visible, only a sidewalk and the adjacent buildings. The First Presbyterian Church is visible in the center background. Don Kelly Southeast Texas postcard collection,1991.183-840. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. [View in TDA]

A color-added photograph of a paddle steamer navigating the Neches River in Beaumont. Several men and women in formal dress are visible on the decks of the steamer. Don Kelly Southeast Texas postcard collection, 1991.183-416. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. [View in TDA]

A color-added photograph of several men operating a rice thrashing machine. The leavings are accumulated in a large pile to the right of the machine. Rows of bags of harvested rice are visible in the right foreground. Don Kelly Southeast Texas postcard collection, 1991.183-510. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. [View in TDA]

A color-added photograph of the interior of the Newport Bar in Port Arthur. The bar is visible in the center. A seaside mural circles the two walls in the background. Don Kelly Southeast Texas postcard collection, 1991.183-1249. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. [View in TDA ]

Browse the Don Kelly Southeast Texas Postcard Collection in the Texas Digital Archive.