Texas Archives Month 2022

October is Texas Archives Month! Each year, the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) team up to promote archives and archival work throughout the month. The annual celebration occurs in conjunction with the Society of American Archivists’ American Archives Month. The Texas Archives Month webpage provides a calendar of events, links to archival exhibits, proclamations, and more.

A key component of the Texas Archives Month celebration is an educational poster presented online with a range of resources related to the theme. The 2022 Texas Archives Month digital poster focuses on analyzing primary sources in the classroom and offers step-by-step tips for students and educators. The theme focuses on various types of primary sources students encounter and links to a webpage with helpful strategies for analyzing documents, photographs, and maps. Visitors will also find images from Texas archives to download and use with analysis worksheets provided by the National Archives Records Administration (NARA).

Texas Archives Month Poster 2022

If educators and students need more primary sources for practice and instruction, the poster webpage offers links to digital collections around the state providing access to thousands of images online.

Download the poster or just bookmark the webpage for quick reference here: www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/thrab/archivesmonthposter

Texas Archives Month activities also annual archival awards administered by members of THRAB. THRAB is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2022 archival awards!

THRAB 2022 Archival Award Recipients

THRAB selected as the 2022 Archival Award of Excellence recipient the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas for their projects surrounding the reorganization and digitization of Radclyffe Hall and Una Vincenzo, Lady Troubridge Papers. Ransom Center staff collaborated to reorganize, digitize, and present online the collection as a digital archive available to an international audience. Additionally, they enhanced access with a of suite teaching guides to assist educators and students. Created in 2016, the Archival Award of Excellence recognizes significant achievements in preserving and improving access to historical records in Texas.

The Advocacy for Archives Award recognizes outstanding achievements and lasting impacts on the archival community and the historical record in Texas. The 2022 recipient of this award is Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO). TARO advocates for archives by coordinating with Texas repositories to create standardized, searchable online finding aids and offering a centralized portal for identifying and locating participating collections. TARO staff also train Texas archives personnel on how to use the software and employ the standards required to streamline access on the TARO platform, txarchives.org. THRAB members believe TARO has helped revolutionize access to the historical record in Texas and looks forward to the growth and continued success of the project.

“The TARO steering committee is thrilled with this wonderful honor from THRAB that acknowledges the tremendous efforts of the countless volunteers across the dozens of member repositories contributing to this project. The award will also raise the profile of TARO and perhaps encourage even more repositories to join,” said TARO steering committee chair Samantha Dodd of Southern Methodist University.

The Society of Southwest Archivists (SSA) is the recipient of the David B. Gracy II Award for Distinguished Archival Service. Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2022, the award recognizes the vital role the professional organization plays in the archival community. SSA Past President (2014-2015) Katie Salzman said, “It seems fitting that an organization whose early foundation and development was so influenced by Dr. Gracy should receive this honor. SSA embodies the dedication, advocacy, and leadership that were the hallmark of his own career.” SSA hosts an annual meeting, provides low-cost professional development opportunities, scholarships, and recently introduced an Archives-in-Residence program.

The awards will be presented at the next THRAB meeting on October 7 at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

THRAB programming is supported by funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

New Exhibit: Texas Governors and Their Times (1846-1946)

The newest public exhibit at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), Texas Governors and Their Times, 1846-1946, is now on display in the lobby of the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. Exhibits are free and no reservations are required. Texas Governors and Their Times, 1846-1946 showcases materials from the State Archives documenting the official work and daily business of the state’s chief executive spanning 100 years.

Governor’s Mansion, about 1970-1980. Color slides and transparencies, 1991077/130/001. Texas Tourism and Development Agency records.

Explore how seven governors responded to the issues of their eras through a selection of proclamations, correspondence, photographs, legislation, postcards, and more. As Texas transitioned from an independent republic to the 28th state in the Union, these governors oversaw the growth and development of what would become the second most populous state in the country. Below are a few examples of items on display. The entire exhibit is also available for viewing anytime online in the virtual version of Texas Governors and Their Times.

Although he was born in Ohio, Wilbert Lee “Pappy” O’Daniel loved his adopted state of Texas, where he moved in 1925. He wrote his best-known song, “Beautiful Texas,” in 1933 and recorded it with his band the Light Crust Doughboys. The song was a fixture at O’Daniel’s campaign rallies and at events during his term as governor.

Sheet music for “Beautiful Texas” by W. Lee O’Daniel, 1933. Patriotic songs, Vocal music, Texas sheet music collection, Box 2015/083-7.

Part of the inauguration celebration of Texas governors is the inaugural ball. This small booklet includes a program of the events of the inauguration and a dance card. A woman attending the ball would have used this dance card to record the names of her intended dance partners for each dance of the night.

Inaugural Ball dance card in honor of Governor O.B. Colquitt, January 17, 1911. Inaugurations of Texas Governors, Box 2-23/902. 

This phonograph cylinder contains an early recording of a speech by Governor Hogg. It was donated to the Texas State Archive in 1910 by Oscar Branch Colquitt, who served as governor from 1911 to 1915.

Wax phonograph cylinder, undated. Hogg (James Stephen) speech, Box 2-22/L16a.

“Christmas greetings from the Allreds” sent to the Graham family. James V. Allred served two terms as governor of Texas from 1935-1939. Richard Niles Graham was the grandson of Governor Elisha Pease, and the Graham-Pease family were prominent leaders in Austin.

The Governor’s Mansion, undated. Photographs, Graham (R. Niles) Collection, 1964/306-620.

“We think this new exhibit illustrates the importance of government records, especially those of the state’s highest elected office, to understanding Texas history,” said State Archivist Jelain Chubb. “Historic photographs show us what it was like to be in the governor’s office in 1911, letters of both Union and Confederate military officials as well as civilians give us first-hand accounts of the periods of the Civil War and Reconstruction, and artifacts from inaugurations, like the programs and mementos on display, allow us to imagine what it was like to attend these historic events. The items we preserve in the State Archives really bring history to life.”

Named a National Literary Landmark, the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building is the agency’s flagship located directly east of the Texas Capitol. Lobby exhibits are open to the public Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and the Second Saturday of each month, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Visit online: www.tsl.texas.gov/lobbyexhibits.

Texas Governors and Their Times will be on view until May 15, 2023.

For questions about our collections and how to access them, please contact the reference desk at ref@tsl.texas.gov or call 512-463-5455.

Hispanic Heritage in Texas: The Nacogdoches Archives

Clinton Drake, Reference Librarian

Map of Texas, 1835. State Archives Map Collection, 2750. TSLAC. Map of Texas outlining departments of Bexar, Brazos, and Nacogdoches.

The Nacogdoches settlement in Northeast Texas, named for the Caddoan “Nacogdoche” tribe that inhabited the area, once served as the government seat for Spanish and Mexican colonial ambitions in East Texas. On the eve of the Texas Revolution (1836), the territory governed from Nacogdoches extended from the town of Anahuac in the South, the Trinity River to the West, the Red River to the North, and Louisiana to the East [see 1835 map in TSLAC collection]. Colonial records remained at the Nacogdoches county courthouse through the Republic and statehood eras until their transfer to state custody in 1850. Adolphus Sterne, the House member that introduced the resolution to transfer the documents for their historical value, had served as an alcalde of the Ayuntamiento of Nacogdoches during the colonial period.

Joint Resolution Providing For the Removal of Certain Spanish Documents From Nacogdoches County to the State Department. 3rd Legislature, Regular Session (1849-1850), Texas Secretary of State legislative bills and resolutions filed (General and Special Laws). TSLAC. View in the TDA.

The “Nacogdoches Archives” was the name given to this original transfer of documents from county to state custody. These records are not a complete record of the Spanish and Mexican administrations in East Texas. When the Department of Nacogdoches (the larger political unit that included both the settlement and the municipality of Nacogdoches and most of East Texas) was created from the Department of Bexar in 1831 and government records were physically separated according to the new geographical divisions, evidence suggests that items from both departments were intermingled to some degree. (The Bexar Archives are available at the University of Texas at Austin and at the Bexar County Clerk’s Office.) In addition, not all colonial records at Nacogdoches were transferred in 1850: some remained at the county level. 

Since 1850, the “Nacogdoches Archives” has been held by three state agencies: Texas Department of State (1850-1876), Texas Department of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics, and History (1876-1909), and Texas State Library and Archives Commission (previously named the Texas Library and Historical Commission)(1909-present). The documents remained stored in tin boxes until 1878 when they were inventoried and ordered according to the government organizational structure of the colonial period. When Robert Bruce Blake began his monumental 89-volume transcription of the archives in the 1920s, the documents had been rearranged in chronological order and expanded with Spanish language materials from other collections. In the 1980s, a significant project headed by Dr. G. Douglas Inglis aimed to reverse changes made to the collection over the preceding 130 years. 

Letter from Stephen F. Austin to the governor of Spanish Texas, Lt. Col. Luciano Garcia, on preserving order in the colony, 1823, p.1. Nacogdoches Archives 004-37.1.
Letter from Stephen F. Austin to the governor of Spanish Texas, Lt. Col. Luciano Garcia, on preserving order in the colony, 1823, p.2. Nacogdoches Archives 004-37.1.

Spanning tens of thousands of pages, the Nacogdoches Archives are a rich resource, but given that the documents are written by hand and primarily in Spanish with no comprehensive index, accessing the contents of the collection can require time, patience, and education. For the academic researcher, the records chronicle the intersection of colonialism, cultures, politics, commerce, and settlement in a rugged, rapidly changing frontier. For family researchers, certain types of records document residency, military service, life events, and lived experiences in colonial East Texas. Prior to using the records, a brief introduction to the various resources providing enhanced access–transcriptions, translations, indexes–can save time and improve search efforts.

Accessing the Nacogdoches Archives

Original Spanish documents: microfilm and online
The Nacogdoches Archives documents were microfilmed following their 1980s rearrangement. Original materials from the Nacogdoches Archives are not pulled for research purposes unless the film copy is illegible. An inventory of the microfilm, including a brief content note for each reel, can be found on the TSLAC website: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/nacogdoches.html#microfilm. Microfilm access options include:

  • TSLAC Austin location. The Nacogdoches Archives microfilm may be viewed at our TSLAC Austin location. The Reference Reading Room offers microfilm viewers with printing capabilities as well as USB ports for downloading images to personal flash drives. For useful information prior to visiting the library, please visit our website: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/visit.html
  • Interlibrary Loan (ILL). You can request to borrow reels through your local library for viewing at that library. After you have identified the desired reels, please see our website for more information about ILL: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/landing/ill.html
  • Ancestry.com. Ancestry.com digitized the Nacogdoches Archives microfilm and provides access online. The database containing these records is Nacogdoches, Texas, Spanish and Mexican Government Records, 1729-1836. Texas residents may access this database for free through  Ancestry.com Texas. TSLAC also provides free on-site access to Ancestry.com as do many local libraries nationwide.

Transcribed documents
Robert Bruce Blake produced several series of publications including materials from the Nacogdoches Archives; however, his most important was the 89-volume series begun in 1928. In his transcription, which includes many English language subject headings, but few translations, the original Nacogdoches Archives are thought to be included in their entirety (confirmation would require a comparison of between 20 and 30 thousand pages). The series was also supplemented with Spanish language documents from other collections as well as Nacogdoches documents from the Bexar archives. These transcripts are only available for on-site use at the TSLAC Austin location and can be located in our catalog.

Robert Bruce (R.B.) Blake Collection
In addition to the Nacogdoches Archives transcripts, Blake also produced a 93-volume series of transcribed material referred to as the Robert Bruce (R. B.) Blake Collection, or the “Blake transcripts.” This series includes items from the Nacogdoches archives, the Nacogdoches County Clerks’ office, the General Land Office, the Bexar Archives, and additional archival sources. Although only select documents from the Nacogdoches Archives are included, this series is more widely available at various institutions and online. 

Additional resources

Additional publications held by TSLAC that include indexes or transcriptions of Nacogdoches Archives documents include (but are not limited to) census records, entrance certificates, minutes, book of foreigners, and items related to East Texas.

Census records: [read more about the census records]

Padron de los Indios – Mission San Jose, census page, January 24, 1798. Nacogdoches Archives, 299. TSLAC. 

Census records for Latin America and the Hispanic United States by Lyman Platt

The first census of Texas, 1829-1836 : to which are added, Texas citizenship lists, 1821-1845, and other early records of the Republic of Texas by Marion Day Mulins

Entrance certificates: [read more about the entrance certificates]

Entrance certificate for Thomas J. Rusk, Feb. 11, 1835. Nacogdoches Archives, 4-25/2. TSLAC.

Nacogdoches archives 1835 entrance certificates by Betty Fagan Burr

Nacogdoches archives : Index to 1835 entrance certificates and citizenship applications

Certificates of entrance relative to admission to settle in Texas under colonization laws : translated from the Spanish as contained in University of Texas transcript of Nacogdoches Archives, contained in volumes 76, 80, and 89


Selections from the Nacogdoches Archives relating to the history of East Texas by Robert Bruce Blake

Minutes of Ayuntamiento of Nacogdoches, Texas from July 17, 1828 to August 8, 1835 by Robert Bruce Blake

Book of foreigners settled at Nacogdoches : with date of application for citizenship and action of the authorities on such applications from 1827 to 1834 by Robert Bruce Blake

For questions about these materials please contact our reference staff at ref@tsl.texas.gov or 512-463-5455.


Carefoot, Jean. The Nacogdoches Archives. Undated printed manuscript. 8 pages. TSLAC Genealogy Vertical Files, Internal Document. Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin, Texas.

Long, Christopher. “Nacogdoches County”. Handbook of Texas Online. Accessed August 03, 2022. https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/nacogdoches-county.

McDonald, Archie P. “Nacogdoches, TX”. Handbook of Texas Online Accessed August 03, 2022. https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/nacogdoches-tx.

Texas State Gazette. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 13, Ed. 1, Saturday, November 17, 1849, newspaper, November 17, 1849; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth80904/m1/4/?q=nacogdoches+records: accessed June 22, 2022), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting The Dolph Briscoe Center for American History. P . 4

Texas. Department of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics and History. Twenty-Ninth Annual Report of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics, and History for the year 1903. Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones Co., State Printers, 1904.

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

Pages from a 42-page German diary from 1843-1844. A contractor found the volume while demolishing an old residence in Austin. The volume has been digitized and is now available online in the TDA.

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, along with fresh uploads to the Texas Digital Archive, our repository of electronic items. For a comprehensive list of all recently added and updated finding aids visit Archives: Finding Aids (New & Revised).

New Finding Aids

State Records

Texas Governor Allan Shivers lieutenant governor files

Allan Shivers served as lieutenant governor of Texas from January 21, 1947, to July 11, 1949, during the 50th and 51st Texas Legislature. The Texas Constitution (Article IV, sections 1 and 16) gives the lieutenant governor power to act as governor in the event of the governor’s absence from the state or his/her death, resignation, impeachment, or inability or refusal to serve. The Constitution has also designated the lieutenant governor to serve as president of the Texas Senate. These records consist of the files of Allan Shivers in his capacity as lieutenant governor of Texas and consist of clippings, correspondence, directories, financial records, invitations, legislative records, bill files, memorandums, and proclamations, dated 1946-1949.

Image: Governor Allan Shivers, undated. People Collection, 1/102-713, Prints and Photographs. TSLAC.

Texas Governor Allan Shivers senate files
The Texas Senate is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas House of Representatives), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section I) vests with all legislative power of the state. Allan Shivers served as a Texas senator from January 8, 1935, to January 14, 1947. Records are the senate files for Governor Allan Shivers and consist of advertisements, application forms, clippings, correspondence, financial records, legislative records, memorandums, petitions, and speeches, dated 1932-1947 and undated. Shivers maintained his senate office records while serving as governor. Topics commonly mentioned in these files include, but are not limited to, the Democratic party and constitutional amendments. Files are personal and political in nature. There is also a significant number of records from the Shivers campaign for state senator.

Texas Education Agency Office of the Commissioner of Education correspondence, subject files, and other materials
The Texas Education Agency Office of the Commissioner manages the state education agency, provides leadership to schools, and coordinates with the state legislature, state agencies, and the US Department of Education. These records consist of correspondence, subject files, and other materials dating 1947-2007, bulk 1977-2003. Correspondence and subject files document topics such as educational committees, school districts, parenting, vocational education, legislation, special education, teacher certification, curriculum, school finance, textbooks, bilingual education, creationism, charter schools, and cooperation between state and federal agencies. Commissioner search documentation, various commissioner meeting notes and agendas, and Dr. William N. Kirby’s speeches make up the remaining materials.

Texas Declaration of Independence

This document is the Texas Declaration of Independence, completed and approved by vote on March 2, 1836. The 59 delegates attending the Convention of 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos, each representing one of the settlements in Texas, signed the declaration over the next several days, after which five copies were made and dispatched to the designated Texas towns of Bexar, Goliad, Nacogdoches, Brazoria, and San Felipe. One thousand copies were ordered to be printed in handbill form by the printer in San Felipe, to circulate the news. This document has been digitized and is part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Image: First page of original manuscript version of the Texas Declaration of Independence, March 2, 1836. TSLAC.


German diary found in Austin, Texas
The collection consists of one 42-page portion of a bound journal written in German, dating September 1843-September 1844. The diary has not been translated, but upon cursory inspection it appears a substantial amount was written in Germany. H.R. Nieman Jr., obtained this diary during his time as the executive director for the State Building Commission. A contractor found the item while demolishing an old residence in Austin, Texas. This diary has been digitized and is part of the Texas Digital Archive.

William Barret Travis letter from the Alamo

This document, written by Commander William B. Travis, dated February 24, 1836, and signed “Victory or Death, “is the one that has come to be known simply as “The Travis Letter “among the other missives issued by Travis from the Alamo. Travis called for reinforcements with this heroic message, carried from the Alamo by Captain Albert Martin of Gonzales and passed to Lancelot Smither, both of whom added notes to the letter. Smither delivered this appeal to the citizens’ committee in San Felipe, where several copies were made, and transcripts of the letter began to appear in newspapers as early as March 2. Santa Anna’s troops broke through on March 6, and all of the defenders of the Alamo died. This document has been digitized and is part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Image: William Barret Travis letter from the Alamo, Feb. 22, 1836. TSLAC.

Milford P. Norton papers
Milford Phillips Norton (1794-1860) was a lawyer, publisher, judge, and civic leader in Galveston, Black Point, Bayou City, Corpus Christi, and Houston, Texas. The Milford P. Norton papers consist of correspondence, land grants, deeds, and receipts, dated 1839-1860.

Revised Finding Aids

State Records

Texas Education Agency Office of the Commissioner of Education records
The Texas Education Agency Office of the Commissioner manages the state education agency, provides leadership to schools, and coordinates with the state legislature, state agencies, and the US Department of Education. These records consist of correspondence, subject files, and other materials dating 1947-2007, bulk 1977-2003. Correspondence and subject files document topics such as educational committees, school districts, parenting, vocational education, legislation, special education, teacher certification, curriculum, school finance, textbooks, bilingual education, creationism, charter schools, and cooperation between state and federal agencies. Commissioner search documentation, various commissioner meeting notes and agendas, and Dr. William N. Kirby’s speeches make up the remaining materials.

Texas Governor Rick Perry Texas Film Commission records
Under Texas Governor Rick Perry, the Texas Film Commission (TFC) served the film, television, commercial, animation, visual effects, and video games industries in the state, offering an array of resources and incentives. The TFC’s main functions included administering the Texas Moving Image Industry Incentive Program and the Film Friendly Texas program; publishing the annual Texas Production Directory/Manual; maintaining a job hotline for cast, crew, and video game/animation positions; and providing resources and information to facilitate media production in the state. Records include correspondence, organizational charts, articles, presentations, speeches, handouts/informational documents, locations images, and databases. Dates range from 1996 to 2015, bulk 2000 to 2014. The records consist exclusively of electronic files and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Texas Department of State records of legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic
Prior to the regular government established by the Republic of Texas Constitution of 1836, a variety of governmental entities, both legislative and executive, succeeded one another. Types of records include correspondence, reports, resolutions, decrees, ordinances, declarations, circulars, proceedings, minutes, delegate rolls, records of votes, rules, presidential addresses, commissions issued, a memorial, list of government officers, a resignation, and vouchers and receipts, all of the various legislative and executive bodies prior to the Republic. These governmental bodies include the following: the treasurer of the Ayuntamiento of Austin, citizens meetings and committees of public safety, the Permanent Council, the Consultation, the Provisional Government, the Convention of 1836, and the Ad Interim government, dating 1835-1836 and undated.


Price Daniel audiovisual materials and related papers
Price Daniel served as Texas attorney general, US senator, and Texas governor. These audiovisual materials and related papers date 1952-1962, 1980, undated, and encompass Daniel’s service in these offices, as well as his US Senate and Texas gubernatorial campaigns, and contain one item from after his political career. Topics covered include narcotic laws, segregation, states’ rights, traffic safety, and Texas business and agriculture. The most common film format is 16mm black-and-white film, and audio materials include open reel audiotapes and instantaneous recordings. Some audiovisual materials include accompanying documents. These materials and accompanying documents have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Price Daniel political spot, US Senator campaign,1952. Price Daniel audiovisual materials and related papers,2019.003-22. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, TSLAC.

Contact ref@tsl.texas.gov or 512-463-5455 with questions about using TSLAC’s archival resources at the Lorenzo de Zavala building in Austin and SamHoustonCenter@tsl.texas.gov or 936-886-9821 regarding collections at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty.

Historic Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building Now Open at SHC

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, a component of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, held a grand opening of the newly restored Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building in the spring and offers an ongoing exhibit depicting the history of Rotary in the area.

Preparations for the ribbon-cutting on the newly restored Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty.

Built by the Rotary Club of Hull-Daisetta in about 1930, this is one of the first and only buildings constructed and owned by a Rotary club and one of several historic buildings preserved on the grounds of the Sam Houston Center. The facility has recently been restored and will now be open to the public as a museum documenting the history of Southeast Texas Rotary clubs.

Undated image of the Hull-Daisetta Rotary Club and “log cabin” building while in operation. Photos, artifacts, documents, and memorabilia are on view as part of the exhibit in the renovated facility.

Chartered in 1926 when an oil boom was bringing people to the region, the Hull-Daisetta Rotary Club met in various locations around Hull for the first few years of its existence. A May 1932 article in The Rotarian described the building as “a log cabin, built, in part, by extra fifty-cent fees at weekly luncheon sessions.” The building’s unusual six-sided structure mimics the design of the Rotary International symbol, the wheel. Perhaps in part because of the cozy home-like setting, with a fireplace and kitchenette, the local residents also used the cabin for celebrations and special events. After the club disbanded in 1982, ownership changed hands and the condition of the building deteriorated over time. 

Current image of the renovated Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, 2022.

In 2006, the community set out on a mission to recover the building and preserve its legacy in a historical context. Several individuals and organizations worked to move the structure to its current site and support its renovation. Many of the artifacts featured in the exhibit were recovered from the original Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building and are on display along with archival materials from the Sam Houston Center’s collections. The restored structure creates the ideal setting to reflect upon the mission of Rotary to inspire friendship and improve communities through selfless service. 

Jayne McCurry gives a presentation about Rotary clubs as part of the festivities.

The grand opening was held on April 30 and included a reception and a special program in the Jean and Price Daniel Home. Guests had the opportunity to view both the Rotary Building permanent exhibit and the traveling exhibit Not Alone: Working Together in the Fight Against Human Trafficking, produced by the Bullock Texas State History Museum.

Sam Houston Center Manager, Alana Inman and Chairperson for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Martha Wong at the recent opening of the Hull-Daisetta Rotary Building.

The celebration marked the culmination of the decade-long effort to refurbish and open to the public this historic building. Those interested in visiting the site may learn more about the hours and location here https://www.tsl.texas.gov/shc or by contacting the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center by phone (936) 336-8821 or email SamHoustonCenter@tsl.texas.gov.

The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center is a component of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s Archives and Information Services Division and serves as the official regional historical resource depository for the 10 southeast Texas counties of Chambers, Hardin, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto and Tyler. The Center’s primary mission is to collect, preserve, and provide access to historically significant state and local government records and publications of the designated region and secondarily to serve as a library of Texana and genealogical resources. Through its collections, historic buildings, and educational exhibits and initiatives, it also honors the distinguished public service of former governors, organizations and citizens of the Atascosito District.

For more information, visit www.tsl.texas.gov/shc.

Pride Month at the Texas State Library and Archives

By Grace Hansen, Reference Archivist

It’s Pride Month! Pride Month is a celebration of the progress made in the fight for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ+) rights and the history of the community. Pride is held in June to commemorate the 1969 New York City Stonewall Uprisings, a six-day protest that transformed the modern LGBTQ+ civil rights movement. Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) collections document the progress toward equality and culture of the LGBTQ+ community.

There is a long history of criminalization of LGBTQ+ people, as well as a rich history of community organizing around gaining equal rights. All states had laws criminalizing same sex couples until 1962, when Illinois was the first to decriminalize same sex relationships. Nearly a decade later, the American Psychological Association issued a statement declaring that LGBTQ+ existence was not a mental disorder, and that people should not be discriminated against based on their sexuality. Despite this, many states, including Texas, retained laws criminalizing LGBTQ+ couples for decades until the 2003 United States Supreme Court Lawrence v. Texas case found these laws to be unconstitutional. [1] In 2015 the United States Supreme Court legalized same sex marriage with the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges case. [2]

Titles from the Texas State Library collections related to Pride Month.

You can follow this history of LGBTQ+ civil rights like a thread through the US Documents Collection at TSLAC. US documents are publications issued by the federal government and are held in repositories like TSLAC throughout the country. Publications in the US Documents Collection such as the Defense of Marriage Act : hearing before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Committee on the Judiciary show that the resistance to marriage equality continued at the federal level up through the late twentieth century and into the aughts. Later documents show the transformation in the stance taken by the federal government. For example, the web resource Federal protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals shows commitment to affirming the full rights of LGBTQ+ people.

The U.S. Department of Labor: Advancing LGBT Workplace Rights, 2015. US Documents Collection, L 1.2:L 59. TSLAC.

Despite the massive obstacles they faced, LGBTQ+ activists organized and fought for their civil rights. One example of activism documented in the archives is in the Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee Records, the records of Texas’s planning committee for the 1977 National Women’s Conference.

Participants in Texas Coordinating Committee activities in Austin,1977. Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee records, 1978/032. TSLAC.

The Texas Coordinating Committee approved a resolution, pictured below, demanding equal treatment of lesbians, demonstrating  that LGBTQ+ women were engaged in this broad coalition and represented at the National Women’s Conference. A related publication titled “Sexual Preference,” also released by the National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year, expands on the topic of lesbian civil rights, discussing discrimination against lesbians in areas including housing, employment, and child custody.

Resolution adopted by the Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee. Resolutions submitted by individuals, 1978/032-2, Texas International Women’s Year Coordinating Committee Records. TSLAC.

Titles in TSLAC collections document LGBTQ+ cultural traditions and contributions. Researchers can find materials on community history, film theory, literary studies, Latinx and Chicanx studies, and cultural studies. These books, some of which are listed below, preserve accounts of LGBTQ+ history and culture and highlight voices that are often overlooked by mainstream narratives.To illustrate e a nationwide picture of LGBTQ+ history, the National Park Service has produced internet resources  that document LGBTQ+ historical sites across the United States. Tailored to students, the Pride Guide and LGBTQ America can be accessed from your home if you wish to learn more about the LGBTQ+ history in your hometown and all around the nation.

Finally, our Library Science Collection holds  resources to help librarians and educators support the information needs of queer youth and adults. If you are a librarian, you may wish to borrow these books through Interlibrary Loan to assist with collection development, programming, and outreach for LGBTQ+ youth and adults. These books are information-rich resources for taking that next step towards making your library a more inclusive and welcoming space for the LGBTQ+ community.

Interested in learning more about LGBTQ+ culture and history in Texas? You can check out many of these resources for yourself through Interlibrary Loan, or by visiting TSLAC yourself. Happy Pride Month!




Call Number


Sexual Preference

National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year

Y 3.W 84:10/14

US Documents

Pride Guide

National Park Service

I 29.2:L 57/2

US Documents (Web Resource)

LGBTQ America: a theme study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer history

National Park Service

I 29.2:L 58

US Documents (Web Resource)

Civil Rights (1954-2015)

Shally-Jensen, Michael

323.0973 C499 US GOV & HIST


Accidental activists : Mark Phariss, Vic Holmes, and their fight for marriage equality in Texas

Collins, David

Z N745.8 C692ac

Texas Documents

Bridging : how Gloria Anzaldúa’s life and work transformed our own

Keating, AnaLouise

Z UA380.8 B764HO

Texas Documents

Spectatorship : shifting theories of gender, sexuality, and media

Samer, Roxanne

Z UA380.8 SP31

Texas Documents

Filming difference : actors, directors, producers, and writers on gender, race, and sexuality in film

Bernardi, Daniel

Z UA380.8 F487DI

Texas Documents

Cornyation : San Antonio’s outrageous fiesta tradition

Stone, Amy L

394.269764 ST71c

Texas Documents

Brown trans figurations: rethinking race, gender, and sexuality in Chicanx/Latinx studies

Galarte, Francisco J.

Z UA380.8 G131br

Texas Documents

Reading Chican@ like a queer : the de-mastery of desire

Soto, Sandra K.

Z UA380.8 So784RE

Texas Documents

Brown on brown : Chicano/a representations of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity

Aldama, Frederick Luis

Z UA380.8 AL21BR

Texas Documents

Brown on brown : Chicano/a representations of gender, sexuality, and ethnicity

Geffen, Sasha

Z UA380.8 G272GL

Texas Documents

Queer brown voices : personal narratives of Latina/o LGBT activism

Quesada, Uriel

Z UA380.8 Q319

Texas Documents

Argentine, Mexican, and Guatemalan photography : feminist, queer, and post-masculinist perspectives

Foster, David William

Z UA380.8 F812ar

Texas Documents

Serving LGBTQ teens : a practical guide for librarians

Houde, Lisa

027.63 H812s 2018

Library Science

Representing the rainbow in young adult literature : LGBTQ+ content since 1969

Jenkins, Christine

810.9353 J415r 2018

Library Science

Black like us : a century of lesbian, gay and bisexual African American fiction

Carbado, Devon W.

813.54 B561w

Library Science

Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered literature : a genre guide

Bosman, Ellen

016.8108 B652g

Library Science

Rainbow family collections : selecting and using children’s books with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer content

Naidoo, Jamie Campbell

028.1624 N143r

Library Science

Explore more resources from the Library of Congress: https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/resources/


[1] Michael Shally-Jenson, ed., Defining Documents in American History: Civil Rights (1954-2015), (New York: Salem Press, 2015), 222.

[2] Shally-Jenson, Civil Rights, 258.

[3] Shally-Jenson, Civil Rights, 217, 252.

[4] Uriel Quesada, Letitia Gomez, and Salvador Vidal-Ortiz, eds., Queer Brown Voices: Personal Narratives of Latina/o LGBT Activism, (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2015), 52-55.

THRAB Welcomes New Board Member

Texas State Library and Archives Commission Director and Librarian Gloria Meraz has appointed Chris McDougal to the nine-member Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) for a term set to expire on February 1, 2025. McDougal currently serves as the director of the archives and library at the National Museum of the Pacific War in Fredericksburg. He holds a B.S. in History from the University of Hawai’i and an M.L.S. at the University of North Texas. In his current position, Mr. McDougal oversees an archive that preserves more than 1,000 linear feet of documents, publications, photographs and recordings contributed by Pacific War veterans and their families over the past 50 years, as well as research material collected by several esteemed World War II historians.  

Director of the Archives and Library at the National Museum of the Pacific War, Chris McDougal.

State Archivist and THRAB coordinator Jelain Chubb said, “We are so pleased to welcome Chris McDougal to the board and look forward to his contributions over the next few years. His particular expertise related to history museum archival work will be valuable as the board strives to support the preservation of historical records held by cultural heritage repositories around the state.” 

THRAB works to promote awareness of historically significant records through education and training, supports public access to records, serves as a catalyst for improving storage conditions and supports the preservation efforts of institutions statewide. The board receives funding from and reviews grant requests submitted to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board was established in 1976. Board members, appointed in accordance with federal and state requirements, have experience or interest in the collection, management, administration and accessibility of historical records. They are dedicated to the preservation and use of Texas’ documentary heritage. The State Archivist serves as coordinator for the Board, and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission provides staff support.

Visit www.thrab.org for more information about THRAB.

Jewish American Heritage Month at the State Library and Archives

Rachel Union, Library Assistant

May is Jewish American Heritage Month and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) pays tribute to the history and contributions of the Jewish people to the state of Texas and the United States. Our collections hold many items that tell the story of the diaspora of Jewish people, their history, and their lives as newcomers in a new land.

Jewish immigrants in temporary headquarters after arriving in Galveston during the Galveston Movement of the early 20th century. The markings on the photograph were most likely made while preparing the image for publication. Photo from the William Deming Hornaday Photograph Collection, 1975/070-1496. TSLAC. View image in the TDA.

The history of Jewish people first arriving on the shores of what is now the United States can be traced back to the late 16th century. Escaping persecution throughout the world and seeking a place to safely practice their Yiddishkeit (Yiddish -‘way of life’) and fully participate as citizens in the larger society, Jewish immigrants began arriving on multiple shores including the Gulf Coast. Although several people of Jewish descent were known to have traveled through parts of what is now Texas, the first Jewish immigrants to actually settle in the state are known to have arrived through Galveston in the early 19th century. This port city became the primary access point for Jewish immigrants a century later during the Galveston Movement of 1907-14 when Jewish organizations coordinated the arrival of thousands of Jews and helped them navigate to other destinations in the U.S. Within its various reference collections, haberes buenos (Ladino – ‘good news’) —TSLAC makes available multiple historical, genealogical, and literary resources about, and often authored by, Jewish Americans.

As one of the repositories for United States government documents (USD), TSLAC holds copies of Congressional hearings and government publications related to Jewish life both in the United States and around the world. Included in these stacks are hearings related to the Holocaust and ongoing antisemitism in the United States and abroad, newsletters from the United States Holocaust Museum, and nonfiction books that tell myriad of stories of Jewish life in the United States military from World War II to present day.

TSLAC’s Texas Documents Collection (TXD) also includes many resources related to Jewish American heritage and Jewish life throughout the world. From Jewish soldiers in the War of 1812 and to famous artists and businessmen, one can find much in the way of informative and enjoyable reading among our stacks.  

Interested in researching your Jewish American mishpocheh (Yiddish – ‘family’), locating long lost friends or community members, or studying the chronicles of Jewish Americans throughout the country? Take a peek at our Genealogy Collection (GEN). TSLAC holds several past volumes of the Jewish genealogical journal Avotaynu, as well as books on Jewish burials and guides to researching Jewish ancestry inside and outside the United States.

Not to make a big tzimmes (Yiddish – ‘a big deal’), but our main reference section (MAIN) also includes many titles relating to the history of Jewish American people and the familiar story of establishing livelihood in the land of strangers. Many of these titles speak directly to Jewish American life in Texas and include yearbooks and other information about synagogues around the state.

Many of the resources discussed here are available for circulation either through direct checkout from one of our locations or via interlibrary loan. Additionally, our reading rooms are open to everyone for on-site use of non-circulating materials.  Ask your local librarian for more information about interlibrary loan or, for Texas residents, check out our website to find information about the TexShare program. For those who prefer electronic materials, no need to schlep (Yiddish – ‘a big journey’) all the way to TSLAC. We also offers hundreds of Jewish related materials including biographies and books about holiday celebrations, history, politics, and more.  Engleneate! (Ladino – ‘enjoy’)

Ladino: A mixture of Hebrew and Spanish, Ladino was spoken by the Jewish people during the diaspora from Spain and Portugal in the 14th and 15th centuries.

Yiddish: A mixture of Hebrew and German, this language was spoken by the Jewish people of Central and Eastern Europe beginning sometime in the 9th century.

Both languages continue to be used today throughout Jewish communities around the world.



Call Number






Judaica at the Smithsonian: Cultural politics as cultural model

Grossman, Grace Cohen

SI 1.28 : 52


Never Again Education Act

United States, enacting jurisdiction

AE 2.110 : 116 – 141


Pacifist to padre: the World War II memoir of Chaplain Roland B. Gittelsohn, December 1941 – January 1946

Gittelsohn, Roland Bertram

D 214.513:P11


Remember the children: Daniel’s story: Teacher’s Guide

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Y 3.H 74 : 8 D 22/2/, PACKET


Comin’ right at ya : how a Jewish Yankee hippie went country, or, the often outrageous history of Asleep at the Wheel First edition.

Benson, Ray

Z UA380.8 B443co


Six memos from the last millennium : a novelist reads the Talmud First edition

Skibell, Joseph

Z UA380.8 SK31si


Why Harry met Sally : subversive Jewishness, Anglo-Christian power, and the rhetoric of modern love First edition.

Moss, Joshua Louis

Z UA380.8 M855wh


Pioneer Jewish Texans : their impact on Texas and American history for four hundred years, 1590-1990 1st ed.

Ornish, Natalie

Z TA475.8 OR6pi


Lone stars of David : the Jews of Texas

Weiner, Hollace Ava

976.400492 L847c


Fax me a bagel : a Ruby, the rabbi’s wife mystery

Kahn, Sharon

813.54 K122f


Deep in the heart : the lives and legends of

Texas Jews : a photographic history 1st ed.

Weingarten, Ruthe

976.4004 W725D OVER-T


In Jewish Texas : a family memoir

Ely, Stanley E.

976.4 EL94in


A student’s guide to Jewish American genealogy

Schleifer, Jay

929.1 SCH37st


From generation to generation : how to trace your Jewish genealogy and family history Rev. ed

Kurzweil, Arthur

929.1 K967F 1994


Where once we walked : a guide to the Jewish communities destroyed in the holocaust

Mokotoff, Gary

947 M729W


Texas Jewish burials, alphabetically by name

Teter, Gertrude M.

976.4 T291T


Nominate an Archivist or Repository for a THRAB Award

The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) is now accepting nominations for the 2022 archival awards. THRAB seeks nominations for the Archival Award of Excellence, Advocacy for Archives Award, and the David B. Gracy II Distinguished Archival Service Award.

Organizations, individuals, programs, and institutions are all eligible for the honors. Send nomination packets to THRAB coordinator Jelain Chubb at the street address or THRAB email address below by July 1, 2022. THRAB announces award recipients as part of Texas Archives Month celebrations in October.

  • Advocacy for Archives Award acknowledges an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to ensure the preservation and availability of the historical record of Texas.
  • Archival Award of Excellence recognizes significant achievements in preserving and improving access to historical records in any format by a Texas archival institution and individual achievements.
  • Distinguished Archival Service Award This award recognizes an individual, archival institution, education program, or nonprofit/government organization that has provided outstanding leadership, service or contribution to the archives profession in Texas.        

Jelain Chubb, ATTN: THRAB Awards, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX 78701
OR: via email to thrab@tsl.texas.gov

The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board and its programs receive support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.         


Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month and Japanese Texans

Caroline Jones, Reference Archivist

This month we are celebrating the contributions of those Americans with Asian and Pacific Islander heritage, and in particular their special contributions to the state of Texas. This article focuses on the history and impact of Japanese Americans in Texas. The resources cited here come from TSLAC archival records, library publications, and our vertical files.

Rice threshing scene, Matagorda, Texas, undated, William Deming Hornaday photograph collection,1975070_4596. TSLAC.

According to information found in the vertical file “Japanese in Texas,” the Texas Chamber of Commerce worked to attract Japanese immigrants to Texas during the St. Louis Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904 and through the Japanese Consulate in New York. Many Japanese immigrants came to Texas and became rice farmers in areas near Beaumont and the Lower Rio Grande Valley. One such example was Kichimatsu Kishi, who founded a colony of Japanese immigrants near Terry in Orange County in 1907 and bought a 3,500-acre farm to grow rice and cabbage. Some images of rice farming are shown below in images from the William Deming Hornaday photograph collection.

Harvesting rice in Texas, undated. William Deming Hornaday photograph collection.1975070_4584. TSLAC.
Japanese rice field, Texas, undated. William Deming Hornaday photograph collection. 1975070_4590. TSLAC.
Threshing rice in Texas, undated. William Deming Hornaday photograph collection, 1975050_4597. TSLAC.

Japanese immigrants in Texas did many different things. As shown in this close-up image from the 1904 Dallas City Directory, Hideo Muta had an art good store located at 314 Elm Street. Another page of the directory shows that George M. Sekiya was the proprietor of a Japanese Restaurant on Main Street. City directories can be a great resource to provide researchers with a glimpse of what a city was like at a particular point in time.

Close-up image of a 1904 Dallas City Directory.

The influence of Japanese culture can be found in Japanese Gardens throughout Texas. The Sunken Japanese Tea Garden within Brackenridge Park in San Antonio was built in 1919 and designed with the help of Japanese artist Kimi Eizo Jinzu. San Antonio is also home to the Kumamoto En (“en” means garden in Japanese), which was built as a gift to the city of San Antonio from its sister city, Kumamoto, in 1989.

Japanese Tea Gardens, San Antonio, undated. Color slides and transparencies, 2012193_63_02_066. Texas Tourist Development Agency photographs and audiovisual materials. TSLAC.

The Japanese Garden of Peace at The Admiral Nimitz State Historical Park in Fredericksburg was a gift from the people of Japan to the people of America as a symbol of peace and friendship. Files found within the “Admiral Nimitz State Historical Park, 1983-1988” of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Parks Division records provide a wealth of knowledge about this garden. The Japanese Garden of Peace was designed by Taketora Saita of Tokyo, Japan. A “Self-Guiding Leaflet” for the Garden includes detailed descriptions of each section of the Garden and their significance. For example, “The Japanese House” within the garden is a replica of the study of Admiral Heihachiro Togo. It was built in Japan before being brought to Texas and reassembled by the same builders. The pool and stream beside the house are also copied from Admiral Togo’s study in Japan. According to the leaflet, the pool is shaped as the Japanese characters meaning “one heart” or “loyalty”” and “the stream of life symbolizes the raindrop which finds its way to the sea.”

Admiral Nimitz State Park, Fredericksburg, undated. Color slides and transparencies, 2012_29_03_050 Texas Tourist Development Agency photographs and audiovisual materials. TSLAC.

The Taniguchi Oriental Garden within the Zilker Botanical Garden was created by Isamu Taniguchi as a gift to the city of Austin and the University of Texas. While living in California in late 1941 Taniguchi, like so many other Japanese Americans during WWII, was arrested and placed in a Japanese Internment Camp. Later he was reunited with his wife and one of their children at the Crystal City Internment Camp in Texas, where the three of them lived with other imprisoned Japanese Americans until 1945. After the Taniguchi family was released from the camp, Isamu and his wife moved to the Rio Grande Valley and prospered as farmers. After many years, the couple retired to Austin where Taniguchi started creating the garden. He started developing the garden by hand at the age of 77 and completed the beautiful garden in 18 months. The garden opened to visitors in 1969.

Zilker Gardens, Austin, undated. Color slides and transparencies, 2012193_26_04_068. Texas Tourist Development Agency photographs and audiovisual materials. TSLAC.

Other Japanese gardens around the state include the Japanese Garden within the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, the Japanese Garden in Houston’s Hermann Park, and the Meiners Garden in Grand Prairie.

Japanese Gardens, Fort Worth,1975. Color slides and transparencies, 1991077_0706_001. Texas Tourist Development Agency photographs and audiovisual materials. TSLAC.
Japanese Gardens, Fort Worth, Texas, 1975. Color slides and transparencies,1991077_0706_002. Texas Tourist Development Agency photographs and audiovisual materials. TSLAC.

Want to learn more? Check out the resources used to create this blog post, and more, online: