State Archives Offering Research Workshops on Second Saturdays

Beginning in January, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) will offer resource orientation workshops at 10 a.m. each Second Saturday of 2019. The workshops highlight key tools researchers may use at the State Archives or through the website, with each 20-minute session focusing on one essential resource. Reference staff will present on Texas city directories, county records, newspaper collections, vital statistics, U.S. Census records and Ancestry.com (Texas Collection).  The sequence repeats after the first cycle ends in June.

Researchers using Reference Library computers.

The free workshops should appeal to a wide range of patrons interested in library research. Those still familiarizing themselves with the assortment of access points one must navigate to discover source materials may find all of the topics germane, while the more practiced patrons may have specific collections in mind. Guests are invited to stay on and use TSLAC’s public service areas for their research activities until the library closes at 4 p.m. (Learn more about visiting the library here.) Here is the 2019 Second Saturday Workshop Series schedule:

Searching the Census Online                                              Jan. 12   |  July 13

Introduction to Newspaper Collections                                 March 9  |  Sept. 14          

Introduction to Texas County Records                                  April 13   |  Oct. 12

Ancestry.com Texas Collections                                           May 11   |  Nov. 9

Introduction to City Directories                                              June  8  |  Dec. 14

Registration is preferred but not required. Walk-ins are always welcome! For more information and to register visit https://www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/workshops.


Featured Collection: Western Landscapes and Beyond

By Caroline Jones, Reference Archivist

Display of books on Western art.

Selection of titles on the subject of Western art available in the Texas State Library and Archives collections. The display is currently on view in the Reference Reading Room.

Our newest featured collection is now on display in the Reference Reading Room. “Western Artists: Texas Landscapes and Beyond” features the works of Tom Lea, Frank Reaugh, Charles M. Russell, and many other Southwestern artists who captured the sights of the Wild West. Browse through tranquil images of longhorns in their pastures and bluebonnets in bloom. Study the images of Native American hunters and horse- wrangling cowboys. Whichever book you choose, you’ll be sure to enjoy this sampling of artistic publications from our collections.

John Canfield Ewers’ “Plains Indian Painting,” Stanford University Press, 1939.

To search for these books and more, check out our catalog at www.tsl.texas.gov/catalog. You may search for subjects like “Texas in art” or “West (U.S.) –In art” or for the names of specific artists. If you are interested in a title on our Featured Collection shelf, please visit the Reference Desk in room 109. Below is the complete list of titles you’ll find on our Featured Collection shelf for June and July. Download the list of the featured collection. .

TITLE AUTHOR CALL NUMBER COLLECTION
The Art of Tom Lea Lea, Tom 700.924 AR75 OVER-L MAIN
The West of the imagination Goetzmann, William H. 700.978 G555w MAIN
Plains Indian painting : a description of an aboriginal American art Ewers, John C. (John Canfield) 759.011 EW38 MAIN
Painting in Texas : the nineteenth century Pinckney, Pauline A. 759.1 P651 OVER-T MAIN
Gallery of Western Paintings Carlson, Raymond 759.13 C197 OVER-T MAIN
H.W. Caylor, frontier artist Caylor, H. W. (Harvey Wallace) 759.13 C318H OVER-L MAIN
Bluebonnets and cactus; an album of southwestern paintings Salinas, Porfirio 759.164 SA33 MAIN
Artists who painted Texas Von Rosenberg, Marjorie 759.164 V897A MAIN
Artists of the Old West Ewers, John C. (John Canfield) 759.18 EW38 MAIN
Frank Reaugh, painter to the longhorns Reaugh, Frank 920.71 R236F OVER-L MAIN
The Charles M. Russell book; the life and work of the cowboy artist  

McCracken, Harold

927.5 R912m OVER-T MAIN
Hecho en Tejas : Texas-Mexican folk arts and crafts Graham, Joe Stanley Z N745.7 T312f NO.50 TXD
Walls that speak : the murals of John Thomas Biggers  

Theisen, Ollie Jensen

Z N745.8 T341wa TXD
Of Texas rivers & Texas art Sansom, Andrew Z TA475.8 SA58of TXD
Art of West Texas women : a celebration Hopper, Kippra D. Z TT422.8 H778AR TXD
Thomas Moran : watercolors of the American West : text and catalogue raisonné Clark, Carol Z UA380.8 T365 TXD
Windows on the West : the art of Frank Reaugh Mears, Peter Z UA380.8 W724we TXD
Treasured landscapes : National Park Service art collections tell America’s stories National Center for Cultural Resource Stewardship and Partnerships (U.S.) I 29.2: AR 7/5 USD
An Eye for History: The Paintings of William Henry Jackson Knudsen, Dean I 29.2: P 16 USD
Picturing America Hindley, Meredith NF 3.2: AM 3/8 USD
American Art in the Making: Preparatory Studies for Masterpieces of American Painting, 1800-1900 Sellin, David SI 1.2: Am 1/3/800-900 USD
Cast and recast : the sculpture of Frederic Remington Shapiro, Michael Edward SI 6.2: R 28 USD

High School Student Learns the Ropes at the Library

By Bailey Judis

High School student Bailey Judis (center) with the TSLAC library staff (l-r) Taylor Fox, Stephanie Andrews, Brianna Cochran, Angela Kent, Maria Barker, and Mackenzie Ryan

I am a high school student at the Austin Waldorf School, and as part of our school’s curriculum, we are given two weeks during the Spring semester to experience a type of work featuring a process. Given my passion for history and interest in museums and archives, I chose to do my work experience at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC).  I have very much enjoyed learning the many processes that go into storing, preserving, and digitizing the TSLAC’s many artifacts. I was able to witness many dedicated and hardworking staff members as well as numerous steps taken to ensure all of the archival materials and artifacts are available to everyone for research.   Accessibility is a key motivation for this organization.

One of the processes I observed was the TSLAC’s process of digitization. By putting scans of artifacts and documents onto the Texas Digital Archive, I learned that this allows patrons and researchers to access and observe them from anywhere in the world. It also helps preserve the life of the artifact and documents. I was able to observe the project and process of digitizing the Texas Supreme Court documents. The first thing I learned about this process is that in order for the documents to be scanned, they must be flat. Since most of the documents had been rolled very tightly and stored in boxes for many years, they definitely needed to be flattened. After removing the documents bindings, such as ribbons and brads, the documents were then humidified using a simple method of container humidification. After being humidified, the documents were laid between pieces of blotting paper and transferred to the book press. Some documents however were bound with homemade glue, requiring a tedious process of removing the adhesive before they could be pressed. After being left in the book press for two weeks, the now flattened documents were stored in the stacks as they waited to be scanned and put onto the Texas Digital Archive. An overview of what was said in each document would be added with the document’s scan to the Texas Digital Archive, that way a researcher would be able to look through the Texas Supreme documents and have an easier time finding what they were looking for.

Bailey Judis with State Archivist Jelain Chubb in the stacks at TSLAC.

One of the most surprising things I learned was how organized and neat the stacks are. There is so much detail and so many little steps that are key to ensure no artifacts and documents become lost. The Archives and Library staff put so much care into what they do, and their passion for what they do has been very inspiring for me. I was able to learn so much about how the Archives and Library works, and I also had the privilege of seeing their Talking Book Program, working on my skills of scanning and learning about digitization, looking at old photographs and nineteenth century microfilm and much more. I feel very honored to have had the privilege to work with so many inspiring and compassionate people and the opportunity to learn about such an amazing organization.  Their passion for their jobs was incredibly inspiring.

Celebrate Women Veterans Day with Books from Archives & Reference Services

By Stephanie Andrews, Library Assistant, with contributions from ARIS staff

books related to women veterans

Selection of books in honor of Women Veterans Day from the collection at the Texas State Library & Archives. The books are available for use in the Reading Room. See the list below for call numbers.

In honor of Women Veterans Day, ARIS has created a booklist for our readers. Our list features books about women in many service areas and over various periods of military history. In addition to representing women veterans, these titles also reflect the many ways women assisted military efforts in history before they could serve in an official capacity.

On June 12th, 1948 President Truman signed into federal law the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, making it possible for women to serve as regular, permanent members of the armed forces. This year will mark the 70th anniversary of that signing. During the last Texas legislative session, Senate Bill 805 established Women Veterans Day as June 12th and was signed into law in June of 2017. This summer will mark the first observance of this day.

For more information about Women Veterans Day, visit https://womenveteransday.com. To learn more about the Texas Veterans Commission’s official opening ceremony events visit https://www.tvc.texas.gov/women-veterans/womenvetsday.

If you’d like to search for these books and more, check out our catalog at www.tsl.texas.gov/catalog. If you are interested in checking out a title from this booklist, please visit the Reference Desk in room 109. Below is the complete list of titles you’ll find in our Women Veterans Day booklist.

Title Author Call No. Collection
A History of the Women Marines, 1946-1977 U.S. Marine Corps D 214.13:W 84/2 USD
Air Force Women: A Heritage of Excellence Air Force History and Museums Program D 301.76/5:W 84 USD
American’s Youngest Women Warriors Brandt, Dorothy Hinson 355.0082 A512 MAIN
Beyond the Latino World War II Hero Rivas-Rodriguez, Maggie and Zamora, Emilio ZUA 380.8 B468LA c.2 TXD
Breaking Codes Breaking Barriers U.S. Army Intelligence and Security Command D 101.2:C 64 USD
Department of Defense Celebrates: March 1997, Women’s History Month Department of Defense D 2.9:D 36/2/No.110 USD
Finding Dorothy Scott Rickman, Sarah Byrn ZTT 422.8 R425fi c.2 TXD
Kate: The Journal of a Confederate Nurse Cumming, Kate and Harwell, Richard Barksdale 973.776 C912k 1959 MAIN
More than a Uniform: A Navy Woman in a Navy Man’s World Collins, Captain Winifred Quick ZN 745.8 M813 1997 TXD
Nancy Love and the WASP Ferry Pilots of World War II Rickman, Sarah Byrn ZN 745.8 R425NA TXD
Oveta Culp Hobby: Colonel, Cabinet Member, Philanthropist Winegarten, Debra L. ZUA 380.8 W725ov c.2 TXD
She Rode with Generals Dannett, Sylvia G.L. 973.781 D233 MAIN
Survey of Female Veterans Veterans Administration VA 1.2:F 34/5 USD
Texans and War: New Interpretations of the State’s Military History Mendoza, Alexander and Grear, Charles David ZTA 475.8 M522te c.2 TXD
The Women’s Army Corps, 1945-1978 Morden, Bettie J. D 114.19:W 84 USD
United States Women in Aviation: 1940-1985 Douglas, Deborah G. SI 1.42:7 USD
WASP of the Ferry Command: Women Pilots, Uncommon Deeds Rickman, Sarah Byrn ZN 745.8 R425wa c.2 TXD
Women are Veterans, too! Department of Veterans Affairs VA 1.19:10-109/990 USD
Women Doctors in War Bellafaire, Judith and Graf, Mercedes Herrera ZTA 475.8 B414wo c.2 TXD
Women in Civil War Texas Liles, Deborah M. and Boswell, Angela ZN 745.8 W842 c.2 TXD
Women in Defense – DoD Leading the Way Department of Defense D 1.2:W 84/6 USD
Women in the Military: A Proud Heritage Department of Defense D 2.9:D 36/2/No.63 USD
Women Marines in the 1980’s U.S. Marine Corps D 214.2:W 84/5 USD
Women Pilots of World War II Cole, Jean Hascall 940.54 C675W MAIN
Women who Spied for the Blue and the Gray Kinchen, Oscar A. 973.785 K574 MAIN

Out of the Stacks and into the Catalog: Featured Collections and New Book Displays

By Maria Barker, Library Assistant

Although the Texas State Library and Archives Commission has “closed stacks” — meaning certain materials are pulled by staff and brought to researchers in the reading rooms rather than allowing patrons to publicly browse — there are tools to help unlock the information held within. Over years of processing materials and roving the stacks, staff members have identified a number of themes that go beyond their classification on the shelf. To highlight these hidden collections and to showcase the stream of titles coming into the library, about every six weeks staff create book displays in the Reference and Genealogy reading rooms for patrons to enjoy.

An aisle in one of the seven floors of closed stacks at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The New Books displays feature books that are new to our collections.  In addition to regularly reviewing and acquiring titles through our collection development efforts and depository commitments, the library also receives donations and suggested titles from the public. If you’re interested in the library’s donation policy or have suggested titles, please email ref@tsl.texas.gov.

The Genealogy New Books display is located in our Texas Family Heritage Research Center.

The Featured Collection contains books selected and arranged by library staff around a particular theme or event. The current display showcases the variety of Texas Children’s Books in our collection.  Previous displays include “Oh the Places You’ll Go- Texas Style”, an exploration of Texas’ vacation spots, a WWI centennial display, and a display focusing on Texas Music and Film.

In our reference reading room, located on the 1st floor of the Lorenzo De Zavala building, the Featured Collection display and New Books display sit side by side near the reference desk.

If you can’t visit our book displays in person you can find updates on the latest Featured Collection here, through the Out of the Stacks blog.

To see a list of new titles, visit the library catalog and click on “New Materials”.

The “New Materials” link is on the gray menu bar near the top of the webpage on the library catalog at www.tsl.texas.gov/catalog.

Click on a collection name to see a list of recently acquired material for that collection.

Click on a collection name to see a list of new material.

Click on a collection name to see a list of new material.

When you click on “TSLAC Genealogy” from the New Material Lists page, you are directed to a list of titles. Click on a title to see further details about our holdings and the catalog record.

Stay tuned for more library catalog features, tips and tricks, and walkthroughs in our upcoming posts!

To learn more about searching the catalog, check out our previous post, Out of the Stacks and into the Catalog: The Basics.

Out of the Stacks and into the Catalog: The Basics

By Stephanie Andrews, Library Assistant

By searching the library catalog, many of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s titles and holdings can be discovered from the comfort and convenience of home. In the library catalog, you can find publications covering topics such as: Texas history, Genealogy, United States federal documents, and much more! In fact, the State Archives’ finding aids can also be found in the library catalog. In this blog series, we will explore the features, functions, and various search strategies that you can use for navigating the library catalog.

Today, we will start with the basics. To get to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s (TSLAC) library catalog, first visit our website at www.tsl.texas.gov  and then click “Archives & Reference.”  Next, click “Library Catalog” on the following page.  To access the catalog directly, you can type www.tsl.texas.gov/catalog into the address bar of your web browser and press the Enter key. Here you can conduct multiple types of searches, access your patron account, and find contact information for the Reference staff. In this post, we’ll look specifically at the search box, search results, and how to get item details.

The TSLAC library catalog homepage.

The TSLAC library catalog is a shared catalog. It stores our titles as well as those for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) which leads us to our first few quick tips:

  • Click “Keyword”, “Browse”, or “Exact” depending on the type of search you are doing. An in-depth look on the types of searches you can do will be covered in an upcoming post.
  • Select “TX State Library & Archives Comm” under Library. This limits your search to titles in our collections. Otherwise, you may see items held by the TCEQ.
  • Pressing “Enter” on your keyboard will default your search to a “Words or Phrase” search. Try using the other search buttons, ”Author”, “Title”, “Subject”, “Series”, or “Periodical Title” to narrow your search. We will take a closer look at these search options in a future post, as well.

Let’s try a search using these new tips! I’ll do a keyword search for the word bluebirds. You can try this same search at home by typing “bluebirds” into the search field then selecting “Texas State Library & Archives Comm” and pressing Enter on your keyboard.

Once you do, you should be redirected to the same results screen as pictured below. If you searched for bluebird instead of bluebirds, you probably see a different set of results. Hint: when doing searches, try different variations of spelling(s) and/or variations on plural/singular spellings to find different titles.

A search results page, listing several results in blue.

Once the search results appear, you can click on a blue link to be redirected to more specific information about the keyword, title, subject, author, publisher, or periodical you searched for. For this search, I’ll click on the top result that appeared; “Bluebirds in Texas” by Noreen Damude and published in 2016.

The Item Details screen shows you detailed information about the title.

In the image above, we have highlighted the two main sections that you need to know. The first shows the item information which is highlighted by the purple box. Here you can see the item’s title, author, publisher, publication date, and even a physical description of the item.

The second portion shows the TSLAC holdings information which is highlighted by the green box. Here you can see the item’s call number, number of copies, type of material (book, DVD, etc.), and the item location. The first and last pieces of information here are important because the call number and location is what staff need to know to retrieve the item for you. It’s also important to note the location may say TSLAC or Liberty. TSLAC denotes that it is at our location in downtown Austin and Liberty denotes that it is at our location in Liberty, TX.

Not finding what you’re looking for? Use the Reference Desk contact information found on the right side of the catalog homepage to get in touch with a Reference staff member for assistance.

That’s all for this blog post, but stay tuned for future tips, tricks, and walkthroughs from the TSLAC Reference staff. Happy searching!