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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
Texas Department of Transportation Right of Way Division records – HWY II.15 (these electronic records are available on the Texas Digital Archive)
These records include conveyances, maps, and titles for property owned by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) Right of Way Division. The Right of Way Division coordinates the acquisition of land to build, widen, or enhance highways and provides relocation assistance when needed. The division also coordinates utility adjustments, and the disposition and leasing of surplus real property owned by TxDOT. The records document these land transfers and date from 1924 to 2017, and undated. The records are part of an ongoing digitization project by TxDOT that has begun with the Austin District; the project will continue with other major-municipality districts and finish with the less populous ones.
The 8th Texas Legislature (Chapter 40, Regular Session) created the Board of Commissioners of Public Grounds and Buildings in February 1860 to supervise the care, maintenance, and improvements of buildings and grounds upon the capitol square, including the Capitol, the Treasury Building, the Supreme Court Building, the General Land Office, and the Governor’s Mansion. The board was also tasked with directing and controlling the investment of all appropriations made by the legislature for the purchase of books for the State Library and establishing rules for the management of the library. Records date 1860-1876, undated, and include minutes, financial records, correspondence, reports to the governor, various inventories, and payroll records.
Texas Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds records – OAH II.022b (all of the records have been digitized and are available on the Texas Digital Archive)
The 14th Texas Legislature (Senate Bill 335, Regular Session) created the Superintendent of Public Buildings and Grounds in 1874 to take charge of the public halls of the Capitol and State Library as well as the safekeeping and preservation of the Capitol grounds and State Cemetery. This office also briefly worked with the Governor’s Mansion, Treasury Building, and Comptroller Building. In 1879, the office came under the supervision of the Commissioner of Insurance, Statistics, and History (Revised Civil Statutes, Chapter 2, Title 76). The office was abolished in 1919 and its duties absorbed by the Texas State Board of Control (Senate Bill 147, 36th Legislature, Regular Session). Records date 1877-1916, undated, and include financial records, reports, various inventories, payroll records, bids, specifications, blueprints, drawings, and prints. These records have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.
Ben G. Oneal papers – MS XII.21
Ben G. Oneal (1874-1960) was an educator and lawyer in Weatherford and Wichita Falls, Texas, before serving as a state senator during the 1930s. The Ben G. Oneal papers document his legislative service, legal career and political activities, personal life, interests in historic preservation (especially the restoration of Fort Belknap and the 1936 Texas Centennial), and service on the Texas State Board of Education, and date 1862-1963, undated, bulk 1890-1960. These papers comprise correspondence, publications, bill files and other legislative records, campaign materials, legal records, speeches, news clippings, notes, reports, ephemera, genealogical materials, certificates, financial records, photographs, historical research materials, architectural plans, and a commemorative medal. Legislative records form the bulk of the papers and focus on the subjects of spousal and child support, child welfare, education, taxation, law, oil and gas, livestock, game and fish conservation, and the environment.
Revised Finding Aids
Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles execution case files – OAH IV.059 (a new EAD finding aid that incorporates and adds to description previously in a typed finding aid)
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles (BPP) decides which eligible offenders to release on parole or discretionary mandatory supervision as well as recommends clemency decisions to the governor. These execution case files contain materials sent by the Texas Office of the Governor to the BPP for use in making decisions for stay of execution or commutation of sentence, along with materials prepared by the board itself, and are for inmates executed by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (Texas Department of Corrections prior to 1989) from 1954 to 1964 and 1997 to 2007. The records include minute sheets, correspondence, criminal court records, judicial decisions, legal documents, medical and psychiatric records, Audograph discs, photographs, VHS videocassettes, and one open reel audiotape.
The governor of Texas is the chief executive officer of the state elected by citizens every four years. Sam Houston served as governor from December 21, 1859, to March 16, 1861. These records mainly document Governor Houston’s term in office. Types of records are correspondence, petitions from citizens of various counties, memorandums, proclamations, broadsides, resolutions, requisitions, military orders, minutes, a letterpress book, messages to and from the Texas Senate and House of Representatives, clippings, and related records, dating from 1824 to 1862, bulk 1859-1861. The letterpress book of outgoing correspondence has been digitized and is part of the Texas Digital Archive.
The governor of Texas is the chief executive officer of the state elected by citizens every four years. Elisha Marshall Pease served his third term as governor of Texas from August 8, 1867, to September 30, 1869. Records of Governor Pease’s third term relate predominately to the progress of Reconstruction in post-Civil War Texas. A large portion of the correspondence consists of letters, telegrams, and reports sent to military officials in Texas, particularly Generals Griffin, Reynolds, and Canby, which were then forwarded to the governor’s office. Types of records are correspondence, including letters, petitions, telegrams, reports, lists, circulars, and letterpress books dating from September 1865 to September 1869 and undated, bulk 1867-1869. The letterpress books of outgoing correspondence have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.
Texas Capitol Building Commission administrative records and architectural drawings – OAH II.022a (replaces the finding aids previously filed at OAH II.022a, 022b, 022c; a portion of the records have been digitized and are available on the Texas Digital Archive)
The 16th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 1879, created both the Texas Capitol Building Commission (CBC) and Texas State Capitol Board (SCB) to oversee the construction of the Texas State Capitol. The CBC and SCB worked together to manage the construction of the Capitol. The SCB managed the survey and sale of public domain lands used to fund construction and took care of legislative matters while the CBC managed day-to-day construction activities and reported progress and problems to the SCB. After the 1853 Limestone Capitol burned in 1881, these entities also oversaw the building of the temporary Capitol.
Records date 1879-1890 and document the planning and construction of the temporary Capitol (completed 1883) and the Texas State Capitol (completed 1888).
Drawings include the winning competition drawings, dated 1881, used to select an architect for the Texas Capitol Building and the original architectural drawings used in the construction of the Texas State Capitol, dated 1882-1888. Also included are derivative images of the drawings, dating 1980-1997. A portion of the architectural drawings, color slides, and color transparencies have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive
Galveston County Clerk’s Office records – LR I.05 (on TARO under Galveston County (Tex.). County Clerk’s Office.)
The Congress of the Republic of Texas established Galveston County in 1838. The state Constitutions of 1846 and 1876 established the office of county clerk. Historically, the Galveston County Clerk has performed two primary administrative roles: administrative clerk of the Galveston County Commissioners Court and recorder for Galveston County. Records of the county clerk as clerk of the county commissioners court include registers of commissioners court minutes, and records of county finance, elections, road and other construction projects, school districts, and public improvement and utility districts. Records of the county clerk as county recorder include real and personal property records; acknowledgment records; mortgage and lien records; marriage records; voter records; official oaths and bond records; licensing and registration records; census registers; reports, correspondence, and information files; seawall construction records; Texas City Dike construction records; and records of private businesses. The records date 1838-1982, and undated, with the bulk dating 1920-1982.
August Watkins Harris drawings – MS XII.19
August Watkins Harris was an Austin-based architect who designed buildings throughout Texas; several buildings he designed are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Harris also authored two books on Austin architecture as well as the 1957 Specifications of the Repair and Renovation of the Old General Land Office Building for the State Building Commission. The Harris drawings consist of two diazotype prints dating September 26, 1957, of the 1853 Limestone Capitol building, which Harris calls the “Texas Colonial Capitol.” Harris’ book Minor and Major Mansions in Early Austin, in three editions, contains drawings created by the author based on his research. One of the buildings featured in the second edition of this book is the 1853 Limestone Capitol and includes these drawings. These drawings have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.
Recently Added to the Texas Digital Archive
Letterpress books for outgoing correspondence of Governor Pease’s 3rd term in office have been digitized added to the TDA.
The TDA entry can be access at https://tsl.access.preservica.com/tda/texas-governors/#pease or https://tsl.access.preservica.com/?p8183#pease depending on who you ask. And the actual records are available at https://tsl.access.preservica.com/uncategorized/SO_632b57d5-d561-48e1-b582-70505d6c1d41/