New Online: Recent Updates to Finding Aids and Digital Images

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 Frontier Defense Board proceedings
The Texas Frontier Defense Board was an auditorial board created in 1883 to arrange and prepare claims to be presented to the United States Secretary of the Treasury for reimbursement by the United States government for expenses incurred from frontier defenses in Texas. These records are a volume of the proceedings of the board, dating April 18, 1883-November 18, 1885.

Texas Attorney General James Willie’s report regarding investigation of construction and furnishing of the Capitol
The attorney general is the chief legal officer of the state and is responsible for protecting state interests through judicial proceedings and legal advice. This report documents Attorney General James Willie’s legal analysis and opinion regarding the results of the investigation of the Commissioners of the State Capitol Building by the House Committee on Capitol Appropriations, Construction, and Furniture (Resolution by Dancy, House Journal, 6th Texas Legislature, Regular Session, 1855) dated 1857. Attorney General James Willie was compelled to author and submit this report to the governor by joint resolution (Joint Resolution authorizing the Governor to institute certain suits, if necessary, in relation to the erection and furnishing of the new Capitol, Chapter 15, General Laws, 6th Legislature, Adjourned Session, 1856).

Texas Supervisory Commission for Erecting a State Capitol report
The Supervisory Commission over the Commissioners, Superintendent, and Contractors for the erection of a State Capitol was established by a supplemental act of the Texas Legislature (Chapter 83, General Laws for the 5th Regular Session, 1854) to investigate matters relating to money appropriated for the construction and furnishing of the State Capitol. This handwritten report documents the commission’s findings, dated January 7, 1856.


Image of marriage certificate that reads, This certifies that the rite of holy matrimony was celebrated between Joseph Dillard Gates and Eliza Adeline Duncan on July 27, 1865. Elaborate floral illustrations surround the text with a couple sitting in a boat on water at the top of the page.
Marriage document from family bible, July 27, 1865. Joseph Dillard Gates collection, 2021/083-001.

Joseph Dillard Gates collection
The Joseph Dillard Gates collection documents the lives of members of a landowning, Anglo-Texan family in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection, dating 1818-1925, undated, bulk 1870-1921, primarily documents the financial and business lives of Samuel Hardin Gates, his son, Joseph Dillard Gates, and his grandson, Amos Hardin Gates, as they amassed an estate of over 644 acres between 1852 and 1920. The collection consists mainly of business and financial documents, estate records and files, and handwritten and typed correspondence. The bulk of the collection documents Joseph Dillard Gates’s role as the head of the family estate and records his life as an active member of the Gonzales, Texas, community from 1870-1919. His military service in the Civil War and on the Texas frontier is represented through personal correspondence as well as official records and correspondence. The process of dispersing estate land to heirs following Joseph Dillard Gates’s death in 1920 is documented in correspondence and in land appraisals, deeds, maps, and field notes of the estate property.

Sam Houston Hearne collection (at Sam Houston Center)
Sam Houston Hearne was the great-grandson of Sam Houston.The Sam Houston Hearne collection consists of correspondence, clippings, brochures, genealogies, photographs, publications, and artifacts pertaining primarily to Sam Houston and his descendants, the Lea/Power/Little families (related families of Margaret Lea Houston), and events in Texas history, including the Texas Revolution. Materials date 1843-1966, bulk 1892-1964, and information dates 1739-1966.

Ed T. and Marjorie H. Malloy photograph collection (at Sam Houston Center)
Edward (Ed) T. Malloy served as general manager, president, and chairman of the board for Levingston Shipbuilding Company in Orange, Texas. The Ed T. and Marjorie H. Malloy photograph collection consists primarily of black-and-white and color photographs of vessels built by Levingston and various company events such as ship christenings and launches, annual service awards banquets, and Christmas parties. Also included are Malloy family photographs depicting social gatherings and vacations, clippings pertaining to Ed Malloy or Levingston vessels, and other mementos such as programs and event tickets. The majority of the materials were previously compiled into photo albums, probably by the Malloys or by the professional studio that took the photos. Many albums were embossed with the name and date of the event photographed. Materials date 1945-1968, bulk 1952-1964.

Eloise Reid and Stephen Decatur O’Brien Jr. family papers (at Sam Houston Center)
Eloise Reid O’Brien was a native of Woodville, Tyler County, Texas, and she and her husband Stephen Decatur O’Brien Jr. resided in Woodville for many years. The Eloise Reid and Stephen Decatur O’Brien Jr. family papers document the lives of some members of the Reid and O’Brien families of Southeast Texas, primarily Tyler County, and some related families. The papers consist primarily of photographs, scrapbooks, photo albums, correspondence, greeting cards, clippings, genealogical materials, and artifacts. Photographic formats include snapshots, studio and school photographs, photographic postcards, and cabinet cards. Materials date 1848-2019, bulk 1900-1959.

Sam Houston and Josie Bond Reid family papers (at Sam Houston Center)
The Sam Houston Reid Sr. family lived in Woodville, Tyler County, Texas from the late 1800s through the 1950s. The Sam Houston and Josie Bond Reid family papers consists of photographs, legal documents, maps, a scrapbook, autograph books, account books, and abstract books, primarily documenting the lives of some members of the Reid family as well as their business transactions and ownership of land in Tyler County. Materials date 1835-1957, bulk 1870-1925.

Port Arthur (Tex.) City Manager’s Office subject files (at Sam Houston Center)
The city manager serves as the chief executive-administrative officer of city government. The Port Arthur, Texas, city manager’s office subject files were created or received by that office or are copies of records from other city departments. The records consist primarily of interdepartmental memorandums, correspondence, reports by various city departments and outside individuals or entities, legal documents, financial documents, meeting minutes and agendas, press releases, and photographs documenting municipal government operations in Port Arthur. Records date 1930-1989, bulk 1951-1984.

Revised Finding Aids

State Records

Texas 3rd Court of Appeals records – link added to the searchable look-up table available in the TDA for these records
The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals has intermediate appellate jurisdiction of both civil and criminal cases appealed from lower courts in the 3rd Supreme Judicial District of Texas; in civil cases where judgment rendered exceeds $100, exclusive of costs, and other civil proceedings as provided by law; and (since 1981) in criminal cases except in post-conviction writs of habeas corpus and where the death penalty has been imposed. The records of the Texas Court of Appeals, Third District (previously the Court of Civil Appeals, Third District), are composed of indexes and registers, dockets, minutes, opinion records, case files, fiscal records, and motions that range in date from 1891 to 2009. Originally the 3rd Supreme Judicial District included all of south, west, and central Texas, but it eventually was reduced to 24 counties in central Texas; it meets in Austin. A portion of these materials has been digitized and is part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Image of search tool for Texas 3rd Court of Appeals records in the TDA.

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles execution case files
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 2011. 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.

Texas Secretary of State executive clemency records – indexes and a portion of the Governor’s clemency proclamations have been digitized and are available on the TDA.
One of the constitutional duties of the Texas Secretary of State is to register all official acts and proceedings of the governor, including proclamations. Since 1869, the governor was required to file, in the office of the Secretary of State, his reasons for granting executive clemency. Between 1946 and 1960, the Parole Division of the Texas Secretary of State maintained records and prepared all clemency proclamations issued by the governor. All of these functions are documented in these records, which include executive record books, clemency proclamations, indexes to clemency proclamations, applications for pardons and other forms of executive clemency, and registers of applications for pardons. They comprise records of executive clemency created by the Governors of the State of Texas, and maintained by the Texas Secretary of State, dating 1840, 1845-2009. The General indexes to pardons and remissions of fines and General indexes to paroles, remissions, and commutations volumes described in the Indexes to clemency proclamations series, as well as volumes 4-20/687 through 4-20/194A from the Governor’s clemency proclamations series have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Texas Secretary of State city charters and amendments – fragile volumes have been digitized and are available on the TDA.
Beginning in 1913, the Texas state legislature has required each city with a population of more than 5,000 to file certified copies of their city charters and amendments to charters with the Texas Secretary of State. City charters serve as the official record of the creation or incorporation of a city, defining its boundaries and its form of government. Amendments to city charters certify changes to the terms of those charters. The Statutory Documents Section records the charters of home rule cities and files amendments of charters of incorporated towns and villages. These records consist of home rule city charters and amendments to city charters filed with the Texas Secretary of State, 1913-2006. Correspondence to and from the office of the Secretary of State (including certification) is contained in the files, as well as ordinances, resolutions, council minutes, court orders, city election returns, maps, etc. Volumes 307-2 through 307-9 have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

image of open book with handwritten text ofcCharter of the city of Mineral Wells, Texas.

Fragile volume digitized and added to the TDA. Texas Secretary of State city charters and amendments, 307-2, 2013.

Texas Department of Agriculture records
The Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) promotes production agriculture, consumer protection, economic development, and healthy living. These records document the terms of various TDA commissioners, as well as the activities of related boards and committees from 1924 to 2001, undated, bulk 1960 to 1997. Types of records include meeting files, correspondence, memoranda, notes, manuals, transcripts, rules, clippings, drafts, notices, witness logs, registration cards, organization charts, reports, contracts, complaint and request forms, financial statements, bonds, oaths, election results, legal documents, press releases, speeches, pamphlets, computer tapes and disks, database printouts, photographs, contact sheets, negatives, slides, printed materials, audiotapes, videotapes, and motion picture film. Major topics covered include the administration of programs that provide loans and grants to agriculture-related businesses, the promotion of agricultural diversification in Texas, the establishment of environmental rules and regulations, the management of seed quality and development, pesticides and pest eradication, herbicides, and ground and surface water.

Texas Department of Transportation Right of Way Division records
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, dating 1913 to 2020 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.

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

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