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 (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 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

Setting the Texas Table: “Dishing” on the Artifacts Collection at the Texas State Archives

By Rebecca Romanchuk, Archivist

[Texian Campaigne plates, 1840-1850. ATF0031b, Artifacts collection. Archives and Information Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.]

Some of us are enjoying the cooler weather we’ve been having in Austin lately and the way it makes us feel the holiday season has really arrived. For most, the holidays are made more festive and meaningful by the foods we prepare and share with others: traditional dishes at family dinners, potluck parties with friends and coworkers, cookie exchanges, and volunteering for or contributing to organizations that provide meals to those in need. Food truly connects us all.

At the Texas State Archives, we’re putting the spotlight on the history of Texas agriculture and foodstuffs in our lobby exhibit Setting the Texas Table, on view through May 2019. You’re cordially invited to visit in person to see this diverse and professionally curated exhibit of original archival materials and selections from our library collection, or take a virtual tour through the online version linked in the logo below. Be prepared to have your appetite whetted!

Of course, you can’t set a table without dishes and various other tableware items. The State Archives’ Artifacts collection includes a number of such pieces, many with connections to the family of Texas Governor Elisha Marshall Pease. These are easily searched for in the Texas Digital Archive; go to the Artifacts collection main search page and enter keywords in the “search within” box, or begin filtering using the options on the left sidebar. You can search for soup bowls, saucers, coffee cups and teacups, demitasse and sake cups, coffee pots and pitchers, plates and platters, and even a chafing dish (anyone hungry yet?). Or, note the artifact number (ATF0###) of an item that interests you in the finding aid and use that as your keyword to go directly to digital images and description of that item.

Many of the Pease table items are of two different Victorian-era designs: floral flow blue and what may be pink Sunderland lusterware (described as “orchid pink and white” in the Artifacts description). Both are varieties of transferware pottery made in England and commonly exported to the United States in the 19th century. The designs were produced by inking a copper plate onto which the design had been engraved, pressing paper onto the inked plate, then applying the still-wet inked paper onto the ceramic piece to transfer the design to it. This process was much less expensive than hand-painting. Imagine the dining table at the Governor’s Mansion or at Woodlawn, the Pease family mansion, laid out with a full set of either of these designs. Victorians adored vibrant color!

floral flow blue soup bowls

[Floral flow blue soup bowls, 1850-1900. ATF0232, Artifacts collection. Archives and Information Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.]

floral flow blue covered tureen dish

[Floral flow blue covered tureen dish, 1890-1900. ATF0227, Artifacts collection. Archives and Information Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.]

coffee pot with lid

[Coffee pot with lid (possibly Sunderland lusterware), 1850-1900. ATF0236, Artifacts collection. Archives and Information Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.]

Take a close look at the transfer pattern on the pink dessert dishes below. This is the Mother’s Grave design, featuring a boy and girl, with an accompanying small child, gazing mournfully at a gravestone in a picturesque churchyard setting. Mourning pieces such as these were commonly used by Victorian households to memorialize a departed family member. These dishes honor the daughter of Governor and First Lady Pease, Carrie Augusta Pease Graham, whose children came to live at Woodlawn to be raised by their grandmother and aunt, after their mother’s death in 1882. Descendants of those children donated the Pease tableware to the State Archives. They said Carrie Graham’s children hoped that all these dishes would be broken so they wouldn’t have to eat from them any longer. It’s easy to empathize with that wish, though we’re lucky to have these objects survive to provide a glimpse into the personal experiences of the Pease/Graham family and the traditions of the time.

dessert dishes

[Dessert dishes (possibly Sunderland lusterware), 1850-1900. ATF0241, Artifacts collection. Archives and Information Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.]

You can learn more about one of the Graham children, businessman and prominent Austin citizen R. Niles Graham, and his extended family from his collection of papers and photographs at the State Archives. Several dozen items once belonging to the Graham family are also part of our Artifacts collection.

Enjoy exploring all the charming tableware in the Artifacts collection and setting your own table to welcome others during the holidays.


Featured Collection: Textiles and Apparel

Information Services staff invite you to enjoy our updated Featured Collection display, on view through January 2019 at the Lorenzo de Zavala building, room 109.  To coincide with the colder winter months, the selection celebrates the textiles and apparel industry for producing the fabrics and garments which warm us.  Below is a summary of materials featured in the display.

Call No. Title Author Collection
391.04 R424 $10 horse, $40 saddle : cowboy clothing, arms, tools, and horse gear of the 1880’s Rickey, Don Main
Z TT422.8 P416fi A perfect fit : the garment industry and American Jewry (1860-1960) Goldstein, Gabriel M. TXD
Z TT422.8 AM65SE 2003 A separate sphere : dressmakers in Cincinnati’s golden age, 1877-1922 Amnéus, Cynthia TXD
Z TT422.8 H551AM American menswear : from the Civil War to the twenty-first century Hill, Daniel Delis TXD
Z TT422.8 H551AS As seen in Vogue : a century of American fashion in advertising Hill, Daniel Delis TXD
746.43 H839a AwareKnits : knit & crochet projects for the eco-conscious stitcher Howell, Vickie Main
Z TT422.8 C623 Clothing and textile collections in the United States : a CSA guide Queen, Sally TXD
I 29.2:C 62 Clothing for ladies and gentlemen of higher and lower standing : a working pamphlet to aid the imitators of New England citizens of the eighteenth century Hicks, Marjorie USD
SI 1.28:42 Cutting a fashionable fit : dressmakers’ drafting systems in the United States Kidwell, Claudia Brush USD
391 K811D Dress clothing of the Plains Indians Koch, Ronald P. Main
Z TT422.8 B431EM Embroiderers of Ninhue : stitching Chilean rural life Benavente, Carmen TXD
Z TT422.8 C150fo Forbidden fashions : invisible luxuries in early Venetian convents Campagnol, Isabella TXD
Z TT422.8 G195AR M. de Garsault’s 1767 Art of the shoemaker : an annotated translation Garsault, François A. de (François Alexandre) TXD
Z TT422.8 C654ma Managing costume collections : an essential primer Coffey-Webb, Louise TXD
D 101.11:10-3530-203-20 P Organizational maintenance repair parts and special tools lists : textile repair shop, trailer mounted (York Astro model D8700477, FSN 3530-819-2008; Army model SPV 35) (York Astro model D8700540, FSN 3530-900-8352) … clothing repair shop, trailer mounted (York Astro model D8700337, FSN 3530-819-2007, Army model SPV 34) United States. Department of the Army USD
SI 1.28:49 Technology in miniature : American textile patent models, 1819-1840 Janssen, Barbara Suit USD
745.5 M381 1946B The book of Indian-crafts and costumes Mason, Bernard Sterling Main
391.2 T768 The First Ladies in fashion Truett, Randle Bond Main
Z TT422.8 M421SU The sunbonnet : an American icon in Texas Matheson, Rebecca Jumper TXD
Z UA380.8 R79WE Weaving and dyeing in highland Ecuador Rowe, Ann P. TXD
Z TT422.8 M421yo Young Originals : Emily Wilkens and the teen sophisticate Matheson, Rebecca Jumper, TXD

Please see a librarian in room 109 if you are interested in checking out any of the circulating materials.

Military Rolls Reflect Alliances Between American Indian Tribes and the Republic of Texas

By Caroline Jones, Reference Archivist

Some may be surprised to know that during the Republic of Texas era (1836-1845), American Indians served as Texas Rangers. Here at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), we have military rolls for three American Indian units: Mounted Rangers 3rd Brigade, Texas Militia, commanded by James H. Durst; Company of Shawnee Indians, 3rd Brigade, Mounted, commanded by Panther; and volunteers (against Comanches) commanded by Lipan Apache Chief Castro. Letters from the Andrew Jackson Houston collection provide background and context for the arrangements.

Under a September 1836 agreement between President Sam Houston and the Cherokee and Shawnee chiefs, the tribes were to provide 25 rangers to patrol the northwest regions of their villages in order to keep members of the Caddo and Wichita tribes away. The Texas government would pay each ranger $10 a month and they would also be allowed to keep any goods they acquired from assaults on tribes that were considered “wild.” For others to distinguish these rangers from the “wild Indians,” they were instructed to wear a white feather on their head. Such arrangements are detailed in the letters of Sam Houston, part of our Andrew Jackson Houston collection at TSLAC. During the Second Congress of the Republic of Texas on June 12, 1837, lawmakers authorized the hiring of members of the Shawnee, Delaware, Cherokee and other tribes as scouts and spies for the Texas government.

Letter from Sam Houston to Captain of the Cherokee Rangers, September 23, 1836, authorizing him to recruit 25 Cherokees to range for $10 a month, Page 1. Document 548, Andrew Jackson Houston collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

At the age of 20, James H. Durst led a company of 58 Anglo-European and American Indian Texas Rangers into battle against the Cherokees. Durst’s unit of mounted Texas Rangers was mustered into service December 1, 1838 and mustered out January 25, 1839.  Durst is considered to be among the first official Texas Rangers.

Muster Roll of Capt. James Durst Company of Mounted Rangers. Durst, James H.–Mounted Rangers [3rd Brigade, Texas Militia]: [Indians] December 1, 1838-January 25, 1839, Republic of Texas Militia military rolls, Republic of Texas military rolls, Military rolls, Texas Adjutant General’s Department. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Within our Andrew Jackson Houston Collection, we have several letters between Sam Houston and young James H. Durst, his uncle John Durst, and his father Joseph Durst who was serving as Indian Commissioner at the time.

Letter from James Durst to Sam Houston regarding dealings with members of American Indian tribes. Document 2637, Andrew Jackson Houston collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

A leading member of the Shawnees, Captain Panther also led a unit of mounted Texas Rangers. They were mustered into service November 25, 1838 and mustered out January 25, 1839. Panther served alongside Durst and fellow Shawnee interpreter Spy Buck. These Shawnee mounted rangers were paid $25 a month, the same as other Texas Rangers. Panther was paid the same rate as other captains at $60 a month.

Panther–Company of Shawnee Indians [3rd Brigade] [mounted]: November 25, 1838-January 25, 1839, Republic of Texas Militia military rolls, Republic of Texas military rolls, Military rolls, Texas Adjutant General’s Department. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Castro’s volunteer unit of Lipan Apaches served between January 25 and February 25, 1839. The unit was organized specifically to fight against Comanches. Lipan Apaches were often involved in military campaigns of the Spanish, Mexican, Tejano, and Anglo groups. Castro and Lipan Apache Chief Flacco helped Captain James H. Moore destroy a Comanche village in 1840. The Lipan Apache had been pushed out of the Texas prairies by the Comanche and were seeking revenge.

Castro (Captain)–Indians who volunteered (against Comanches): January 25-February 25, 1839, Republic of Texas Militia military rolls, Republic of Texas military rolls, Military rolls, Texas Adjutant General’s Department. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

These are only a few examples of the complex relationship between local tribes and Texans during the Republic era. For more reading on American Indian Rangers and Texas politics, see the following list of resources available through TSLAC:

The conquest of Texas : ethnic cleansing in the promised land, 1820-1875 Anderson, Gary Clayton 305.8 An235c Main (non-circulating)
The Armstrong chronicle : a ranching history Smith, Diane Solether 929.2 AR57S Main (non-circulating)
Indian exodus: Texas Indian affairs, 1835-1859 Neighbours, Kenneth F. 970.464 N316 Main (circulating)
Texas Indian papers Texas State Library. Archives Division. 970.5 T31 V.1-4 Main (circulating)
Tracking the Texas Rangers : the nineteenth century Glasrud, Bruce A. editor of compilation. Z N745.8 G463tr Texas Documents (circulating)
Savage frontier : rangers, riflemen, and Indian wars in Texas Moore, Stephen L. Z N745.8 M786SA V.1-2 Texas Documents (circulating)
Single star of the West : the Republic of Texas, 1836-1845 Howell, Kenneth Wayne Z N745.8 Si64 Texas Documents (circulating)

Andrew Jackson Houston collection

Texas Comptroller’s Office, Republic Claims Index:

“Native American Relations in Texas”:

Outside Sources:

Hispanic and American Indian Texas Rangers:

James H. Durst:

Chief Castro:

Shawnee Indians:

Apache Indians:


THRAB Offers Free SAA Webinar: Metadata Overview for Archivists

The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB) is pleased to offer a FREE webcast course presented by the Society of American Archivists.”Metadata Overview for Archivists” is a 90-minute on-demand webinar that provides the basics of descriptive, technical, structural, and administrative metadata. This foundational webinar will help participants define the basic concepts of metadata, identify sources and types, assess how much metadata is enough, and more.

THRAB will also cover the cost of DAS-enrolled candidates to take the exam. Enrollment for this webinar is limited to 30 registrants and only one registrant per Texas archival repository. Preference will be given to those from smaller and mid-sized institutions and those wishing to take the exam. Registration requests will be accepted until November 21, 2018 and notifications will be sent by November 27, 2018. THRAB requests that participants complete the course by December 28, 2018.

To register, please submit this THRAB Professional Development Workshop form.

Sponsored by the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

State Archives Resources Contribute to the Rediscovery of San Felipe de Austin

By Michael Rugeley Moore

Stephen F. Austin founded San Felipe de Austin in 1823 with high ambitions. He laid out an expansive town plat that he intended to one day serve as the capital city of Texas.Thirteen years later, his village lay as smoldering ashes, completely destroyed during the “Runaway Scrape” in the Texas Revolution (1835-1836). Another town named for Austin ultimately became the capital.

The significant story of San Felipe, the Villa de Austin, became lost as did the evidence of the town itself. Blocks that once housed hotels, stores, workshops and houses reverted to cattle pastures. San Felipe’s municipal archives were destroyed or dispersed in the evacuation and burning of the town. Recovering that story and identifying specific locations for those buildings have occupied more than two decades of my research efforts.  Resources of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC) have been key to many of my discoveries.

The new museum at the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site, Courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.

The new museum at the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site, Courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.

In 2018, the Texas Historical Commission opened a new museum and expanded interpretation for the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site. Items from the Texas State Library and Archives Commission are prominently featured in the exhibits and programs.  More critically, TSLAC resources helped recover the site’s story and have led to exciting archeological finds. I am very grateful to the Archives staff for their help in my research visits and requests for scanning of illustrations and archival items used in the exhibits.  I encourage everyone to visit the new museum and experience this rediscovered story of the life and cataclysmic death of San Felipe de Austin.

I wanted to share a few anecdotes that demonstrate how TSLAC resources make a critical difference in the understanding of San Felipe’s story and significance.


The Texas Revolution was governed from San Felipe’s Council Hall that served the San Felipe Committee of Safety, the November 1835 Consultation, and the Provisional Government established by the Consultation.  Until the discovery of a rental receipt in the State Archives collection, it was not known where these governmental bodies met.  The Council Hall, it turns out, was a rental building owned by San Felipe merchant Joseph Urban.

Rental receipt for use of the council hall, dated February 7, 1836. Records of the Quartermaster General, 1835-1836, Army Papers, Texas Adjutant General’s Department. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The most dramatic month in the history of San Felipe began with the receipt of William Barret Travis’ “Victory or Death” letter from the Alamo.  This document, perhaps the most famous single item in the TSLAC collection, was addressed “To The People of Texas and All Americans” with Travis’ instructions to “Send this to San Felipe by Express night & day.”

Portrait of William B. Travis by Henry McArdle, McArdle Notebooks. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Texas had no functional government at the time, with the Provisional Government adjourned until the March 1836 Convention at Washington gaveled into session. San Felipe’s citizens responded immediately, forming a militia company under Moseley Baker, and having them march to help defend the Alamo. Printer Gail Borden, joined by the ladies of the town, presented the company a flag based on Stephen F. Austin’s design.  Baker’s company, however, had only made it as far as Gonzales when news arrived of the fall of the Alamo.

Austin National Flag, Historic flags collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission

Gail Borden and his partners had established a printing office in San Felipe de Austin in the fall of 1835. Issues of their Telegraph and Texas Register and separate broadside imprints from their press documented the Texas Revolution. Much of their printing was done for the Texas government.  A list of their most famous imprints of February and March of 1836 are listed on an invoice to the Government of Texas, including “Travis letter” on February 29th, the “Declaration of Independence” on March 5th, and a broadside announcing the fall of the Alamo on March 16th.

Baker & Bordens Invoice, Texas Secretary of State public printing records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

San Felipe merchant Nathaniel Townsend wrote “in haste” on March 16th saying “We have recd [received] intelligence which can be relied on that the Alamo is taken and every man in it massacred, and that our forces are retreating from Gonzales.”  Throngs of families fled their homes in the Runaway Scrape to escape along with the army.

Nathaniel Townsend, Photograph of portrait, Margaret Robertson Collection 1962/279, Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

On March 28th, Houston’s army arrived on the outskirts of San Felipe.Texian officers came into town to requisition supplies for their men. Juan Seguin received round jackets, vests, trousers, and shoes to outfit several of his men. Captains Baker, McIntyre and Eberly also supplied their men from the stores, as did the army’s quartermaster, Major Edward Winfield.

Requisition by Juan Seguin from P. B. Dexter’s San Felipe store, Republic Claims #1246 025:647.

Having resupplied from San Felipe’s stores, Sam Houston’s army marched northward toward Groce’s Ferry. Two companies refused to follow, and Houston ordered each to defend their  local Brazos River crossings. Moseley Baker’s San Felipe company was ordered to burn the town on sight of the Mexican Army to deny them the logs that could be used to build rafts to cross the Brazos. On the night of March 29, 1836, Baker’s company burned San Felipe to the ground. Houston later disclaimed having given the order, but the “Board of Examination” paid most claims for the destruction of San Felipe property as an official act of the army. Nathaniel Townsend, for example, had a claim of more than $11,000 paid for the value of his buildings and store merchandise.

Republic Claims, Nathaniel Townsend, Audited Claim, #9172 106:179.

Perhaps the single most important discovery in the TSLAC Republic Claims receipts was a request by San Felipe merchant Joseph Urban for reimbursement of his losses in buildings, furnishings and merchandise amounting to more than $8,500.  His claim provides important details of building sizes and functions in the village. Of particular importance was his claim for the burning of “The Courthouse 26 feet by 22 feet.”  Two witnesses who testified to his loss added that this building was the one “in which Court was held in said town and in which the convention was held….”

Republic Claims, Joseph Urban, Unpaid Claim, 257:463.

This claim also provided important clues about Urban’s own dwelling house and its brick cellar. It had begun its life as the Farmer’s Hotel, with a cellar used for storage or perhaps brewing. Because of the resources of the Texas State Archives, the buildings on this one lot are now some of the best documented of any in the village. Archeological excavations are adding to that knowledge and will form the basis for many future exhibits and educational programs.

Interactive mural of the village of San Felipe de Austin, with Joseph Urban’s buildings depicted on the right.

Interactive mural of the village of San Felipe de Austin, with Joseph Urban’s buildings depicted on the right. Courtesy of Cortina Productions.


Excavation of the brick cellar of the Urban dwelling,

Excavation of the brick cellar of the Urban dwelling, Courtesy of the Texas Historical Commission.

During my research at the Texas State Archives every member of the staff proved helpful, particularly Tonia Wood, who helped coordinate the scanning requests for items to be used in the exhibit design process. I would also like to acknowledge the important role of the Summerlee Foundation of Dallas, who provided grant funding to TSLAC to digitize and host the Republic Claims in an online database. This one resource was one of the most critical in rediscovering San Felipe’s story and built environment.

On behalf of the San Felipe de Austin project team, we say “thank you” to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission for preserving these important items of Texas history and making them available for the Texas Historical Commission to feature in the exhibits at the San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site.

About the Author:

Michael Rugeley Moore served as project historian for the San Felipe de Austin development as a volunteer and contractor to the Texas Historical Commission.  He wrote the exhibit narrative, assembled graphic support for the exhibit and authored the San Felipe de Austin Site Guide.  His connections to the Texas State Archives go back almost 50 years, where his first training in primary source research was provided by his grandmother, Helen Rugeley, who served for more than 20 years as editor of the Austin Genealogical Society Quarterly.

NASA Turns 60 – Featured Collection in the Reference Reading Room

By Stephanie Andrews, Library Assistant

ARIS invites you to check out the newest featured book display now up in the Reference Reading Room. NASA Turns 60 features publications from our MAIN, Texas Documents, and U.S. Documents collections. From its humble beginnings as the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, explore our out-of-this-world resources that examine the founding and history of this exciting federal agency.

To search for these books and more, check out our catalog at If you are interested in checking out a title on our Featured Collection shelf, please visit the Reference Desk in room 109. Below is a complete list of titles you’ll find on our Featured Collection shelf for October and November.

522 EV15B
Big and bright : a history of the McDonald Observatory
Evans, David Stanley

522.2919 Sc83a
Adventure in space : the flight to fix the Hubble
Scott, Elaine

523 Sc83c
Close encounters : exploring the universe with the Hubble Space Telescope
Scott, Elaine

629.4 B743o
Our Space Program
Bredeson, Carmen

629.40973 N1
NASA factbook; guide to National Aeronautics and Space Administration programs and activities
Renetzky, Alvin

629.45 K863f
Failure is not an option : mission control from Mercury to Apollo 13 and beyond
Kranz, Gene

Z UA380.8 P281we
We could not fail : the first African Americans in the space program
Paul, Richard

Z UA380.8 W736La OVER-T
Last launch : Discovery, Endeavor, Atlantis
Winters, Dan

Z TA475.8 H883DE
The Development of Propulsion Technology for U.S. Space-Launch Vehicles, 1926-1991
Hunley, J. D.

Y 4.SCI 2:115-04
NASA: past, present, and future : hearing before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifteenth Congress, first session, February 16, 2017
United States. Congress. House. Committee on Science, Space, and Technology

NAS 1.2:K 38
Kennedy Space Center Story
Harris, Gordon L.
Some items have been held behind the desk due to fragility or rareness of the item. The following items can be requested from the Information Services staff at the Reference Desk in room 109.

NAS 1.86:ST 2/DVD
Journey to the Stars
Emmart, Carter

NAS 1.86:IM 1/CD
The First Forty Years: A Collection of Selected Images
Goddard Space Flight Center. Office of Public Affairs.

NAS 1.86:AP 4/2/2004/CD
Remembering Apollo 11: The 35th Anniversary Data Archive CD-ROM
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration. History Office.

NAS 1.86:SU 7/5/DVD
Mysteries of the Sun
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

NAS 1.86:P 23/DVD
NASA’s Earth Observatory presents: National Parks–from Space
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

NAS 1.2:T 69/2/KIT
Space Travel Hazards [game]: How Safely Can You Travel Through Space?
United States. National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


What’s New (and Revised) at the Texas State Archives?

By Rebecca Romanchuk, Archivist

The Zavala Building as seen from San Jacinto Street. Now easily accessible by scooter.

If you drive, cycle, scooter, ride the bus, or walk past the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building often enough, you might have noticed that this large, pink granite edifice stays the same size year after year, nestled in its spot next door to the Capitol. Next time you go by, think again. The Texas State Archives located within constantly grows and evolves, and the archivists at the State Archives continually receive historically valuable materials—primarily records from state agencies. We already provide online descriptions about our state and local records and our manuscript and photograph collections: Check out the finding aids we contribute to Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO) and view or download digitized and born-digital materials on our own Texas Digital Archive (TDA). But what if you want to know what’s been recently inventoried and described at the State Archives?

The answer: Go to Archives: Finding Aids (New & Revised) to browse a list of all archival materials we’ve created a new finding aid for or that have been updated in the last 90 days. This list is pulled from our online public access catalog, and each item has a can’t-miss-it red link that goes directly to the TARO finding aid. The blue title link takes you to the full item information and catalog record, both of which also feature the TARO finding aid link. And if any of the materials are available in the Texas Digital Archive, a link for that will be there, as it is in the TARO finding aid (we do our best to make sure you really can’t miss these links!). We also maintain a list of anything new and updated in the TDA, if your focus is on the digital world.

Say you already knew that the State Archives has Texas Supreme Court records from the earliest days of the court in the 1840s through the 20th century. That’s true, but we’ve recently revised our description of these records to include cases through 2004. And you might be excited to learn that we’ve begun digitizing the earliest cases, which are becoming available here on the Texas Digital Archive, along with Supreme Court indexes and registers. The image below is an example of an early court document now available online and is the first Texas Supreme Court case that concerns a murder.

So keep checking back to keep up with the latest additions to the Texas State Archives!

M is for Murder: The first Texas Supreme Court M case file that concerns a murder is a charge made against a man named Pleasant I. Slaughter in 1848. M-275, M case files, Case files, Texas Supreme Court records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. (Click the image for zoom features offered in the TDA.)

Electronic Records Day and the TDA

Archival repositories must preserve electronic records along with materials in physical formats. The Texas State Library and Archives Commission established the Texas Digital Archive (TDA) to handle the enormous amount of electronic files contained in the papers of the former governor of Texas, Rick Perry. The TDA manages, preserves, and facilitates access to an increasing number of “born digital” electronic records accessioned with the archival collections transferred by state agencies.

The TDA also provides an access point to items that have been converted to electronic form through digitization. Researchers will find photographs, film, and recordings from state agencies and the Texas government available online. Some wonderful examples of this reformatting are the The Texas State Department of Public Highways and Public Transportation (now the Texas Department of Transportation) films their tourism division created to promote the use of roads and highways. The TDA also includes materials from historical collections like the Mabel H. Brooks photographs digitized from scrapbooks.

Capitol in the snow, about 1920. 1932/005-1, Mabel H. Brooks photograph collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Learn more about the TSLAC materials in the TDA and how to search for records by taking on this scavenger hunt on “Texas Governors and the Capitol” we created for the occasion. Happy Electronic Records Day!

The Texas State Library and Archives division for State and Local Records Management (SLRM) has compiled a list of Electronic Records Day activities, events, and sites on their blog, The Texas Record.

Celebrate Texas Archives Month!

We are celebrating Texas Archives Month throughout the month of October along with repositories around the state. Visit our webpage for news of awards, events, exhibits and proclamations happening in Texas. The page features the virtual Texas Archives Month poster, which allows visitors to click through to the home repositories housing the digital images. Part of the celebration is recognizing the efforts to preserve and make accessible the cultures and cultural traditions of Texas. Out of the Stacks blog posts in October will highlight archival activities and collections. Be sure to follow @TSLAC on social media for the most current happenings!