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

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.

New Finding Aids


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.

Texas State Archives Broadsides and Printed Ephemera Collection

The Broadsides and printed ephemera collection is an artificial collection assembled by Texas State Archives staff beginning in the early 20th century. It consists of approximately 700 documents related to Texas and United States history. Printed ephemera was produced to distribute information as events unfolded, and it offers unique snapshots of Texas’s and the nation’s past.

Image: $1000 Reward, 1873. Broadside 276, Broadsides and printed ephemera collection. TSLAC. View in the TDA.

The ephemera in this collection includes both originals and copies of various formats, dating 1645-1999, bulk 1835-1930s. The original documents in this collection have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Local Records

Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk Records

Record of jurors, 1852-1884, Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk records. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, TSLAC. View in the TDA.

District courts are the trial courts of general jurisdiction in law and equity, which includes criminal cases of the grade of felony and misdemeanors involving official misconduct, divorce, cases of title to liens on land, election contests, and civil actions where the amount in controversy is at least $200. The district clerk serves as the clerk and custodian of all records for the district courts, indexes and secures all court records, and collects filing fees. These Newton County (Tex.) District Clerk records consist of civil and criminal docket books of the district court, a fee book, a district court minute book, and a record of jurors for the district court. Records date 1847-1898, with the bulk dating 1860-1879. The last two items listed are in digital format and are part of the Texas Digital Archive.

Newton County (Tex.) Tax Assessor-Collector Records

Newton County (Tex.) Tax Assessor-Collector records reflect the office’s duties related to the assessment and collection of taxes and voter registration. The records include tax assessment rolls, delinquent tax rolls, abstract books, poll tax receipts, and voter registration receipts of women voters. Records date about 1846-1936, bulk 1847-1932. A 1912 Newton County tax roll is in digital format and is part of the Texas Digital Archive.

State Records

Texas National Research Laboratory Commission Records

Established in 1985 by the 69th Texas Legislature, the Texas National Research Laboratory Commission oversaw the process of siting the Superconducting Super Collider in Texas. Records include correspondence, memorandums, minutes, agenda, meeting summaries, meeting supporting documentation, reports, financial reports, studies, plans, agreements, settlements, contracts, proposals, photographs, maps, drawings, speeches, news releases, news clippings, publications, transcripts, audiocassettes, videocassettes, magnetic tapes, design specifications, environmental impact statements, socioeconomic studies, property inventories, research files, construction schedules, biographical sketches, administrative records, and notes, dating 1980-1997. Subjects include the site characterization and selection process of the Superconducting Super Collider, costs for the design and construction of a particle accelerator, geological features of Amarillo and Ellis County, collection and analysis of environmental data, and potential socioeconomic impacts of the project. External entities reflected include the US Department of Energy, Parsons Brinckerhoff, and Morrison Knudsen.

Texas Comptroller’s Office Executive Administration Division Correspondence

The Texas State Comptroller’s Office is responsible for collecting state revenue, tracking state expenditures, and monitoring the financial condition of the state. Documenting those duties, these are records of the Comptroller’s Office Executive Administration Division consisting of administrative correspondence (both incoming and especially outgoing letters, emails and memoranda, and attachments), superseded correspondence concerning executive orders and directives, legislative correspondence, and unprocessed correspondence on microfiche, dating 1940-2017, undated, bulk 1991-2017. Typically, correspondents are state legislators, state agency officials, the lieutenant governor, the governor, local officials (at the city, county, and school district level), federal officials, and corporate entities.

Revised Finding Aids

State Records

Texas Comptroller’s Office Executive Administration Division Records

The Texas State Comptroller’s Office is responsible for collecting state revenue, tracking state expenditures, and monitoring the financial condition of the state. These records document those duties, representing activities of the various division directors, the deputy comptrollers, and comptrollers Bob Bullock, John Sharp, Carole Keeton Rylander Strayhorn, and Susan Combs. The records consist of correspondence, memorandums, reports, speeches, clippings, invitations, thank-you notes, computer printouts, press releases, and other administrative documents, dating 1948-2000, bulk 1973-1988, as maintained by the Executive Administration Division of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

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The Thomas Samuel Partlow U.S. Army Scrapbook Documents Liberation of Dachau

By Lisa Meisch, Archivist/Museum Curator

Dachau was the first regular concentration camp set up by the Nazi government. It was located on the grounds of an abandoned munitions factory near the northeastern part of the town of Dachau, about 10 miles northwest of Munich, Germany. The internees were initially political opponents of the Nazi regime, such as German Communists, Social Democrats, and trade unionists. Over time, other groups including homosexuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Gypsies, and Jews were also interned there. The number of prisoners incarcerated in Dachau between 1933 and 1945 exceeded 188,000, and the number who died there between January 1940 and May 1945 was at least 28,000. It is unlikely that the total number of Dachau victims will ever be known.

Seventy-five years ago, on April 29, 1945, as World War II was drawing to a close in Europe, the Dachau concentration camp was liberated by the United States Army. In early May, Army medical corps units entered the camp to care for the ill and emaciated survivors, many of whom were suffering from typhus, tuberculosis, or other diseases. One of the first such units was the 116th Evacuation Hospital, to which Liberty, Texas, native Thomas Samuel (Sam) Partlow was assigned.

Sam Partlow compiled a scrapbook documenting his military experiences in Europe, including his unit’s time at Dachau. It includes numerous photographs along with details of his service and some clippings concerning the Nazi concentration camps. Entitled “Snaps and Scraps: My Life in the Army,” the scrapbook is one that was created especially for service members. This scrapbook is housed at the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center.

Sam Partlow (center) with “Buzz” Volpin (left) and Janie Wilt (right) after arriving in Germany. Thomas Samuel Partlow U.S. Army Scrapbook. Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
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Research Topics at the State Archives: Subject Guide to Native American Resources

Unidentified American Indian women. Richard Niles Graham Collection, 1964/306-301. Prints and Photographs Collection, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The Texas State Archives maintains a wealth of material relating to the Native American peoples of Texas. The holdings, which range from the colonial era of Spanish rule during the eighteenth century through the years of the Republic and to the present day, depict the cultures and histories of those tribes which once resided, and in some instances still live, in Texas.

Rich collections such as the Nacogdoches Archives and the Texas Indian Papers provide narrative and statistical evidence concerning the encounters and varied relationships that colonists, settlers, and well-known historical figures had with the indigenous peoples of Texas. Other collections from the nineteenth century such as the Mirabeau B. Lamar Papers and the Andrew Jackson Houston Papers contain plentiful correspondence that details the differing perspectives of Mirabeau Lamar, Sam Houston, and other leaders concerning the status of Indians during and after the Republic.

Letter from Sam Houston to Captain of the Cherokee Rangers, September 23, 1836, authorizing him to recruit 25 Cherokees to range upon the Brazos, Page 1. Document 548, Andrew Jackson Houston collection, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Records produced by state agencies that provided economic and material aid to those tribes remaining in Texas following the nineteenth century are especially informative. The assistance provided by the State Board of Control and its successor, the Board for Texas State Hospitals and Special Schools, to help the Alabama-Coushatta Indian Reservation gain economic sustenance and political control of their affairs from the early through the middle of the twentieth century is well documented, with correspondence and reports providing daily snapshots of the challenges and achievements stemming from this era.

Management of Native American reservations and other affairs in Texas during the later twentieth century can be found in the administrative, financial, and legal records of the Texas Indian Commission. The political emergence of the Tigua and Kickapoo Indians in Texas after decades of political neglect and administrative oversight, as well as the timely assistance provided to these tribes by the Commission, are just two of the compelling events recorded within the agency’s history.

Other collections in the State Archives provide records and materials that give glimpses into the cultures of the state’s tribes. One of the goals of the Texas Tourist Development Agency was to make various tourist attractions and facilities more widely known to the general population in and out of Texas; its visual records of Alabama-Coushatta and Tigua villages are instances of such an effort.
Tigua 0123, 1991/077-6, Audiovisual material, Texas Tourist Development Agency, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Another collection, the James L.D. Sylestine papers, contains considerable amounts of stories, legends, and songs from the Alabama and Coushatta tribes in both textual and audio form. Lastly, the Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center, a branch of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Liberty, Texas, has a large collection of arrowheads and spear-points from tribes that once lived in southeastern Texas; there are also collections of handcrafts and baskets made by the nearby Alabama-Coushatta tribe.

These collections and others with entries in this guide are just some of the larger and well-known holdings in the State Archives pertaining to Native American tribes in Texas. Additional collections are available at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC), most available through this website, for those interested in accessing material not mentioned in this guide. A “Subject Guide to Native American Holdings at the Texas State Archives, about 1700-2004” is available in full online at

  • Artifacts at the Texas State Archives, pre-1900
  • Nacogdoches Archives, 1736-1838, bulk 1820-1836
  • The Indian Papers of Texas and the Southwest, 1825-1916, bulk 1838-1870
  • Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar papers, 1733-1859, bulk 1835-1841, 1857-1859
  • Andrew Jackson Houston papers, 1812-1941, bulk 1835-1859
  • Texas Secretary of State executive record books, 1835-1917
  • Texas Adjutant General’s Department biennial reports, 1870s-1880s
  • Captain John J. Dix papers, 1860-1928
  • Texas Department of Criminal Justice records, 1849-2004
  • James Ludwell Davis Sylestine papers, [17–]-1989, bulk 1900-1980s
  • Texas State Board of Control board members files, 1885-1890, 1917-1953, bulk 1920-1953
  • Texas State Board of Control building records and contracts, 1854, 1885, 1909-1949, 1967, undated, bulk 1920-1928
  • Texas Board for Texas State Hospitals and Special Schools records regarding Alabama-Coushatta Indians, 1938-1939, 1948-1965, bulk 1956-1964
  • Texas Indian Commission records, 1957-1989
  • Texas Department of Corrections photographs, about 1911-about 1985, undated, bulk about 1965-about 1980
  • Texas Secretary of State, Statutory Documents, deed files, 1848-1994, bulk 1928-1963
  • Texas Tourist Development Agency audiovisual material, about 1963-1987
  • Texas Historical Commission, Marketing Communications Division records, 1955-1998, 2002, undated
  • Texas Governor George W. Bush General Counsel’s legal opinions and advice, 1995-2000
  • Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center (SHRLRC) holdings related to Native Americans, about 10,000 BCE – 2000 CE, bulk about 10,000 BCE – 1800 CE

For more information about the holdings at the State Archives and conducting research in our collections, contact the Reference Desk at or 512-463-5455.

Artifacts Collection Highlights: Treaty Between Great Britain and the Republic of Texas for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade

By Rebecca Romanchuk, Archivist

Front cover of the Treaty between Great Britain and the Republic of Texas for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade, November 16, 1840. ATF0419, Artifacts collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

A few of the items in the Texas State Archives’ Artifacts collection are both artifact and document—a combination of physical object, often with aesthetic or artistic value, and informational record—that sheds light on a facet of our historical past. Among these are treaties between the Republic of Texas and other sovereign nations, created between 1839 and 1844 as formal and official documents of international diplomacy. These treaties are also described in our holdings as Texas Department of State treaties between the Republic of Texas and other nations.

The treaty pictured above, with its bright red velvet cover and decorative cord, is one of three treaties by which Great Britain recognized the Republic of Texas as an independent nation and was signed in November 1840. This particular treaty established an agreement between the two nations to suppress the African slave trade by declaring such trade as piracy. British or Texian merchant vessels discovered by either nations’ war ships to be carrying Africans for the purposes of enslavement were to be subject to capture and adjudication of their masters, crew, and accomplices. African men, women, and children found on board who were destined for slavery were to be immediately given their freedom and delivered to the nearest Texian or British territory. “Texian” was the adjective used during the Republic era where we would instead use “Texan” today.

First page of the Treaty between Great Britain and the Republic of Texas for the Suppression of the African Slave Trade, November 16, 1840. ATF0419, Artifacts collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

The treaty was signed in London, England, on November 16, 1840, by Lord Palmerston as Great Britain’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and by James Hamilton, financial agent for the Republic of Texas. Hamilton had taken over the task of negotiation from James Pinckney Henderson, Texas minister to England at that time and the future first governor of the state of Texas.

Hamilton’s efforts resulted in three signed treaties between the nations, including this one to suppress the African slave trade, one of several such treaties Great Britain negotiated with other nations during this time. Great Britain had abolished slavery within its empire in 1807 and was working toward universal emancipation. The treaty was not approved by the Congress of the Republic of Texas until January 1842 due to politically motivated delay in sending the document to Texas. It became effective on June 28, 1842.

Though slavery existed and was lawful in Texas while it was a republic, and later as a state after annexation, prohibition of the African slave trade was part of the Constitution of the Republic of Texas, as it had also been prohibited by the United States Constitution since 1808. Even so, a small percentage of slaves in the republic arrived there due to illegal African trade.

Permanent residence of free blacks in the republic required the approval of Congress in each case. Before the Texas Revolution, the Mexican government had given free blacks full citizenship rights, but afterward, the Constitution of the Republic of Texas took away citizenship from those with one-eighth African blood and restricted their property rights. The “freedom” granted to those Africans who were found on vessels smuggling them into Texas was by no means full freedom as the white population enjoyed.

“All persons, Africans, the descendants of Africans, and Indians excepted, who were residing in Texas on the day of the declaration of Independence shall be considered citizens of the republic and entitled to all the privileges of such.” Detail from INV 6512, General Provisions, Section 10, Texas Constitution of 1836, Texas (Republic) Department of State records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Click here for an image of the entire page from Section 10.

The treaty was nullified by the subsequent annexation of Texas by the United States in 1845. A similar treaty between Great Britain and the United States was finally concluded in 1862, though negotiations had gone on between the two countries since 1814 (with the signing of the Treaty of Ghent) and had primarily been hindered by disagreement over conditions for search and visitation of vessels. Slavery in Texas officially ended after June 19, 1865, when federal forces occupied Galveston two months after the end of the American Civil War and emancipation was announced by the Union commander of the Department of Texas, General Gordon Granger. Still, the devastating effects of slavery persisted and continue to echo in our society’s struggles to ensure social justice and the protection of civil rights for African Americans.

2018 Archival Award of Excellence Nominations Are Open

The Texas Historical Records Advisory Board’s 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.

For institutions:

All Texas institutions responsible for archival records that provide public access to at least a portion of their collection are eligible. Achievements include recent projects and/or on-going programs that build collections, enhance access to archives, develop effective digitization programs, or implement preservation strategies.

For individual:

An archivist or individual who has made an outstanding contribution in the areas of management, preservation, access, advocacy, or use of historical records in Texas. Nominees must have accomplished the work within the state of Texas during the five-year preceding the year in which the award is presented. Current THRAB members are not eligible.

Nomination Process:

Submit an Archival Award of Excellence Nomination form, a Statement of Work Accomplished, 3 Letters of Support and any supporting materials.  For more information, visit

Send nominations via email or U.S. mail to:

                Jelain Chubb

                ATTN: THRAB Archival Award of Excellence

                Texas State Library and Archives Commission

                P.O. Box 12927

                Austin, TX 78701



Nominations must be received by July 31, 2018.