Local Records Available at the Sam Houston Center
About the Depository System | Explanatory Notes About the Records
Records from Chambers County | Records from Hardin County
Records from Jasper County | Records from Jefferson County
Records from Liberty County | Records from Newton County
Records from Orange County | Records from Polk County
Records from San Jacinto County | Records from Tyler County
List of Depositories (RHRDs) | County records available on microfilm
About the Regional Historical Resource Depository (RHRD) System
The Regional Historical Resources Depositories program of the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission collects, preserves, and makes available for public use the historical records of the local governments of Texas.
The RHRDs operate under Chapter 441.153, Subchapter J, Government Code. The 24 depositories are located throughout the state in academic libraries and other institutions that meet criteria adopted by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Since the transfer of records are voluntary on the part of local governments, and each depository has its own space limitations, the volume and number of records series vary at each location.
The majority of the record series found at the depositories have fulfilled their administrative, legal, and fiscal values and are permanent only because of their historical value. Without the RHRDs, many of these records would not be as accessible to the public if the local governments retained them in their possession.
The use of records in each depository is available free of charge, but the records may not be loaned or removed from the RHRD premises.
The Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center has made the list of its holdings available online. The county records listings accessed here represent the paper holdings of the Center only. Microfilmed copies of local government records from many Texas counties are available and may be borrowed through the interlibrary loan network. For information on county records available on microfilm, please visit www.tsl.texas.gov/arc/local/index.html
Explanatory Notes and a Key to the County Listings
This guide is arranged alphabetically by county, then by government, then by office.
The Record Series is the title of the record which has been standardized according to a key list prepared by the Sam Houston Center staff which primarily follows the state records retention schedules. This standardization is significant since there are many variants of title for the same type of records series among local governments.
Dates are presented as either conclusive or inclusive. The entry "1940-1960" would indicate that the records are complete for those years. The entry 1940 ... 1960, would indicate that there are several months missing and the record series is not complete or appears not to be complete. The entry "1940; 1950; 1960" indicates that there are only three years of records and the significant gaps were noted.
No. of Vols: This number refers to the total number of bound volumes that are within the record series. The number of bound volumes does not indicate physical volume or the size of the bound records. It can be helpful to the researcher especially for certain record series to know if the records are bound or unbound. The dimensions of the bound volumes vary greatly. Unbound series -- or series where some records are bound and others are loose -- are indicated with an empty field in the table.
Cu. Ft.: This number indicates the physical volume of the record series. A cubic foot is twelve inches of material or 1,000 sheets of letter-sized paper. Further processing work may reduce the volume of materials and future additions to the record series may increase the volume. The figure ".10 cu.ft." is the smallest measurement listed inthe guide. This may indicate a volume of material ranging from one sheet of paper to a stack of papers 1-inch thick.
The record series are listed within the offices of which they were found. For example, in some counties, the county treasurer maintains the finance ledger even though it falls under the purview of the county clerk. Researchers should check several offices of a local government before determining that the given record series is incomplete or unavailable.
The information contained in this guide may change for any of the following reasons:
Records may be returned to the office of origin due to legal or administrative reasons.
The stated retention period may change from "permanent" to "nonpermanent."
The Texas Open Records Act may be revised by future legislation
Additional records may be transferred to the Center by local governments
Additional processing work may change the dates, volumes, or cubic feet of the record series
This guide does not contain all the standard features of the Sam Houston Center's finding aids. Please note the following:
All of the local government records were transferred to the Sam Houston Center by the appropriate local government officials from 1977 until 1995. The accession logs and copies of the signed transfer forms are on file and available at the Center. The original transfer forms are on file in the Archives & Information Services Division of the Texas State Library in Austin.
The scope and content notes for the records series are not included for space reasons. The notes are available at the Center and can be found in other published materials including the Inventories of County Records. A separate publication describing all permanent local government record series is under preparation.
A listing of related records and other notes are available at the Center.