In 2002, the UNT Libraries began planning The Portal to Texas History, a digital gateway to historical materials from private collectors and collaborative partners, including libraries, museums, archives, and other historical groups. Our goal was to structure the Portal in a way that would ensure long-term sustainability.
With a ground-swell of support from interested parties, we received a Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund grant from the State of Texas to begin the project. By the end of 2004, the Portal was online with five collaborative partners and over 6500 digital images. About 1,000 visitors a month were using the online collections.
In 2005, we launched Portal Services for Educators, providing a variety of materials for teachers, including:
- Primary Source Adventures lesson plans
- Texas History Trading Cards
- My Texas History Notebook lesson plans
- Links to other Texas history sources
- Guide to Portal Resources for teachers of American history.
In 2008, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) included the Portal on their EDSITEment Web site as one of the best online resources for education in the humanities.
Since 2005, more partners, funding, and content were added and the collections grew. By 2010, the Portal hosted over 900,000 digital images from one hundred and thirty partners. Every month over 115,000 visitors from around the world use the online collections.