Texas Historical Association Quarterly
SOME HISTORICAL ACTIVITIES OF THE TEXAS
LIBRARY AND HISTORICAL COMMISSION
E. W. WINKLER
I. BRIEF HISTORY OF TI-IE BILL CREATING THE COMMISSION
The Texas State Historical Association was organized March 2,
1897. During the session of the legislature in 1899 a bill was in-
troduced having for its object the creation of a Texas Historical
Commission. The Commission was to consist of the Commissioner
of Agriculture, Insurance, Statistics and History, who was ex offi-
cio State Librarian at that time, and of two other persons, mem-
bers of the Texas State Historical Association, to be appointed by
the Governor. The name, personnel and functions of this pro-
posed Commission indicate clearly where it originated. The bill
passed the senate, but died on the calendar in the house because it
was not looked after by those who had it in hand.
The State ]Federation of Women's Literary Clubs was organized
May 13, 1897. This new organization inaugurated an enthusiastic
campaign for libraries. A glance at the date of opening in a list
of Texas public libraries illustrates this fact. The president of
the Federation in her annual address in April, 1899, in reviewing
the year's work, said, "The leading interest of our federation year
has been the work for libraries." The special library committee
gave an excellent account of its work, and concluded its report
with the statement that it hoped that the movement so auspiciously
begun would "grow and spread until our grand state shall be
so permeated as to compel favorable legislation, and Texas shall
lead the other states in the liberality of her library laws."
The increase in the number of libraries in this State led to the
organization of the Texas Library Association on June 9, 1902.
The number of library workers was still too small to maintain an
organization, so it drew generously for its support and member-
ship upon the women's clubs. In turn it provided the library
movement begun and carried on by the clubs with a number of
trained leaders and indefatigable workers.
A bill to create a State Library Commission was introduced in
Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 14, July 1910 - April, 1911. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101054/. Accessed September 17, 2014.