The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956

VOL. LIX JANUARY, 1956 No. 3
A Prdeliinary uidC to the Arc ives
of exas
PRESENTED in the following pages is a horseback survey of the
manuscript material deposited in the Archives of Texas. The
title, "A Preliminary Guide to the Archives of Texas," is
somewhat descriptive of the raw and unrefined character of the
work. Users are herewith put on notice that the Guide, by its very
nature, is far from definitive; it is a guide.
The Archives of Texas are the official documentary remains of
the agencies of the various governments of Texas. Notably absent
from the Archives are the records of the General Land Office, the
Attorney General's Office, and the court system. Chronologically
speaking, the present Archives of Texas began in 1835 with the
accumulation of records of the provisional government. There
were, however, no Archives as a separate agency; each department
of the government kept its own records and maintained its own
files. Although the term "archives" was much in use during the
period of the Republic, it was applied to the records of the
government rather than to an agency of the government. On
November lo, 1835, the Consultation instructed the various mu-
nicipal officers in Texas to turn over their "archives" to their
successors in office and requested that the political chiefs of the
departments of Brazos and Nacogdoches send their archives to the
governor and council. Since Henry Smith had been political chief
of Brazos, the few records he had became a part of the govern-
ment's archives, but there is no indication that Nacogdoches
turned any of its records over to the central government at that

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. Accessed July 6, 2015.