Materials for Research oa rezas
History in 6uropeaf ArckiVes avd
HOW can students of the history of Texas be certain that the
important materials for their research, now located in
European archives and libraries, are made available for
use in connection with the rich treasure of sources already gath-
ered in Texas and in other parts of the United States? One pos-
sible solution may be simply stated. The University of Texas,
through the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, in coopera-
tion with the Texas State Historical Association and all other
interested persons and institutions in Texas and elsewhere, might
lead the way by establishing a Historical Manuscripts Commission
to give continuous attention to the problem. Before suggesting
the possible objectives and activities of such a commission, a brief
survey of achievements to date in making research materials from
Europe available in Texas may be helpful.
The story of the extensive and prolonged search by United States
historians and institutions for manuscript material bearing on
American history has been told by Roscoe R. Hill with a wealth
of detail in his report entitled American Missions in European
Archives.' The first American scholar to exploit the resources of
European archives was Jared Sparks (1789-186o), professor of
history at Harvard University. George Bancroft, William H.
Prescott, Francis Parkman, Buckingham Smith, Henry Charles
Lea, John Gilmary Shea, and others used quantities of ma-
terial from the archives of France, Great Britain, Italy, and Spain
during the nineteenth century.
The task was so large that institutions began to work as well
as individual scholars. States and state historical societies especially
became interested in European manuscript materials which re-
1Roscoe R. Hill, American Missions in European Archives (Publicaci6n No. 22,
Comisi6n de Historia of the Instituto Panamericano de Geograffa e Historia, 1951).
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 59, July 1955 - April, 1956. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101162/. Accessed April 24, 2015.