ROBERT A. CALVERT, Editor
Inventory of County Records: Palo Pinto County. Compiled by Bill F.
Sumners. (Austin: Archives Division, Texas State Library, 1976.
Pp. ix+I5o. Index. $I.)
County records are for those who enjoy dirtying their hands with the
sources of Texas history. The statewide County Records Inventory Pro-
ject being carried out by the North Texas State University Center for
Community Services in conjunction with the Archives Division of the Texas
State Library will make it a great deal easier for these individuals to dirty
their hands efficiently and profitably. Bill Sumners's compilation of records
preserved in the Palo Pinto County Courthouse is among the most recent
publications resulting from this project, but the entire project, rather than
any single inventory, is the proper subject of this review.
In 1971 the Texas Legislature created the Regional Historical Resources
Depository (RHRD) Program with the purpose of housing non-current
county records in regional depositories, primarily college and university
libraries, where they would be preserved for use by researchers and inter-
ested citizens. The first step in the RHRD Program was to determine
what materials were actually in local archives. This led to the Texas County
Records Inventory Project which was begun in 1973 as a county by county
survey of the records held by each agency of local government. In addition
to providing a data base for the RHRD Program and aiding researchers
through the location and description of valuable local historical materials,
the records survey is to provide the basis for a records retention and dis-
posal manual for county officials.
To date (July, 1976) the County Records Inventory Project has re-
sulted in the publication of inventories for twenty-three counties (Bell,
Brazos, Coke, Coleman, Cooke, Delta, Denton, Ector, Erath, Gregg, Hood,
Irion, Lee, Liberty, Montague, Nacogdoches, Palo Pinto, Rains, Somer-
vell, Stephens, Walker, Wise, and Young) and the completion of work
on twenty-nine others. Obviously with 254 counties in Texas there is a
long way to go, but the project's director believes that the survey can be
completed by g981. The inventorying process itself is carried out by faculty
members and their students at colleges and universities across the state in
cooperation with the project staff at North Texas State. When an instruc-
tor and his class agree to handle an inventory they are given an intensive
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101204/. Accessed September 16, 2014.