ROBERT C. COTNER, Editor
The University of Texas Archives: A Guide to the Historical Manu-
scripts Collections in the University of Texas Library. Compiled
and edited by Chester V. Kielman. Preface by Dora Dietrich Bon-
ham. Austin (University of Texas Press), 1967. Pp. xxx+594.
Appendices, index. $25.00.
Eugene C. Barker used to relate an experience he had on an occasion
when seeking by letter some information from the archivists of a large
collection. They replied that they had a substantial amount of material
in the general field in which he was working and would be glad to
supply him with transcripts if he would let them know just what he
wanted. He could only write them that he could not tell them what
he wanted until he knew what they had; would they be good enough
to send him some account of their holdings. After the exchange of
several letters and a delay of weeks he finally got what he was seeking.
Thus, a great collection may be of little value to a researcher unless
he has some way of knowing what is in it.
Certainly preparing and publishing a guide to the greatest collection
of Texana extant is an accomplishment of magnitude, the most impor-
tant step to aid research in Texas history since the publication of the
Handbook of Texas in 1952.
The Archives loom great both in the history of the University of
Texas and for history in Texas. The repository was established in 1899
by Lester G. Bugbee, the talented historian who died young, and
George P. Garrison, the first Texas historian to attain renown. They
started by securing the Bexar Archives, the monumental collection of
Spanish material that has been only partly exploited after two-thirds
of a century. Soon the Austin Papers were acquired and transcripts
from the Mexican National Archives were added from time to time.
Near the turn of the century Eugene C. Barker took up the
cause of the Archives and through his long and distinguished career
as a teacher and scholar devoted to them considerable time and energy.
Barker was instrumental in the employment of J. Evetts Haley, who
for several years gathered source material far and wide.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/. Accessed May 23, 2015.