The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938 Page: 114
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
ment. Here, too, is a record of twenty-nine marriage bonds, agree-
ments, or contracts, entered into because no priests were available
to perform a legal ceremony. Under the heading of "Estates" is
a record of the papers in fifty-six probate cases, including such
names as Stephen F. Austin, James W. Fannin, and William B.
Travis. In view of the general assumption that judicial machinery
was lacking in colonial Texas, it is interesting to note that seventy-
seven pages are required merely to list the cases brought before
the courts of this municipality alone. The general index lists the
names of approximately seven hundred individuals on whom infor-
mation may be found in these records. In a carefully prepared
introduction, the compilers of this inventory present a brief but
adequate historical sketch of the municipality, together with an
analysis of its governmental organization and records system, and
offer pertinent suggestions concerning the housing, care, and acces-
sibility of the materials. Obviously, these inventories will prove
to be invaluable for both the historian and the professional man.
Texas is to be congratulated upon the intelligent and efficient way
in which the work has been begun, and Mr. Ike Moore, the state
supervisor, and his staff should be given every possible encourage-
ment in their efforts to carry it to completion.
When one looks beyond the purely local significance of such
an inventory, and undertakes to visualize it in its larger setting,
it is somewhat startling to realize that it is merely a single infini-
tesimal item in the monumental compilation which is being made
for the country as a whole. If the inventories for other counties
and in other states maintain the standard set by this one, it seems
safe to predict that the completion of the nation-wide project will
have a lasting influence upon historical scholarship in this country.
Paradoxically, it will make the work of the historian less difficult
in that he can obtain more complete information concerning the
location of his source materials, and more difficult because of the
enormous increase in the bulk of material that can no longer be
ignored if he hopes to approach finality in his work. More spe-
cifically, it will undoubtedly contribute toward bringing a reali-
zation of the importance of local records as a basis for research.
Equally inportant is the fact that it will create what might be
called an "archives consciousness" among both public officials and
the general public, and if this accomplishes nothing more than an
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 41, July 1937 - April, 1938, periodical, 1938; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101103/m1/122/: accessed January 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.