The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977 Page: 456

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

tribution which provides new insights concerning the problems confront-
ing Great Plains commanders who were charged principally with adminis-
trative duties.
Sul Ross State University EARL H. ELAM
Book Notes
Valentine Overton King's Index to Books about Texas before 1889. (Facsimile;
Austin: Texas State Library, 1976. Pp. vii+328. Introduction, text, in-
dex. $17.)
Valentine Overton King served as Commissioner of the Department of In-
surance, Statistics, and History (which included the State Library) from 1876
through i88o. Although he had a personal interest in expanding the book
collection of the State Library, shortages of funds prevented his doing so; how-
ever, he was successful in obtaining numerous gifts of manuscripts. During the
decade of the I880s, while living in San Antonio, King read extensively in
his large personal collection of Texana and created a handwritten index of
people, places, and subjects in two large ledger books. Since sufficient space
had not always been allocated for a letter in the first volume, he found it
necessary to continue the indexing in a second. Usually King indicated the
appropriate pages in the second volume. Although the State Library was
given King's collection in 1904, it did not receive the index until 1973. Sub-
sequently the Library decided to publish a facsimile to honor the centennial
of King's appointment.
Apparently in an attempt to make King's work more useful, the Library pre-
pared a single alphabetical list of subjects indexed. Other improvements would
have been welcome. Printing all the pages containing references to a given
letter of the alphabet together rather than retaining the two volume concept
would have helped. An alphabetical list of the books indexed would make it
considerably easier to determine whether a particular work was among the
297 titles indexed by King. Nevertheless this volume is a necessity for all
libraries which collect Texana and should be seriously considered by any
private collector.


Texas A&M University


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 80, July 1976 - April, 1977, periodical, 1976/1977; Austin, Texas. ( accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.