The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991 Page: 475
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For those of us who mine the Bexar Archives regularly, one of our
fondest wishes has been for a handy guide to the collection that would
allow us indexed access to its holdings. That wish has now come true.
Within limitations clearly spelled out in the introduction, Adan Benavi-
des has accomplished a marvel of manuscript referencing that will
make using the Bexar Archives infinitely easier.
As with all indexes and calendars, Benavides's work is not compre-
hensive, but that is neither a goal nor a necessity. Culling information
from the original calendar to the Bexar Archives compiled in the late
196os, Mr. Benavides has selected 30,ooo documents (out of a total of
over 8o,ooo) for inclusion in the Name Guide. These he has listed alpha-
betically by author and given a brief description of the contents, places,
dates, as well as the location within the microfilm edition of the collec-
tion. At the end of the volume, a subject index provides a research tool
as useful as the name guide section that forms its bulk. Extensive cross-
references, sorting out of variants, and corrections of minor errors
round out the guide's main features.
A number of other features enhance the book's usefulness. Appen-
dices list the inclusive dates of the microfilm reels and places in the re-
gion whose names have changed since colonial times. There is also an
extensive glossary of common Spanish terms. Except for some minor
omissions and incomplete definitions, the glossary should prove useful
even to experienced researchers.
The carefully written introduction provides the prospective re-
searcher with ample warning about what is and what is not included in
the Name Guide. It is also a brief historical essay on the nature of the
Bexar Archives and how they came to rest at the University of Texas at
Austin. There are a few lapses in the work. For instance, the criteria for
entry selection could have been presented a little more clearly. Also, the
entry description would have served the work better placed in a sepa-
rate section following the introduction. The description, in turn, would
have benefited from an illustration highlighting the various entry
parts. Moreover, the list of place name abbreviations would have been
better off at the end of the introduction and not in an appendix. These,
however, are only minor complaints.
Indeed, it would seem that Adin Benavides has done everything
short of rearranging the Bexar Archives into its original components in
order to make the collection more accessible. The Bxar Archives, 71 7-
1836: A Name Guzde, is a powerful and elegant research tool that will
not easily be surpassed.
Texas General Land Office
JEs F. DE LA TEJA
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 94, July 1990 - April, 1991, periodical, 1991; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101214/m1/539/: accessed June 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.