Brett J. Derbes, Ph.D.

Austin, TX


Brett J. Derbes was born in Opelousas, Louisiana, and grew up in Dallas-Fort Worth.  He began his undergraduate degree at Tarrant County College (TCC) and transferred to the University of North Texas (UNT), where he earned his B.A. and M.A. in History (2007, 2011).  He accepted an academic scholarship to Auburn University in Alabama, where he earned a Ph.D. in History (2018).  His research focuses on inmate labor at state penitentiaries in the Antebellum and Civil War South.

Dr. Derbes joined the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) as a member in 2008 and began working as a graduate student intern on the Handbook of Civil War Texas the following year.  He contributed thirty-six entries and helped fact-check other entries.  At Auburn University he was a graduate student assistant for the Encyclopedia of Alabama in 2012 and contributed twenty-three articles.  He also earned a certificate in Archival History and focused his research on Digital State Encyclopedia (DSE) projects.

His publications include chapters in Incarcerated Women: A History of Struggles, Oppression, and Resistance in American Prisons (2017), Reconsidering Southern Labor History: Race, Class, and Power (2018), as well as articles in the Journal of African American History, Louisiana History, and Alabama Review.

Dr. Derbes joined the TSHA Staff in June 2015 as Managing Editor of the Handbook of Texas.  In that role he manages all aspects of the Handbook and coordinates with project directors to continually expand and improve content. The role requires him to hire, train, and supervise interns, graduate students, and Handbook staff who work in the office and remotely. He participates in department and board meetings, as well as assigning, fact-checking, editing, revising, updating, and improving online entries focused on people, places, and events in Texas history. 

Dr. Derbes also teaches U.S. and Texas history courses online for Tyler Junior College as an adjunct professor.  He is married to Kimberly and they have a son, Alex.

Handbook Entries

Title Contributor Type
Abbott, Vincent Paul [Vinnie Paul] Author
Arkansas Post Author
Beeson, William Edward Author
Bingham, Francis Revision Author
Blackshear, Edward Lavoisier Revision Author
Bolling, Eugene S. Author
Box, Nelson A. Revision Author
Brooks, Samuel Houston Author
Carter, John Calvin Author
Cathey, William Henry Author
Charles, Isaac Newton Author
Cibolo Creek Ranch Author
Civil War Revision Author
Claren, Oscar von Revision Author
Cleveland, Larkin Green Author
Coffee, Aaron Revision Author
Craig, Washington de la Fayette Author
Crump, Richard Phillip Author
Dark, Joseph Neal Author
Dial, Hamilton C. Author
Diamond, William Winfield Author
Donelson, John Lawrence Author
Dove, Thomas J. Author
Earle, Thomas Revision Author
Ector, Wiley B. Author
Egbert, Daniel Author
Eleventh Texas Infantry Author
Eleventh Texas Infantry Battalion [Spaight’s] Author
Elmore, Henry Marshall Author
English, Levi Revision Author
Estes, William E. Author
Fisher, Rhoads H. Author
Fort Moritas Author
Gage, David Aaron Revision Author
Garland, Robert Rice Author
Grant, George W. Revision Author
Hampton, George James Author
Haynie, Samuel G. Revision Author
Helm, John Jackson [Jack] Marshall Revision Author
Kerr, William Penn Author
Liberty Bell Tour of Texas Author
Morgan, Hiram S. Author
Nathusius, Otto Author
Redwood, William H. Revision Author
Rodriguez, Andres S., Jr. Author
Samuel Huston College Revision Author
Scott, William Thomas Revision Author
Second Texas Cavalry Author
Secrest, Washington Hampton Revision Author
Shannon, William Russell Revision Author
Shaw, James B. Revision Author
Shelby, David Author
Siemering, August Revision Author
Sigler, William Nall Author
Singleton, George Washington Author
Sixteenth Texas Cavalry Author
Sixth Texas Infantry Author
Smith, Morgan L. Author
Smith, Niles F. Revision Author
Sneed, Thomas Eskridge Revision Author
St. Mary's Hall Revision Author
Stanley, John H. Stephen Revision Author
Staples, Sidney Lee Author
Stewart, James O., Jr. Author
Summers, William E. Revision Author
Sydnor, John Seabrook Revision Author
Texas Medical Association Revision Author
Thatcher, Thomas Author
Thirteenth Texas Cavalry Author
Thirty-Sixth Texas Cavalry Author
Thruston, Algernon Sidney Author
Twenty-Fourth Texas Cavalry Author
Van Zandt, Isaac Revision Author
Wallace, Caleb Author
Watson, John R. Author
Weaver, William Thomas Green Author
Wells, Francis Flournoy Revision Author
Westall, Thomas Author
Western, Thomas Gehot Revision Author
Whetstone, Peter Revision Author
Whiting, Samuel Author
Wilbarger, Mathias Author
Wooten, Goodall Harrison Author
Wooten, Thomas Dudley Author
Wortham, Louis J. Author
Wright, Edward Bingham Revision Author



Texas State Historical Association (TSHA)
3001 Lake Austin Blvd.
Ste. 3.116
Austin, TX 78703

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Office Phone

(512) 471-4537 (preferred)

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