The Texas State Historical Association began publication of a historical journal, the Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, in July 1897. During more than a century of existence, the Quarterly has established itself as an important venue for the promotion and understanding of Texas history. Throughout the journal’s history, its editors sought to ensure the state’s past is understood in broad contexts (as reflected in the name Southwestern Historical Quarterly) that do not end at its borders.
George P. Garrison, the first editor, served until his death on July 3, 1910. Garrison was the first in a long line of editors who were scholars of Texas history on the faculty in the history department at the University of Texas at Austin. Shortly after Garrison’s death, Eugene C. Barker, who had become associate editor with the issuance of Volume 8 (1904–05), became editor. Under the influence of pioneering borderlands scholar Herbert Eugene Bolton, who served as the publication’s associate editor before he accepted a job at the University of California in 1909, a new name for the publication was approved in March 1912 and took effect with the July 1912 issue, the first number of Volume 15. The editorship remained in Barker's hands until the completion of Volume 40 in April 1937, with Bolton serving as co-editor from Volumes 16 through 40, when the executive council named professors Charles W. Hackett, Rudolph L. Biesele, and Walter P. Webb as editors, with Hackett as managing editor. With Volume 43 (1939–40) Webb became editor, and with Volume 46 (1942–43) H. Bailey Carroll joined him as managing editor. Webb resigned in 1946, and Volume 50 (1946–47) appeared under the editorship of Carroll, who served as editor from 1946 to 1966 and was succeeded by Joe B. Frantz at the Association's seventieth annual meeting in 1966. Frantz instituted the use of an illustration on the cover and changed the name of the “Texas Collection,” a section of miscellany started by Webb, to the “Southwestern Collection.” L. Tuffly Ellis became editor in 1977, James Pohl in 1985, and Ron Tyler in 1986. Tyler served as editor until the final issue of Volume 108 (April 2005). Randolph B. Campbell, a professor of history at the University of North Texas, became editor with the inception of Volume 109 (July 2005), a position he held during the Texas State Historical Association’s relocation to Denton (2008–15). Campbell’s tenure as editor ended with the publication of the last issue of Volume 120 (April 2017), by which time the Association had returned to Austin and the University of Texas. The first issue of Volume 121 (July 2017) saw University of Texas history professor Walter L. Buenger assume editorship. Book reviews have appeared in the Quarterly since the beginning of Volume 2 (July 1898), and the publication has listed a book review editor, beginning with Rudolph L. Biesele, since the October 1947 issue (Volume 51, number 2). Articles published in the Quarterly won the Western History Association’s Michael P. Malone Award for the best article, essay, or commentary on state, provincial, or territorial history in North America appearing in a periodical publication in 2001, 2005, and 2015.
A cumulative index of Volumes 1 through 40 (July 1897-April 1937) was published in 1950. A cumulative index of Volumes 41 through 60 (July 1937-April 1957) was published in 1960. The first fifty-four volumes of the Quarterly were reprinted in 1968. Other indexes for Volumes 60 through 80 were published in 1980 and 1984. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly is offered primarily as benefit of membership of the Texas State Historical Association. Volumes are available electronically through the University of North Texas Libraries’ Portal to Texas History and through institutions subscribing to JSTOR and Project MUSE. Additionally, members can access the Quarterly electronically through the Association’s Digital Library.