Texas State Library and Archives Commission

By: Dick Smith

Type: General Entry

Published: 1976

Updated: August 1, 1995

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission, originally known as the Texas State Library and Historical Commission, was established by the legislature in 1909 to supervise the Texas State Library. It was composed of three members appointed by the governor, serving with two ex officio members-the state superintendent of public instruction and the head of the school of history at the University of Texas. The second called session of the Thirty-sixth Legislature in 1919 revised the law to give the governor the power to appoint all five members of the commission. The commission then appointed a director and librarian to head the agency. The Texas State Library and Historical Commission was empowered to control and administer the Texas State Library, to collect materials relating to the history of Texas and adjoining states, to publish manuscript archives, to spread knowledge in regard to the history of Texas, to mark historic sites and houses and secure their preservation, to aid in studying problems of legislation, to advise persons contemplating the establishment of public libraries, to conduct library institutes, to encourage library associations, to administer the records of the several state departments, and to ascertain and report to the governor the condition of all public libraries in Texas. The Texas State Library and Historical Commission, composed of five members up until 1953, was that year increased to six members, all appointed by the governor for six-year terms of office. In 1979 the Texas legislature changed the agency name to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Texas Library Association, Handbook of Texas Libraries, 1–4 (Austin, 1904–35). Catherine Young, The History of the Texas State Library (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1932).

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Dick Smith, “Texas State Library and Archives Commission,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 26, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/texas-state-library-and-archives-commission.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 1, 1995