Members Only Area
Bookmark and Share
sidebar menu icon

Handbook of Tejano History

Announcing the Handbook of Tejano History Project

History professors Emilio Zamora, University of Texas, and Andrés Tijerina, Austin Community College, are co-directing a one-year initiative to increase the number of Tejano and Mexican American entries in the Handbook of Texas Online. They are currently identifying academic and non-academic researchers to prepare new articles on historically significant men and women, events, places, organizations, and themes.

The online Handbook, the nation's preeminent state history encyclopedia, presently contains more than 26,000 articles and attracts well over 1,000,000 visitors per month from more than 200 countries and territories around the world.

More than twenty-five years have passed since the TSHA made an initial effort to increase the number of Handbook articles on Mexican Americans. Since then, researchers have made significant progress in Mexican American history and have helped to expand public and professional interest in the field. The Handbook of Tejano History Project intends to capitalize on this growth and interest by generating new entries and producing an authoritative, encyclopedic resource on Tejano history that will remain a standard source of information for decades.

The new entries will be subjected to a rigorous review for inclusion and will adhere to the high standards of scholarship evident in the Handbook of Texas. They will compare favorably with existing articles, including biographical pieces by Dr. Cynthia E. Orozco on such historical figures as Petra Vela de Vidal Kenedy, a rancher and philanthropist of the nineteenth century, and Alonso Perales, a co-founder of the League of United Latin American Citizens. Thanks to these well-written scholarly entries, the general public as well as public school students and university researchers can come to understand the importance of Mexican Americans in Texas history.

Vela de Vidal Kenedy, for instance, figured prominently in the development of the cattle industry in the Texas-Mexico region and in the story of international conflict and ethnic strife in South Texas. She was also generous with her wealth: her obituary notes that "the poor never appealed to her in vain and their wants were often anticipated." Perales, on the other hand, helped usher in an ethnic form of politics that made constitutional claims for equal rights during the middle of the twentieth century. According to Orozco, he was "one of the most influential Mexican Americans of his time … a defender of la raza, especially battling charges that Mexicans were an inferior people and a social problem."

We invite contributors to author articles, suggest new topics, or simply spread the word about the Handbook of Tejano History Project to their colleagues and students. Contributors do not have to be faculty researchers to contribute an article. All that is required is an interest and ability in conducting thorough research, preparing a well-written article, and providing appropriate source documentation. Indeed, we encourage college professors to conduct graduate-level research seminars to generate submissions.

The following documents are meant to assist potential contributors prepare articles for the Handbook of Tejano History Project

If you are interested in authoring a new entry as part of the Handbook of Tejano History Project, please fill out this Tejano article proposal form. It will be reviewed by the project co-directors, who will contact you if the proposal is approved.

If you do not wish to author an article, but would like to suggest a topic that does not already appear in the Handbook of Texas Online, please fill out this Tejano topic suggestion form.

*Be Advised: Article Submissions Will Not be Accepted Without Prior Approval*

If you have any questions, or wish to inquire about a possible topic, contact us:

Emilio Zamora, Professor of History

University of Texas at Austin


Andrés Tijerina, Professor of History

Austin Community College

(512) 223-8137

The Handbook of Tejano History Project has been made possible due to generous support from Tejano Monument, Inc., the Department of History at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Texas State Historical Association.