Author Information

Propose a New Topic

We have aimed for comprehensive coverage in the Handbook of Texas, but there's a lot to say about the Lone Star State. If you know of a topic or category we should consider adding, please use this form to tell us more about it. Propose a new topic.

Propose a New Entry

Generally speaking, we take a broad and flexible approach toward evaluating potential entries. But there is one fixed rule: biographical entries are limited to individuals who are deceased. Beyond that, we're interested in entries that help our readers understand the historical development of all aspects of Texas. We're looking forward to hearing from you! Propose a new entry.

Author Agreement Form

If you are an author and you are considering writing entries for the Handbook of Texas then you must review and submit the Author Agreement Form.

Research Guidelines

The editors have prepared guidelines for authors. These list details that should, if possible, appear in every entry of a given genre—the spouse's name or the subject's death date in a biography, for instance, or the date of founding in a community history. The genres vary widely, from county and community histories to organizations and institutions to newspapers and miscellaneous historical events. The reader who explores the Handbook will soon glean what the guidelines require in most entry types. If guideline information does not appear in an entry, that fact means that it was unavailable, not that it was not sought. The guidelines in general require, for instance, that books, plays, movies, paintings, and other works be dated by year in the text. But occasionally it is impossible to discover when a book was published or when a painting was done. Despite the best efforts of authors and staff members, the birth or death date or parents' names of a biographical subject have sometimes eluded the editors' grasp.

List of Author Guidelines: .pdf

Source Materials and Bibliographies

In the course of researching and editing entries on communities and physical features, the editorial staff of the Handbook of Texas found that many of the same sources were used in virtually every entry of a given type. With this in mind, editors developed a “standard bibliography” for various genres. Those works that form the "standard bibliography" for a given genre are listed here rather than at the end of each entry.

Entries on geographic features, including water features, reference the following sources: Bureau of Economic Geology, University of Texas at Austin, Vegetation Types of Texas map; General Land Office, land grant maps; State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, general highway maps; Water for Texas: A Comprehensive Plan for the Future (Austin: Texas Department of Water Resources, 1984); C. L. Dowell and R. G. Petty, Engineering Data on Dams and Reservoirs in Texas (Texas Water Development Board Report 126 [3 pts., Austin, 1971-74]); United States Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service and Texas Agricultural Experiment Station, general soil maps; United States Department of the Interior Geological Survey, topographical maps and State of Texas 1:500,000 Map.

Entries on towns, counties, and railroads reference the following sources, as applicable: all relevant maps listed for geographic features; John Clements, Flying the Colors: Texas, a Comprehensive Look at Texas Today, County by County (Dallas: Clements Research, 1984); Charles Deaton, Texas Postal History Handbook (Houston, 1980; 2d ed. 1981); John J. Germann and Myron Janzen, Texas Post Offices by County (1986–); Historical Marker Files, Texas Historical Commission, Austin; Fred I. Massengill, Texas Towns: Origin of Name and Location of Each of the 2,148 Post Offices in Texas (Terrell, Texas, 1936); S. G. Reed, A History of the Texas Railroads and of Transportation Conditions under Spain and Mexico and the Republic and the State (Houston: St. Clair, 1941; rpt., New York: Arno Press, 1981); Fred Tarpley, 1001 Texas Place Names (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1980); Texas Almanac; Texas State Gazetteer and Business Directory (Chicago: R. L. Polk, 1884, 1890, 1892, 1896, 1914); Texas State Library, Archives Division: School Superintendent Reports; Texas State Department Railroad Charters; Texas State Library, Genealogy Division: County Tax Rolls; United States Bureau of the Census: United States Census of Agriculture, United States Census of Population, United States Census of Manufacturing; United States Postal Route Maps for the State of Texas; Charles P. Zlatkovich, Texas Railroads: A Record of Construction and Abandonment (Austin: University of Texas Bureau of Business Research, 1981).

For all categories of entries, we have taken an abbreviated approach to citing some online sources. In the interest of managing the clarity of bibliographies, we have only included the link for the home webpage or the search engine webpage for some website citations. This has been done primarily for those websites with reasonably clear links to the information or for searchable websites such as genealogical databases which often require starting from the search engine webpage to locate the record.

The bibliographies at the ends of entries in the Handbook amount to thousands of items. Ideally, each bibliography gives some guidance to sources, suggests further secondary reading, and leads the reader to primary sources. In most cases, no attempt has been made to give all the available references. The goal, rather, has been to list works through which a more complete bibliography can be reached. In many cases, however, the paucity of available materials is reflected in a lean bibliography that may in fact include all of the published sources on a given topic. The editors sometimes also list localized primary sources. The Handbook also frequently cites primary collections of papers or manuscripts when they are accessible in archives.

Many entries lack bibliographies. Most do so because they are based only on the "standard" sources listed above for communities, physical features, and railroads. A substantial number do so because no published, extant, "bibliographable" material is available. Entries about publications sometimes lack bibliographies because the bibliography is intrinsic to the subject; an entry on a scholarly journal, for instance, may be based on nothing but the journal itself. In general, entries about institutions that publish regular reports on themselves—college catalogs, for example—do not cite those reports, though the reader may assume they were consulted. When a work is cited in the text of an entry, the editors as a rule do not cite it again at the end. In biographies, works of the subjects are generally not listed in the bibliographies unless they are autobiographical.

Inevitably, in a large project one encounters apparently reliable but dateless and authorless sources—informational leaflets, local reports in the form of manuscripts or mimeographs, unpublished correspondence in private hands, even records in family Bibles. Generally these types of sources are not listed in bibliographies, though there are sometimes exceptions. Every entry in the Handbook, however, is represented by a file in the offices of the Texas State Historical Association, where the whole bibliographical story behind the entry is available.

Author Exit Survey Form

The Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) and the Handbook of Texas appreciate your written contribution, and assistance with preserving Texas History. Upon submitting an entry we would appreciate your feedback. Author Exit Survey