Monday, August 12, 2013

Supreme Court Records at the Texas State Archives

The Texas State Library and Archives Commission recently posted the following:
Disputes over land and slaves in pre-Civil War Texas are among the courtroom conflicts recorded in the 19th century case files of the Texas Supreme Court. These records capture not only state legal history, but also social and cultural life during the Republic and early statehood years. Today, they reside in the Texas State Archives, which is in the midst of a long-term preservation project aimed at providing researchers with improved access to these fragile yet revealing records.

Thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Texas Historical Foundation (THF) in 2012, the State Archives, which is part of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, initiated a comprehensive conservation and indexing project with the goal of preserving these aged documents for future scanning and the subsequent creation of an online database.


giuliana said...

I reviewed many of these documents last year. The staff at the Texas State Archive was wonderful, and the documents themselves are in good shape. Unfortunately, the record is incomplete. What this post doesn't share is the incredible circumstances surrounding these case files. Many of these documents were stolen by a janitor in the 1970s - especially those having to do with slavery. By the time the thief was apprehended, he had sold the files to collectors. Recently, the Texas State Archive has undertaken the difficult and time consuming process of recovering the lost items. This often requires costly litigation, since many of the people who have the files now are unwilling to return them to the state. This story is worth following!

Dan Ernst said...

Thank you very much for your comment. Talk about burying the lede!