October is American Archives Month, an effort around the nation to emphasize the importance of archives and preserving records of enduring value. In celebration of American Archives Month, the Legislative Reference Library (LRL) is proud to highlight its role in managing the records of the Texas Legislature. These include the original legislative bill files, records of House, Senate, and Joint committees, and the records of former members of the Texas Legislature.
With the passage of HB 1962, 86th Legislature, R.S. (2019), and HB 4181, 86th Legislature, R.S. (2019), the LRL became the depository for archival legislative records within the state of Texas. Since November 2019, staff at the LRL have been working hard to collect, organize, and describe legislative records, ensuring their preservation and availability for research. Below are just some of the accomplishments staff at the LRL have been able to achieve:
- The LRL has received and accessioned over 9,100 cubic feet of records. Accessioning archival records involves taking intellectual and physical custody of the materials. It also includes labeling the materials with a unique accession number so that they can be systematically tracked and located.
- Original bill files from the 1st through 62nd Legislatures (1846–1972) were also transferred to the LRL, completing our bill file collection. Staff at the LRL continue to scan the original bill files and make them available through our Legislative Archive System. The status of this project is available on our website.
- Our staff has also been inventorying records as they are accessioned and as they are reviewed for research requests. Currently, a total of 1,358 cubic feet have been inventoried.
- The LRL has worked to complete the transfer of the records of some members of the Texas Legislature to alternative depositories under Government Code, Section 324.0086. To date, the LRL has signed agreements with nine depositories, totaling 787.80 cubic feet of records.
The LRL is dedicated to safeguarding the records of the Texas Legislature and making them available for research. We will continue to provide updates and will begin publishing information related to the collections within our holdings as soon as it is available. Current information about our management of legislative records is available under the Legislative Records tab on our website. If you have any questions about the archival records within our holdings, please feel free to contact us directly.
Cover Image: American Archives Month image: http://files.archivists.org/advocacy/AAM/Graphics/InstaSocial800x800.jpg