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New Governor Inauguration Exhibit

On January 20, Greg Abbott will be sworn in as Texas' 45th governor


Like his predecessors, he will deliver an inaugural address to a joint session of the House and Senate, and festivities will be held throughout the day to celebrate his inauguration.


To commemorate this event, the Library has prepared a new exhibit highlighting Greg Abbott's inaugural festivities, as well as those of former Texas governors Rick Perry, Ann Richards, and W. Lee 'Pappy' O'Daniel.  Many of the items featured in the exhibit can be seen in our online collection of gubernatorial inauguration materials.


A photo of the library's new exhibit featuring Texas gubernatorial inaugurations.


If you are interested in the work of past governors, the library's governor documents database is a good place to start. You can find things like:

  • State budgets that past governors have proposed.
  • Emergency matters that past governors have submitted to the Texas Legislature.
  • Speeches delivered by past governors, including State of the State speeches and inaugural addresses.
  • Executive orders of past governors.
  • Bills vetoed by past governors.

If you're looking for something specific and are unable to find it, the library can provide further assistance.  Please contact us at (512) 463-1252.


A view up Congress Avenue during the W. Lee 'Pappy' O'Daniel inauguration.

A photo from the exhibit showing Congress Avenue during the inauguration of W. Lee 'Pappy' O'Daniel in 1939.


New Legislative Desk Exhibit

The Library invites you to view its newest exhibit, "Legislative 'Desk' of Rep. Charles B. Metcalf - 1918." The exhibit displays what might have been found on the desk of Rep. Charles B. Metcalfe as he witnessed the passage of his historic bill on women's suffrage in primary elections. House Bill 105, 35th Legislature, 4th Called Session, was the first bill on woman's suffrage to pass the Texas Legislature. It was approved by the governor on March 26, 1918.

The display includes reprintings of the original House Bill 105; Metcalf family photographs; postcard scenes from the early decades of the 1900s in Tom Green County, Rep. Metcalfe's home district; and World War I posters, calendars, and a savings certificate. Also displayed are re-creations of stationery used by members of the Texas House of Representatives in 1918; desk supplies invoking the feel of the era; an original Capitol spitoon; an invitation based on a 1917 newspaper ad in the Corsicana Daily Sun, and a calling card utilizing designs from other political officials around the time period.

Photos in the exhibit were provided courtesty of the Tom Green County Historical Society Collection, West Texas Collection, Angelo State University, San Angelo, Texas, as well as the State Preservation Board, Austin, Texas.

Rep. Charles B. Metcalf.
The library invites you to view its latest exhibit: Legislative Desk of Rep. Charles B. Metcalfe.


New Books, Week of December 10th

The library adds new books to its collection every week. Here are six books recently added.

Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison, by Nell Bernstein (2014).
"In this clear-eyed indictment of a failed institution—the juvenile detention facility—award-winning journalist Nell Bernstein shows that there is no right way to lock up a child."

Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America, by William H. Frey (2014).
"Through a compelling narrative and eye-catching charts and maps, eminent demographer Frey interprets and expounds on the dramatic growth of minority populations in the U.S. He finds that without these expanding groups, America could face a bleak future: this new generation of young minorities, who are having children at a faster rate than whites, is infusing our aging labor force with vitality and innovation."

In the Common Interest: Embracing the New American Community, by John Carona (2014).
"[This book] explains how the modern community association benefits not only residents but also the country at large. [The author] outlines the pros and cons of these communities, plus prescriptive advice for how we can make them even better."

Lone Star Nation: How Texas Will Transform America, by Richard Parker (2014).
"Richard Parker takes the reader on a tour across today's booming Texas, an evolving landscape that is densely urban, overwhelmingly Hispanic, exceedingly powerful in the global economy, and increasingly liberal."

A Race for the Future: How Conservatives Can Break the Liberal Monopoly on Hispanic Americans, by Mike Gonzalez (2014).
"[This book] reveals exactly how bureaucratic decisions that encourage public assistance and discourage assimilation hinder Hispanics and allow them to be politically monopolized by progressives."

A Wicked War: Polk, Clay, Lincoln, and the 1846 U.S. Invasion of Mexico, by Amy Greenberg (2012).
"It is a story of Indian fights, Manifest Destiny, secret military maneuvers, gunshot wounds, and political spin. Along the way it captures a young Lincoln mismatching his clothes, the lasting influence of the Founding Fathers, the birth of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and America’s first national antiwar movement."



New Texas Books in our Collection

The library adds new books to its collection every week. Here are six Texas-themed books recently added.

Going to Texas: Five Centuries of Texas Maps, presented by the Center for Texas Studies at TCU (2007).
"These maps tell us much about the geography of Texas, but also about its economics, social milieu, history, politics, foreign policy and politics at given moments in history … In doing so, they provide a window into the things that make Texas unique." (Website)

Historic Texas: An Illustrated Chronicle of Texas' Past, by Archie P. McDonald (1996).
"This is a look at the events, the cultures, the well-known and perhaps not-so-well-known happenings, politics and actions that influenced the growth and changes that have become your area." (Website)

Texas: Mapping the Lone Star State Through History, by Vincent Virga and Don Blevins (2010).
"Combining 50 rare, beautiful, and diverse maps of Texas from the collections of the Library of Congress, informative captions about the origins and contents of those maps, and essays on Lone Star State history, this book is a collectible for cartography buffs and a celebration of state history for residents, former residents, and visitors." (Website) [Book does not circulate]

Notable Men and Women of Spanish Texas, by Donald E. Chipman and Harriett Denise Joseph (1999).
"By combining dramatic, real-life incidents, biographical sketches, and historical background, the authors bring to life famous (and sometimes infamous) people of Spanish Texas." (Website)

Texas: Crossroads of North America, by Jesús F. de la Teja, Paula Marks, and Ron Tyler (2004).
"Incorporating the latest scholarship, this text chronicles the development of the political, economic, and social identity of Texas through the unique insight of three authors. The thematically arranged text covers the full scope of Spanish exploration and colonization efforts, as well as the transformation of the Texas economy and society in the 20th century." (Website)

William Barret Travis: A Biography, by Archie P. McDonald (1995).
"[This book] is the first scholarly biography of the legendary Alamo commander … [It] is an in-depth study that searches for an understanding of Travis' character and multifaceted personality. The result is an exciting and entertaining, but above all contemplative analysis of Travis and the Texas War for Independence." (Website)


Texas Penal Code Revision Research Guide

The library is pleased to announce the addition of Texas Penal Code Revision Research Guide to our online collection of statutory revision material. The guide provides information on sources available for legislative intent research for the Texas Penal Code as enacted in 1973. That enactment was the culmination of a substantial revision process conducted by the Texas Penal Code Revision Project, a collaborative effort of the Texas Bar Association and the Texas Legislative Council, from 1965 to 1973. The Guide includes information about the revision process; a timeline; a chronological list of documents related to the revision; a list of documents organized by Penal Code section; and other resources.

Highlights from our Collection

The library adds new books to its collection every week. Here are several books recently added.

Getting Life: An Innocent Man's 25-Year Journey from Prison to Peace, by Michael Morton (2014).
"He spent twenty-five years in prison for a crime he did not commit. He lost his wife, his son, and his freedom. This is the story of how Michael Morton finally got justice—and a second chance at life." (Publisher's website)

The Second Amendment: A Biography, by Michael Waldman (2014).
"At a time of renewed debate over guns in America, what does the Second Amendment mean? This book looks at history to provide some surprising, illuminating answers." (Publisher's website)


Constitutional Brinksmanship: Amending the Constitution, Russell L. Caplan (1988).
"In this first systematic study of the legal problems relating to the convention clause, Russell Caplan shows that repeated constitutional crises have given rise to state drives for a national convention nearly every twenty years since the Constitution was enacted." (Publisher's website)

Texas Law of Streets and Alleys: A Handbook, by Kenneth L. Bennight, Jr. (2014).
"Who owns the streets? Is there a difference between streets and alleys or between urban streets and rural roads? ... What limits are there on cities' discretion? These questions and more are answered in this convenient handbook. If you represent a city or are a city official or if you deal with cities or represent people who do, this handbook will help you in your work." (Publisher's website)

Rough Country: How Texas Became America's Most Powerful Bible-Belt State, by Robert Wuthnow (2014).
"Tracing the intersection of religion, race, and power in Texas from Reconstruction through the rise of the Religious Right and the failed presidential bid of Governor Rick Perry, Rough Country illuminates American history since the Civil War in new ways, demonstrating that Texas’ story is also America’s." (Publisher's website)

A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest, by William DeBuys (2013).
"The Southwest continues to be the fastest-growing and one of the most urban regions in the country--the book addresses whether or not its oasis-based culture will be able to continue. " (Publisher's website)


Paschal's Digest Now Online

George Washington Paschal
George W. Paschal
Image courtesy of Texas State Library & Archives Commission

The library is pleased to announce the addition of Paschal's Digest to our online offerings of historic Texas laws. Published in 1866 by George Paschal, the Digest is often regarded as the first successful, helpful compilation of Texas laws. The Digest also served as the basis for the first complete official codification of Texas statutes, adopted in 1879.

Researchers who trace the history of Texas statutes are familiar with Paschal's Digest, which is abbreviated in legislative history annotations as "P.D.__"

The LRL would like to thank the Tarlton Law Library at the University of Texas at Austin for their participation in this project.



New to Our Website

This monthly post highlights new content recently added to the library's website.
Interim Charges
The library's interim charges page is updated with all House and Senate interim charges that have been issued for the 83rd Legislature.
Session Laws of the 83rd Legislature:
  • Session laws and chapter numbers for legislation from the 83rd Legislature are now available within the Legislative Archive System (LAS).
Committee Minutes:
Scanned versions of committee minutes can be accessed on our website. Recent additions include:

New Pinterest Board - Women's Firsts

The library has a new Pinterest board highlighting historic firsts of women in the Texas legislative community.  Learn about trailblazers such as Edith Wilmans and Barbara Jordan, two women who lived in different times but made great strides for women's history. Wilmans was the first woman to serve in the Texas legislature, and Jordan was the first African-American woman to serve. The board also focuses on lesser-known individuals, such as the first woman to chair a House committee, the first woman to filibuster in the Texas Senate, and the first woman to serve as a legislative officer.  We invite you to view the board at:
Image of Pinterest board on Women's Firsts in the Texas legislative community.

New to Our Website

This monthly post highlights new content recently added to the library's website.
The following House and Senate Journals have been added to our online collection:
  • 71st Regular and Called Sessions (1989-90) – House and Senate Journals
  • 73rd Regular Session (1993) – House and Senate Journals
Our interim charges page is updated with all House and Senate interim charges that have been issued for the 83rd Legislature.
The Library’s new Water Resources Research Guide offers a comprehensive bibliography of resources related to water, including water-related agencies, organizations, databases, and research aids, as well as citations to articles and reports published between 2008 and 2014.
Bill Files:
Our Legislative Archive System now contains historical bill files for the 36th Regular and Called Sessions (1919-20).
Recent additions from the 65th Legislature (1977) include minutes and documentation from the Joint Interim Committee on Special Education. This committee was established pursuant to SCR 111, 65th R.S., and held hearings all across the state in 1978.

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