House Photography records, 1971-1997

Texas Legislature, House of Representatives, House Photography:  An Inventory of House of Representatives House Photography Records at the Texas State Archives, 1971-1975, 1977-1979, 1981-1997

Organization History Scope and Contents Restrictions Related Materials

Overview

Creator: Texas. Legislature. House of Representatives. House Photography.
Title: House of Representatives House Photography records
Dates: 1971-1975, 1977-1979, 1981-1997
Abstract: The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas Senate), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power of the state. House Photography records contain black-and-white and color photographs, contact sheets, negatives, slides, letters received, photograph order forms, policy statements, and product manuals produced and collected by the House Photography department of the Texas House of Representatives, dating 1971-1975, 1977-1979, 1981-1997. Records are from the 62nd through 74th Legislative Session. The department accumulated these records in the course of its work to make photographic portraits of individual state representatives, to photograph events on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives and in other related entities of state government, and to provide photographs at the request of members.
Quantity: 100.24 cubic ft.
Language: English

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Other Finding Aids

A description of non-electronic records referenced in this finding aid are available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/20048/tsl-20048.html.


Organization of the Records

These records are organized into 14 series as listed below.

Links are provided only for those series that have digitized photographs held in the Texas Digital Archive. Series with digitized photographs may have material that has not yet been digitized.  More photos will be added as series are digitized.

  • Sixty-Second Legislature, 1971-1972, 2.16 cubic ft.
  • Sixty-Third Legislature, 1973-1974, 4.32 cubic ft.
  • Sixty-Fourth Legislature, 1975, 6.48 cubic ft.
  • Sixty-Fifth Legislature, 1977-1978, 6.24 cubic ft.
  • Sixty-Sixth Legislature, 1979, 5.76 cubic ft.
  • Sixty-Seventh Legislature, 1981-1982, 11.04 cubic ft. (paper, digital)
  • Sixty-Eighth Legislature, 1983-1984, 7.20 cubic ft.
  • Sixty-Ninth Legislature, 1985-1986, 11.04 cubic ft.
  • Seventieth Legislature, 1987-1988, 8.5 cubic ft.
  • Seventy-First Legislature, 1989-1990, 9.50 cubic ft.
  • Seventy-Second Legislature, 1991-1992, 10 cubic ft.
  • Seventy-Third Legislature, 1993-1994, 9 cubic ft.
  • Seventy-Fourth Legislature, 1995-1996, 9 cubic ft.
  • Seventy-Fifth Legislature, 1997, fractional

Agency History

The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas Senate), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power of the state. The primary legislative power is enacting laws, and the most visible function of the legislature is to make public policy through drafting, considering, and passing bills and resolutions. Biennially, the House of Representatives elects a speaker from its membership to serve as its presiding officer. The House of Representatives consists of 150 representatives elected in even-numbered years for two-year terms. A representative must be at least 21 years old, a qualified voter, and a resident of Texas for at least two years and of the district represented for at least one year immediately preceding election.

The legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday in January of odd-numbered years and in special sessions when convened by the governor. The length of the regular session is limited to 140 days. Special sessions are limited to 30 days, but there is no limit on the number of special sessions that may be called. Only legislative matters submitted by the governor may be considered in special session. All legislative sessions, except for the senate’s executive session, are open. Neither house may, without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days or move to a place other than where the legislature is sitting. Two-thirds of each house constitutes a quorum, the number of members required to conduct business. If a quorum is not present, a smaller number may vote to adjourn and compel absent members to attend. The house is required to keep and publish a journal of its proceedings and to record the vote on any question on which three members who are present demand an actual count of yeas and nays.

In the House of Representatives, administrative and clerical processes are determined by the Committee on House Administration, composed of nine representatives appointed by the speaker. The committee employs a chief clerk, who handles the day-to-day activities of Legislative Operations, and an executive director, who handles the day-to-day activities of House Business Operations. Together, they supervise the officers and employees in the conduct of their official duties.

House Photography began in 1971 during the 62nd Legislature as a part of Media Services, along with Recording Services. Dave Helfert served as Director of Media Services throughout the 1970s, followed by Jerry Huddleston. In the late 1980s, the department became House Reproduction and Photography to distinguish between the full range of photographic and printing services it provided to house members. In the early 1990s, Leo Schwartz served as Reproduction and Media Manager and Jack Minor served as Photography Manager while also being one of the staff photographers for the department. As of 2016, House Photography is a separate department within House Business Operations with Monti Perkins serving as director. Throughout the course of its work the department photographs events on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives and other related entities of state government, creates portraits of individual state representatives and provides photographs at the request of members.

(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); the Texas House of Representatives website, accessed on March 1, 2016; and the records themselves.)


Scope and Content of the Records

The Texas House of Representatives is one arm of the Legislature of the State of Texas (the other being the Texas Senate), which the Texas Constitution (Article III, Section 1) vests with all legislative power of the state. House Photography records contain black-and-white and color photographs, contact sheets, negatives, slides, letters received, photograph order forms, policy statements, and product manuals produced and collected by the House Photography department of the Texas House of Representatives, dating 1971-1975, 1977-1979, 1981-1997. Records are from the 62nd through 74th Legislative Session. The department accumulated these records in the course of its work to make photographic portraits of individual state representatives, to photograph events on the floor of the Texas House of Representatives and in other related entities of state government, and to provide photographs at the request of members. The images concern the following subjects: speeches, debates, ceremonies, and other business on the floor of the House of Representatives; the proceedings of legislative committees and state regulatory boards; the secretary of state; the legislative black caucus; staff members; sergeants; the children of representatives; the State Capitol building and its furnishings; and other special events. Negatives for photos related to a specific representative may often be found in the the member’s file, while the negatives for the “Floor Shots” and other general activities are housed separately.

For each legislative session except the 70th, House staff created a card index with an entry for each representative indicating each “Floor Shot” in which the member is included. The index for each session is filed in the inventory following the list of photographs for that session.

A number of the member files from the 62nd and 63rd Legislature (1971-1973) suffered water damage and were destroyed while in the custody of the House of Representatives. The files were lost for approximately half of the members of each of these two legislatures, starting with members with last names “A” (or “Speaker”) and so on, alphabetically. Check the folder inventory for the existence of a file for any specific representative.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.


Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on Access
Because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to: account numbers and financial information (Texas Government Code, Section 552.136), an archivist must review these records before they can be accessed for research. The records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552).  These restriction apply to the other material in the collection that has not been digitized.

Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).

The use of legislatively produced audio or visual materials in political advertising is prohibited (Texas Government Code, Section 306.005). In addition, commercial use of legislatively produced audio or visual material is limited (Texas Government Code, Section 306.006)


The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Photographs of some state representatives can also be found in other Prints and Photographs collections. Check the indexes under the session of the legislature and/or the name of the representative.
Current Events Photographic Documentation Program collection, 1962-1995, bulk 1973-1974, 1990-1992, 67.32 cubic ft.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation
(Identify the item and cite the series), Texas House of Representatives House Photography records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information
Accession numbers: 1990/187, 1991/060, 2007/070, 2013/161

These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas House of Representatives, Media Services, on July 20, 1990, and January 7, 1991, and from the Texas House of Representatives, House Photography on November 3, 2006 and October 12, 2012.

Processing Information
Melissa Nelson, April 2000
Hans Rasmussen, May 2001
Two new accessions added and DACS compliance by Halley Grogan, January 2016