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Restrictions and Requirements

Texas Digital Archive Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on Access

Some electronic records are not available through our online portal because they may contain restricted information.

Records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552). Researchers may request an interview with an archivist or submit a request by mail (Texas State Library and Archives Commission, P.O. Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711), fax (512-463-5436), email (director.librarian@tsl.texas.gov), or see our web page (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/agency/customer/pia.html).

Requests should include enough description and detail about the information sought to enable TSLAC to accurately identify and locate relevant and responsive records.

If the reviewer identifies information that may be excepted by the Public Information Act, TSLAC must seek an open records decision from the Texas Attorney General before records can be released. The Public Information Act permits up to ten working days after receiving a request to make this determination. The Attorney General has 45 working days to render a decision. Alternatively, TSLAC can inform researchers of the nature of the information under review and if the researcher agrees, that information can be redacted or removed and researchers can access the remainder of the records.

The following types of information are restricted under Texas Government Code, Section 552.301(a) previous determinations. To date, TSLAC routinely redacts or removes:

  • social security numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.147)
  • certain email addresses (Texas Government Code, Section 552.137)
  • certain addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers and personal family information for a peace officer (Texas Government Code, Section 552.117(a)(2))
  • account numbers and access device numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.136)
  • driver’s license numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.130)
  • financial information (Texas Government Code, Section 552.136)
  • certain categories of information protected under common law privacy (Texas Government Code, Section 552.101) in conjunction with other parts of the code, including Texas Government Code, Section 551.104 (certified agendas and tapes of closed meetings); Texas Government Code, Section 560.003 (fingerprints); and dates of birth (Paxton v. City of Dallas, No. 03-13-00546-CV, 2015 WL 3394061)

For additional information regarding these previous determinations, please review Open Records Decision No. 670 and Open Records Decision No. 684, available on the Texas Attorney General’s website.

Records series in the Texas Digital Archive have specific access restrictions. The terms of access can be found in the series-level description.

Restrictions on Use

Information about the rights status is provided for each item and/or collection in the Texas Digital Archive. This rights statement provides information about the status of copyright, when known. While many records created by the state of Texas are not copyrighted, not all of TSLAC’s holdings were created by the state of Texas. Copyright remains with the creator until the copyright legally expires or the creator purposely does not seek or renew copyright. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.SC.).

It is the researcher’s obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in TSLAC’s collections. TSLAC seeks to comply with all laws regarding copyright. Rights owners can contact TSLAC so that appropriate information may be provided in the future.

TSLAC will review all takedown requests as received. Please contact ref@tsl.texas.gov with any takedown requests or questions.

Technical Requirements

  • To view VHS videotapes, listen to audiocassette tapes, or review electronic media on CDs and DVDs please contact Archives staff for appropriate hardware/software.
  • Researchers wishing to view Betacam videotapes should consult with Archives staff and be aware that the Archives may not own the equipment needed to access these videotapes.
  • If you are having trouble viewing a particular record, we recommend you try an alternate browser program as some browsers can interact with the TDA in a manner other than expected.
  • See the About File Formats page for technical details and requirements for specific file types.
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