Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on Access

For some Texas state agency records (including the Judiciary, Legislature and Governor’s office), because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to,

  • email addresses (Texas Government Code, Section 552.137);
  • account numbers, access device numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.136);
  • driver’s license numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.130);
  • social security numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.147);
  • financial information (Texas Government Code, Section 552.136);
  • and information protected under common law privacy (Texas Government Code, Section 552.101),

an archivist must review the 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).

The researcher 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).

Include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the archivist to accurately identify and locate the information.

If our review reveals information that may be excepted by the Public Information Act, we are obligated to seek an open records decision from the Attorney General on whether the records can be released. The Public Information Act allows the Archives ten working days after receiving a request to make this determination. The Attorney General has 45 working days to render a decision. Alternately, the Archives can inform you of the nature of the potentially excepted information and if you agree, that information can be redacted or removed and you can access the remainder of the records.

Records series in the TDA each have specific access restrictions information. The terms of access can be found in the series-level description.

Types of restricted information as listed above apply to physical and electronic records. Some electronic records will not be available through our portal due to such restrictions. Please see Archives staff for further information.

Restrictions on Use

Information about the rights status is provided for each item and/or collection in the TDA. This rights statement provides information about the status of copyright, when known. While many TDA records created by the state of Texas are not copyrighted, not all of our 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.).

  • The majority of the records in the TDA have no known copyright or other restrictions and are available for public use.
  • Select photographs and video recordings have separate copyright issues.

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.