Texas Department of Public Safety:
An Inventory of Department of Public Safety Photographs at the Texas State Archives, 1937-1965, undated
|Arrangement||History||Scope and Contents||Restrictions||Related Materials||Inventory|
Creator: Texas. Dept. of Public Safety.
Title: Department of Public Safety photographs
Dates: 1937-1965, undated
Abstract: The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the state police agency, charged with enforcing laws, preserving order, and protecting the rights, privileges, property, and well-being of Texas citizens. Photographs were made by Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) photographers to document or promote the activities of the various divisions, personnel, training, equipment, and facilities. These records consist of photographs created by the DPS photo lab. Dated photographs span the period 1937-1965. Undated, original photographs may have been made as early as 1935. Others are known to be copies of even earlier images. The images consist primarily of black-and-white photographic prints and negatives, most in 4-by-5, 5-by-7, and 8-by-10 format. Some color negatives and transparencies are present for later years.
Quantity: 16 cubic ft.
Repository: Texas State Archives
Sponsor: The preparation and digitization of this collection for online public access was funded in full or in part with a Library Services and Technology Act (20 U.S.C. § 9121) grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Other Formats for the Records
A description of original records referenced in this finding aid, including those not digitized, is available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/20051/tsl-20051.html.
Organization of the Records
The photographs are arranged by DPS division or department designated by code letters: D – Driver’s License; E- Education; H – Headquarters; I – Identification (or Intelligence); ISS – Internal Security; M – Miscellaneous (or Main); MVI – Motor Vehicle; C or Comm – Communications; I & P – Inspection and Planning; N- Narcotics; P- Patrol (or THP – Texas Highway Patrol); P & S – Personnel & Staff Services; R- Ranger; S – Safety; and ST – Statistical. There are also codes for commissioners – COMM and field offices – FO. Within each division the photographs are in approximately chronological order. Files (actually envelopes) are numbered sequentially as created, e.g., E-5, E-6, E-7.
Click on the individual links below to access digitized images for each division.
- Driver’s License
- Field offices
- Inspections and Planning
- Internal Security
- Motor Vehicle
- Personnel & Staff Services
- Texas Highway Patrol
- Unidentified folders
Please see the finding aid on TARO (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/40107/tsl-40107.html) for details on how to access paper-based materials.
In 1935, the 44th Legislature (Senate Bill 146, Regular Session), responding to recommendations made in 1933 by the Joint Legislative Committee on Organization and Economy, created the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) for the purpose of placing under a single jurisdiction the state’s functions in crime prevention and traffic control programs. The original Department was composed of the Texas Rangers, removed from the Adjutant General’s Department; the State Highway Patrol, taken from the State Highway Department; and the Headquarters Division, composed of the Bureau of Identification and Records, the Bureau of Intelligence, the Bureau of Communications, the Bureau of Education, and various administrative and service units. Other divisions were added in later years, as needed (see divisional descriptions). A Certificate of Title Division was created in 1939 (House Bill 407, 46th Legislature, Regular Session) and administered by DPS until its transfer to the Highway Department in 1941.
By 1956, the Department had reconstituted the Headquarters Division into a number of major divisions and had added several new divisions to create a total of fourteen, each of which was headed by a Chief who answered to the Director. To alleviate this unwieldy structure, the 55th Legislature authorized the reorganization of DPS (House Bill 325, Regular Session, 1957). The Department then created six regional commands, each headed by a senior officer who was placed in command of the region’s Highway Patrol, License and Weight program, Motor Vehicle Inspection program, Drivers License program, Communications, and Safety Education Service. Each Regional Headquarters…Click here to read more of the agency History
Scope and Content of the Records
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is the state police agency, charged with enforcing laws, preserving order, and protecting the rights, privileges, property, and well-being of Texas citizens. Photographs were made by Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) photographers to document or promote the activities of the various divisions, personnel, training, equipment, and facilities. These records consist of photographs created by the DPS photo lab. Dated photographs span the period 1937-1965. Undated, original photographs may have been made as early as 1935. Others are known to be copies of even earlier images. The images consist primarily of black-and-white photographic prints and negatives, most in 4-by-5, 5-by-7, and 8-by-10 format. Some color negatives and transparencies are present for later years. There are some “crime” photos but they seem to be present in these files more for internal documentation than for legal evidence. DPS divisions, bureaus, or sections represented are Commissioners, Communications, Driver’s License, Education, Field Offices, Headquarters, Identification, Inspection and Planning, Internal Security, Motor Vehicle, Narcotics, Texas Highway Patrol, Personnel and Staff Services, Ranger, Safety, and Statistical. Also included are a large group of miscellaneous images. Each envelope bears a brief description, e.g. “R-335 4×5 Ektachrome of Ranger Trenton Horton on Horse with Handie Talkie. Aug., 1949.” Folder titles in the finding aid were transcribed by State Archives staff from descriptions written on the envelopes by DPS staff at the time the negatives were made.
Restrictions and Requirements
Restrictions on Access
Materials available for open online access are those without objectionable content, such as injuries or nudity. Please contact us for assistance regarding any materials that have information displayed but no image available.
Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted and may be freely used in any way. 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.).
For physical materials: researchers are required to use gloves provided by the State Archives when reviewing photographic material.
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|
|Texas Department of Public Safety, Photographs (AC 1976/008), 1937-1961, bulk 1940-1941, 1961, 1820 images|
|Texas Department of Public Safety, Photographs (AC 1976/180), 1937-1961, 350 prints [these are prints from selected images in AC 1976/008.]|
|Texas Department of Public Safety, Photographs (AC 1976/198), 1939-1971, 504 images|
|Texas Department of Public Safety, Photographs (AC 1978/023), 1937-1969, 663 images|
|Texas Department of Public Safety, Records, 1930-1931, 1934-2000, undated, 203 cubic ft.|
|Texas Department of Public Safety, Training Academy recruit training records, 1930-1931, 1935-1999, bulk 1980-1999, 78 cubic ft.|
|Texas Department of Public Safety, Training Academy in-service and recertification training records, 1942-1950, 1957-1970, 1994-1997, bulk 1994-1997, 45 cubic ft.|
|Clinton Sherrell photographs, 1950s, fractional [Call # for this unprocessed collection of Highway Patrol images is 2008/071.]|
|Texas. Dept. of Public Safety. Texas Department of Public Safety : pictorial and history book, 1935-1980. [s. l. : s. n., 1980] Walsworth Pub. Co.]|
|Texas. Dept. of Public Safety. Texas Department of Public Safety golden anniversary pictorial and history book, 1935-1985. Marceline, MO : Walsworth Publishing Co., 1985.|
(Identify the item), Texas Department of Public Safety photographs. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 1983/112
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Department of Public Safety on March 3, 1983.
Corrections and further encoding to TARO project standards by Laura K. Saegert, July 2001
Finding aid converted from EAD 1.0 to 2002 by TARO, July 2003
Corrections made to description and folder listing, finding aid divided to conform to TARO file size limits and edited for DACS compliance by Tonia J. Wood, October 2009
Alteration made to description of single item by Rebecca Romanchuk, March 2012
Finding aids combined from three separate files, edited for DACS compliance and Texas Digital Archive link added by Halley Grogan, September 2017
Inventories of the Texas Department of Public Safety Photograph Collection
Click on the links below to access an item-level inventory of the photographs.