Texas Historical Commission

Texas Historical Commission

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Agency History

The Texas State Historical Survey Committee (TSHSC) was created on a temporary basis in 1953 (Senate Concurrent Resolution 44, 53rd Texas Legislature, Regular Session) to administer a comprehensive state program for historical preservation; it was given more permanent status in 1957 (Senate Bill 426, 55th Legislature, Regular Session). In 1962 the TSHSC formed the Official Texas Historical Marker Program to record Texas historic sites in all 254 counties. The TSHSC became the Texas Historical Commission (THC) in 1973 (House Bill 1512, 63rd Legislature, Regular Session). In the 1980s and 1990s the commission continued to work on the identification and preservation of historic sites. It administered a number of grant programs, including the Texas Historic Preservation Grant Program, Texas Preservation Trust Fund, and museum grants. It also administered special projects such as the Old San Antonio Road project and Women’s History Month. The commission worked to conduct extensive surveys of historic properties across the state, along with reviews of the impact of construction and other building projects on historic and archeological sites.

The THC administers programs to preserve the architectural, archeological, historical, and cultural resources of Texas. The mission of the THC is to protect and preserve the state’s historic and prehistoric resources for the use, education, economic benefit, and enjoyment of present and future generations. Duties of the agency include preservation consultation with the public; providing leadership to heritage organizations and county historical commissions; working with communities to protect Texas’ architectural heritage, including operation of the Texas Main Street Program; administering the state’s historical marker program; working with property owners to save archeological sites on private land; ensuring archeological sites are protected as land is developed for public construction projects; consulting with citizens and groups to nominate properties for historical and archeological landmark status and for the National Register of Historic Places; and making historical attractions a cornerstone of the Texas travel industry. The THC also maintains the Historic Sites Atlas, a database of more than 300,000 historic site records; was involved with the La Salle excavations; and was involved with the development of the Bob Bullock State History Museum that opened in Austin in 2001.

(Click here to read the full general agency history)


Organization

The records are organized into 22 series.  Only those divisions represented in the Texas Digital Archive are listed below.