The Civil War on the Texas-Mexico Border
November 8, 2012
The Austin Civil War Round Table presented Dr. Jerry Thompson, Regents Professor of History at Texas A&M International University. Dr. Thompson is one of the foremost experts on the Civil War in the Southwest, and is the author of many highly acclaimed and award-winning books, including Civil War and Revolution on the Rio Grande Frontier, Vaqueros in Blue and Gray, and A Wild and Vivid Land: An Illustrated History of the South Texas Border. He is a member of the Texas State Historical Association, the Western History Association, the Organization of American Historians, and was recently inducted as a member of the prestigious Texas Institute of Letters. Dr. Thompson thrilled the Round Table audience with his insights about the war on the Texas-Mexico border.
The Mier Expedition and the Journeay Violin Exhibit Reception
September 13, 2012
The first floor lobby and the north reading room of the Lorenzo de Zavala Building were the settings for a dramatic retelling of the Black Bean Episode of Texas history and for period music by violinist Javier Chaparro. Attendees of this event witnessed a recreation of the series of events that happened on March 25, 1843, when prisoners from the Texas Mier Expedition were forced to draw from a clay jar containing 17 black beans and 159 white beans. The unlucky men who drew a black bean were shot. Surviver Henry Journeay crafted a violin from wood scraps while in the prison. See photos and details of this historical chapter on the Texas State Library and Archives Commission website.
All funds raised at this event contributed towards the Texas Historical Preservation Endowment.
Distinguished Speaker Charles Porter
March 7, 2012
Historian and water expert Charles Porter captivated a full house at his talk, The Next Texas Water War, which was part of the TSLAC Speaker Series. Following the presentation, the Friends hosted a reception and book signing of Porter’s Spanish Water, Anglo Water.
Meet the Talking Book Narrators
February 9, 2012
A spectacularly successful Meet the Narrators! event featured a tour of the Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio and dramatic readings by narrators Sue Bilich, Dianna Dorman, Ev Lunning and Robert Rodriguez. The Friends hosted a reception following the program.
Texas Historical Foundation Board of Directors
January 20, 2012
The Friends hosted a breakfast reception for members of the Texas Historical Foundation board of directors, who visited the Zavala building for a tour of the archives.
Ongoing Genealogical Programs
April 13 , 2012
Genealogy After Dark is an ongoing TSLAC genealogy program put on with support of the Friends.
On April 13 TSLAC hosted the second of a two-part genealogy seminar: Countdown to April 2: “Get Ready for the 1940 Census Release!” Participants delved into the 1940 Census materials, which they were introduced to in an introductory seminar held on Jan. 20.
November 3, 2011
Documentary filmmaker and author Glen Sample Ely challenged conceptions of ourselves as Texans at the talk and signing of his book, Where the West Begins: Debating Texas Identity.
October 12, 2011
James L. Haley, author of Passionate Nation: The Epic History of Texas, entertained a standing-room crowd with little-known facts gleaned in part from the state archives about the Archives War and the relationship between Sam Houston and Angelina Eberly.
September 21, 2011
Sherry Matthews, author of We Were Not Orphans: Stories from the Waco State Home, mesmerized attendees with a deeply personal presentation that included a 15-minute documentary about the home and some of the former residents, who spoke to her for the book. Mathews learned of the home when, as children, her three brothers were shipped off to live there. the Friends hosted.a book signing and reception following the talk.
June 23, 2011
Genealogy After Dark is an ongoing TSLAC genealogy program put on with support of the Friends.
On Oct. 21, amateur and professional genealogists at the Zavala building participated in the 11th annual lock-in held in conjunction with the Waco-McLennan County Library System, using resources from both collections. On June 23 TSLAC genealogy specialists led a seminar on "Looking for Vital Records in the Texas Family Heritage Research Center." It followed two earlier seminars: “Researching Republic-Era Records” on Feb. 25, and the first in the series on Dec. 3, 2010, “Using the Catalog to Find Resources in Our Collections.”
May 23, 2011
Friends supported TSLAC’s the Texas Reading Club Kickoff with former State Musician Sara Hickman, which launched TSLAC’s annual summer reading program, now in its 54th year.
April 14, 2011
Nearly 100 enthusiastic librarians and library friends turned out to hear Christiane Leitinger, national director of Pennies for Peace, speak at the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas’ annual program and membership meeting, held annually at the Texas Library Association’s annual conference, this year titled “Crossing Boundaries.”
In what was a busy spring, the Friends also co-sponsored the following events in the newly-launched TSLAC Speaker Series:
March 17, 2011
Quilt expert and author Marcia Kaylakie described the complex symbolism in the 19th-century "summer spread" attributed to Margaret Lea Houston, Gen. Sam Houston's wife. Guests were treated to a showing of the award-winning 30-minute documentary, Quilts in Women’s Lives, by filmmaker Pat Ferrero. The summer spread, on display for the first time at the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, is from the collections of TSLAC’s Sam Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty.
March 2, 2011
University of Texas history professor and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist H.W. Brands visited TSLAC’s Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building to celebrate Texas Independence Day. He offered a rousing discourse about the Lone Star state’s struggle for independence, and how its reverberations still can be felt in international uprisings today. Following his talk, the Friends hosted a book signing of Brands’ Lone Star Nation: the Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence.
January 27, 2011
The Friends helped to launch TSLAC’s new Speaker Series with a resoundingly successful talk and book signing by author, educator and former state archivist Dr. David B. Gracy II. Gracy regaled an audience of more than 50 with the story of how the state archives went from the basement of the Texas Capitol to a cow barn, to a leaky Quonset hut and finally, to the stately Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building in which they’re housed today. The 126-year odyssey is detailed in his new book, The State Library and Archives of Texas: A History, 1835-1962. The Friends hosted a book signing following Dr. Gracy’s talk.
Friends celebrate finish of building renovations with grand rededication
Nov. 12, 2010, rededication program for the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, Austin. (Photos by the Texas State Library
and Archives Commission)
Not even a morning shower could dampen
the celebration when the Texas State Library and Archives Commission
rededicated the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building
on November 12.
More than 300 people, including legislative
and philanthropic leaders, attended the festivities. The ceremony
marked the culmination of a two-year, $19 million renovation accomplished
with a legislative appropriation for the construction, and funds for
furnishings and equipment raised by the Friends through its Capital
Campaign. Though morning rain soaked the decorated steps of the Zavala
building, the clouds parted and the sun shone as the McCallum High
School Band Wind Ensemble began to serenade the audience.
Director and Librarian Peggy D. Rudd
and Commission Chairman Sandra J. Pickett offered opening remarks.
Two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist H.W. Brands delivered a keynote address
on “The Secrets of Texas History.” The noted author and
historian spent many hours in the archives doing research for
Lone Star Nation: the Epic Story of the Battle for Texas Independence.
Refreshments and an open house followed,
with patrons viewing treasures from the archives and touring the new
Conservation Lab, the Texas Family Heritage Research Center, Talking
Book Program recording studio and other areas.
"This happy event was the culmination
of many years of planning and more than two years of construction,"
said Rudd. "But the result is a building designed to inspire,
in which researchers, authors, illustrators and lovers of Texas and
her incomparable history will mine valuable archival collections for
years to come.
The Friends of Libraries & Archives
of Texas joined the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to
support the rededication ceremony. Friends’ board members both
underwrote the rededication and joined TSLAC staff as volunteers for
this special commemoration.
read more and to see pictures click here.
First Lady Laura W. Bush dedicates Lorenzo de Zavala Building as national
Dec. 3, 2009, front steps Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building, Austin. (Photos by the Texas State Library
and Archives Commission)
Laura W. Bush, former U.S. and Texas First Lady
dedicated the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building,
the headquarters of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission
(TSLAC), as a national Literary Landmark, on Thursday, December 3,
2009. The landmark designation was issued by the Association of Library
Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF).
"Today's dedication recognizes the inspiration
that this building and the resources it houses, has provided for great
writers for decades," said Mrs. Bush. "The Zavala building
was the first central repository to house and protect Texas' priceless
historical treasures and to support and improve library services in
Gail Bialas, manager for the Texas Center for
the Book, along with Mrs. Bush, presented the designation plaque to
Peggy D. Rudd, Texas State Library and Archives Commission director
and state librarian. Rudd thanked Mrs. Bush and the Texas Center for
the Book for their work in the nomination and designation of the building.
In the lobby of the Lorenzo de Zavala building,
the Texas State Archives is exhibiting, materials and works used by
James Michener, author of Texas; Jack "Jaxon" Jackson, author
of graphic novels on Texas history; and Walter Prescott Webb, author
of The Texas Rangers. ALTAFF cited that each author used resources
and materials that are now located in the building to create their
"It is what is inside that is the real
treasure," said Rudd. "For decades researchers and students
of Texas history have mined gold, historical gold, and they have found
it in abundance."
The Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas,
Texas Center for the Book, ALTAFF, joined the Texas State Library
and Archives Commission in supporting this literary landmark event.
To read more and to see pictures click here
Greet Friends at “Friends & Flags” Reception
Close to 100 guests enjoyed
a very special evening on May 5 at the Sam
Houston Regional Library and Research Center in Liberty. The occasion
was the display of two Texas Treasures from the Lorenzo de Zavala
State Archives and Library – the Matamoros Battalion Flag, captured
by Texas forces in the Battle of San Jacinto; and the 17th and 18th
Texas Cavalry Brigade Flag, captured in the Battle of Atlanta.
Co-hosted by the Atascocito Historical Society and the Friends of Libraries
& Archives of Texas, the event provided an opportunity to introduce
lovers and supporters of Texas history, archives, and preservation to the
collections of the Sam Houston Center. Guests—many with personal connections
to the documents and artifacts on exhibit—viewed diaries, swords,
clothing, and letters highlighting the history of Liberty and surrounding
Contributions from the evening benefited the Friends’ Capital Campaign
for the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. All funds
received through March 2010 will also go to match the Houston Endowment’s
3-to-1 challenge grant.
The Friends extend special appreciation
to Sam Center Director Robert Schaadt and Texas State Library and
Archives Commission Chair Sandra Pickett for making this event possible.
The flags were on display at the Sam Houston Regional Library (a division
of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission) through the end
of June 2009.
Reception for Texas Treasures
At a Houston event on Texas
Treasures from the State Archives, the Friends of Libraries &
Archives of Texas announced a challenge from Houston Endowment, Inc.
If the Friends raise $1.3 million by March 2010, Houston Endowment
will add $500,000. The Friends has raised $1.7 million to
date. The additional $1.3 million will complete the first phase of
the Campaign. Read more.
celebrate 100 years of service to Texas!
All photographs, March 19, 2009, Texas State Capitol South steps and
grounds, Austin. (Photos by Texas State Library and Archives Commission)
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission marked its 100th year of March 19, 2009 at noon on the South Steps of the Texas Capitol in Austin, Texas. About 150 people turned out for the special event that featured speeches, choral performances by the Austin Girls’ Choir (including Happy Birthday to the Texas State Library and Archives Commission!) and birthday cake decorated with agency’s blue, gold, and white Centennial logo.
Speakers included Commission Chair Sandra J. Pickett, of Liberty, who read a proclamation issued by Governor Rick Perry. Bill Crawford, author and historian, was the events keynote speaker, and spoke enthusiastically about his use of the Texas State Library and Archives over the past 20 years. State Representative Donna Howard and State Senator Kirk Watson, both sponsored resolutions in their respective chambers earlier in the day.
Program guests included State Archivist Chris LaPlante, Assistant State Librarian Edward Seidenberg and Former State Archivist and University of Texas Professor, Dr. David B. Gracy II. Other guests were Scott McAfee, TSLAC commissioner from Driftwood, Austin writer and historian, Terrell Blodgett, and Dianna Dorman, vice president of the Friends of Libraries and Archives of Texas. Special guests in attendance were Thomas and Kelly Daniel, and their children, Price, Thomas, and Caroline. Mr. Daniel is the great grandson of Governor Campbell and the grandson of Governor Price and Mrs. Jean Daniel.
more and to see pictures click here
"Taste of Texas Treasures" 2007
The Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas hosted the second biennial Taste of Texas Treasures event in honor of the Texas Legislature, Feb. 6, 2007. Guests were invited to become acquainted with ten of the historic battle flags of Texas, in the collection of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Archivists explained the relevance and history of each flag. More than 300 legislators, library supporters and other invited guests attended. Nadine Craddick delivered the welcome, and entertainment was provided by Angelina Eberly (played by local actress Barbara Chisholm). Guests were also encouraged to tour the Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio.
Taste of Texas Treasures is an educational but also an advocacy event to raise awareness of the needs of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. Embarking on a two-year renovation, the state library needs to raise $10 million to realize its vision of a 21st Century library.
"Taste of Texas Treasures" 2005
The Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas hosted a special event in honor of the Texas Legislature on Feb. 16, 2005. Billed "Taste of Texas Treasures," the event was to garner support for the Texas State Library and Archives Commission. More than 30 historically significant treasures from the Texas State Archives were on display, with archivists on hand to give a context for the documents. Approximately 250 legislators, library supporters and other invited guests attended. Guests were also encouraged to tour the Talking Book Program Volunteer Recording Studio. Word of Mouth Catering provided the food and beverages.
The state library has asked the legislature to authorize bonds for the purpose of renovating the Lorenzo de Zavala State Archives and Library Building. The building does not have adequate storage space for the State Archives, and consequently, several thousand cubic feet of records are being stored at an offsite facility which wasn't designed for archival storage.
Click a photo to enlarge
Please Pass the Biscuits, Pappy
The Texas State Library and Archives Commission
and the Friends of Libraries & Archives of Texas hosted a photograph
exhibition and private reception in honor of the Friends membership.
Twenty-six exhibition prints from the Texas State Archives was displayed
at Oswald Gallery, in Austin, on November 5, 2004, from 6:30 to
8:30 p.m. The photographs reveal enlightening details about the
daily life of Texans during the 1940s, as photographers trailed
Governor W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel on the campaign trail.
The reception also included a book signing and
talk from the authors of "Please Pass the Biscuits, Pappy: Pictures
of Governor W. Lee 'Pappy' O'Daniel." A public reception was held
on November 6, 2004. For more information, call 512-463-5514.
© Copyright 2012 Friends of
Libraries & Archives of Texas. All Rights Reserved.
Web design by