Texas Historical Commission:
An Inventory of Goddess of Liberty Report at the Texas State Archives, 1897, 1963, 1984
The Texas State Historical Survey Committee was created on a temporary basis in 1953 (Senate Concurrent Resolution 44, 53rd 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). The Committee became the Texas Historical Commission in 1973 (House Bill 1512, 63rd Legislature, Regular Session).
The Texas Historical Commission is composed of eighteen members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate, serving overlapping six-year terms. Members must be citizens of Texas who have demonstrated an interest in the preservation of the state's historical heritage, and represent all geographical areas of Texas. Beginning in 1995, the membership must include a professional archeologist, a professional historian, and a licensed architect; and two of the members must be from counties with populations of less than 50,000. The governor names the chairperson. The members appoint an executive director to administer the agency. In 1998 the commission had a staff of about 100 employees.
The mission of the commission 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. The main functions of the agency are to identify, preserve, interpret, and maintain historic and archeological sites. 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 Commission also maintains the Historic Sites Atlas (a database of information on 200,000 historic sites in Texas); is involved with the LaSalle excavations; and was involved with the development of the Bob Bullock State History Museum that recently opened in Austin.
In the late 1990s, the Texas Historical Commission went through an agency restructuring in which several divisions were combined. The agency now contains seven divisions that carry out the responsibilities of the agency. The Administration Division oversees budgetary, planning, and other executive functions. Staff Services handles personnel, accounting, and other staff functions.
The Archeology Division (formerly the Division of Antiquities Protection, and the Office of the State Archeologist) administers the archeological programs of the agency in accordance with the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (16 U.S.C. 470) and the Antiquities Code of Texas (V.T.C.A., Natural Resource Code, Title 9, Chapter 191). It nominates archeological sites for the National Register of Historic Places; issues permits for activities that impact archeological sites; designates sites as State Archeological Landmarks; conducts surveys for a statewide inventory of archeological sites; and administers the state marine archeology program. The Archeology Division also produces and distributes public outreach materials pertaining to Texas archeology, coordinates Texas Archeology Awareness Month observances, and works with amateur archeologists who assist in preserving sites and collections. The Texas Antiquities Advisory Board assists the division with its state archeological landmark designations and issues pertaining to the Antiquities Code of Texas.
The Division of Architecture administers architectural grants through the Texas Preservation Trust Fund Grant Program, monitors the state's National Historic Landmarks and reviews proposed changes to Recorded Texas Historic Landmarks. It also monitors and provides technical consultation on the restoration and adaptive reuse of the state's architectural resources.
The History Programs Division operates the National Register Program and the Local History Program. This division is compiling a statewide inventory of Texas properties significant in American history, architecture, or culture. It nominates the most significant properties to the National Register of Historic Places. It assists designated cities with developing ordinances and programs to preserve local landmarks and also provides other assistance to county officials, nonprofit heritage organizations, and individuals in preserving cultural and historic resources of the state. It operates the Texas Historical Marker program and administers the Sam Rayburn House Museum in Bonham, Texas.
The Community Heritage Division operates the Main Street Program, the Heritage Tourism Program, and the Certified Local Government Program. The Main Street Program was created about 1981 and is designed to revitalize downtown centers of cities with fewer than 50,000 people. The program provides cities with architectural consultation, marketing, and interior design training for this purpose. In 1989 the Legislature provided funding for an Urban Main Street Program. The Heritage Tourism Program works with business communities and with civic and educational organizations to promote and preserve historic sites in heritage areas. The Certified Local Government Program was created in 1980 and offers technical assistance to cities and awards grants to help with the development of quality local preservation programs.
The Marketing Communications Division, which now includes the former Publications Division, issues a bimonthly newsletter, The Medallion, and provides production services for other departments, including the production of educational and technical materials concerning archeology, architecture, museum laws, and other topics. It also helps coordinate the agency's annual museum conference and assists with public outreach.
There are several boards associated with the Texas Historical Commission. The State Board of Review evaluates nominations to the National Register of Historic Places. The Antiquities Advisory Board evaluates nominations for State Archeological Landmark status and considers issues associated with the Antiquities Code of Texas. The Guardians of Texas Preservation Trust Fund cultivates and develops sources of support for the trust fund and advises the commission of potential donors of property or other assets. The Advisory Board of the Texas Preservation Trust Fund makes recommendations on Trust Fund grant allocations and advises on matters relating to more efficient utilization or enhancement of the fund. The Main Street Interagency Council evaluates applications for the Main Street programs.
The Texas Antiquities Committee was affiliated with the Texas Historical Commission until it was abolished in 1995. The Texas Antiquities Committee was created by Senate Bill 58, 61st Legislature, 2nd Called Session (1969). This committee was the legal custodian of all state archeological resources and it adopted rules to protect and preserve these resources. It designated state archeological landmarks, issued permits for activities that impacted archeological sites, oversaw staff efforts to ensure compliance with the Texas Antiquities Code, maintained an inventory of items recovered and retained by the State of Texas, and contracted or otherwise provided for discovery operations and scientific investigations of sunken or abandoned ships and their contents. In 1995, the committee was abolished (Senate Bill 365, 74th Legislature, Regular Session). Its duties were absorbed by the Texas Historical Commission and are carried out through its Archeology Division. The legislation that abolished the Antiquities Committee allowed for an advisory body to be created to assist the Texas Historical Commission on issues relating to the Antiquities Code of Texas. In 1995, the THC created the Texas Antiquities Advisory Board. The Board provides recommendations on proposed State Archeological Landmarks designations and assists in resolving disputes regarding issuance of Texas Antiquities permits.
Also affiliated with the Texas Historical Commission between 1971 and 1983 was the Texas Historical Resources Development Council. The Council promoted communication among its member agencies in their coordinated efforts to develop and publicize the historical resources of Texas.
This is a report containing several clippings and a cover sheet of information about the Goddess of Liberty, the figure atop the Texas State Capitol dome, prepared by Edward Hamilton. The clippings are dated 1897, 1963, and 1984; and the cover sheet is dated 1984. This is a copy of the original report which is housed at the Texas Historical Commission.
This finding aid describes one series of the Texas Historical Commission records. See Texas Historical Commission: An Overview of Records for more records series.
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Restrictions on Use
Most records created by 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.).
(Identify the item), Goddess of Liberty report, Texas Historical Commission. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession number: 1984/096
These records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Texas Historical Commission on February 17, 1984.
Laura K. Saegert, May 2002
The original report is housed at the Texas Historical Commission.
Detailed Description of the Records