Austin History Center

Bill Anderson Papers

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Anderson, Bill
Title: Bill Anderson Papers
Dates: 1938-2008
Dates (Bulk): 1960-1990
Abstract: Bill Anderson was an advocate for children in Travis County and Texas with an international reputation as an authority on juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. His collection spans the years 1938-2008 and contains biographical information, writings and publications, reference materials, a retirement scrapbook and a few personal papers.
Identification: AR.2012.011
Quantity: .8 linear feet (2 boxes)
Location: Archives stacks
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, , PO BOX 2287, , Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Bill Anderson was born on August 14, 1925 in Brownwood, Texas to Mary Elizabeth and William F. Anderson. After his military service in World War II he returned to Texas to attend college at Daniel Baker College of Southwestern University. After a year working as a teacher in Miles, Texas, Anderson moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas and worked for the Texas Commission for the Blind as a rehabilitation counselor. In 1952, he was hired as the Superintendent of Travis County Juvenile Detention Home (Gardner House). In 1957 he became the Chief Juvenile Probation Officer for Travis County and served in that capacity for 25 years. Anderson continued his education in the Criminology and Corrections program at Sam Houston State University, where he received his Master of Arts degree in 1970. His Master's these proposed creating a statewide agency to provide standardized care and treatment for juvenile offenders. His proposal was eventually implemented, creating the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, and he became the first Executive Director in 1981. Anderson retired in 1990.

During his professional career Anderson was instrumental in designing a myriad of innovative programs and projects to improve the juvenile justice and delinquency prevention systems in Texas. For example, he designed the Protective Services Program and Foster Home Program for Travis County; designed and set up the first Child Welfare Unit for Travis county; developed the Drug and Substance Abuse Treatment Project for Travis County; developed the Delinquency Prevention (Youth Services Bureau) program for Travis County; and developed the first Juvenile Public Defender Project in the United States.

Scope and Contents

The Bill Anderson papers mainly consist of documents related to his career in juvenile justice and delinquency prevention. The Professional series (1952-2008) contains curricula vitae; profile articles; newspaper clippings where his expertise was solicited; programs from conferences where he was a featured speaker; personnel records including letters of recommendation and appreciation, resignation letters, and employment applications; and a retirement scrapbook compiled upon his retirement from the Texas Juvenile Probation Commission in 1990. An annotated copy of Texas' Children: The Report of the Texas Child Welfare Survey (1938), the Texas Juvenile Probation Resource Manual (1982-1983), Border Children Justice Projects (1998) and various statistical reports make up the Reference Materials series. The Writings and Publications series (1960-1989, undated) includes papers written by Anderson while pursuing his Master of Arts degree at Sam Houston State University; magazine articles and presentations on juvenile justice and delinquency prevention; a book written by Anderson and Ronny Gurley titled The Juvenile Offender and Texas Law; and a movie script. Lastly, the Personal series (1946, 1964-2005) contains a small amount of personal materials including correspondence, a variety of humorous letters and a copy of Senate Resolution No. 70 mourning the loss of Anderson.


Arranged into four series:
I. Professional
II. Reference Materials
III. Writings and Publications
IV. Personal


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use


Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Anderson, Bill.
Texas Juvenile Probation Commission.
Travis County (Tex.). Juvenile Court.
Austin (Tex.)
Juvenile courts--Texas--Travis County.

Related Material

Austin Files

  • AF Biography - Bill Anderson
  • AF Subject - Youth -- Juvenile Delinquency Y0600 (J0600)

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Materials donated by the wife of the creator.

Preferred Citation

Bill Anderson Papers (AR.2012.011). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/2012/021

Donation Date: 2012

Processing Information

Finding aid created and encoded by Molly Hults in 2012.

Detailed Description of the Collection

I. Professional, 1952-2008

Box Folder
1 1 Biographical information, 1970-2008
2 Conferences, 1962-1982, undated
3 Personnel papers, 1952-1990
Retirement scrapbook, 1990, undated
5 Retirement scrapbook loose materials, 1990

II. Reference Materials, 1938, 1982-1998

Box Folder
1 6-7 Texas Juvenile Probation Resource Manual, 1982-1983
Box Folder
2 Texas' Children: The Report of the Texas Child Welfare Survey, 1938
1 Texas Juvenile Probation Commission, 1990-1998

III. Writings and Publications, 1960-1989

Box Folder
2 2 Sam Houston State University, 1970-1974
3 Juvenile justice, 1960-1989
4 Movie script, undated
5 Publications, 1964-1966

IV. Personal, 1946, 1964-2005

Box Folder
2 6 Assorted documents, 1946, 1998-1999, undated
7 Humor, 1964-1991, undated
8 In memoriam, 2005