Texas State Archives Broadsides and Printed Ephemera Collection:
An Inventory of the State Archives Broadsides and Printed Ephemera Collection, 1645-1999, bulk 1835-1930s
Printed ephemera has had multiple purposes, but its primary purpose was the distribution of information. Ephemera was used to issue public decrees, governmental notifications, and commercial and private announcements. Ephemera tends to be transitory: documents created for a specific purpose and intended to be thrown away and often printed on cheap paper. Few people thought of keeping ephemera, and that which was saved is often in less than ideal condition.
As a type of printed ephemera, broadsides are larger single-sheet documents printed on only one side and used to issue public decrees, commercial and private announcements, and governmental notifications. Broadsides first appeared in the United States during the seventeenth century, when the technology of moveable type and the printing press made its way to the colonies. For centuries, the broadside was the preferred format for delivering public announcements. They were also a cost-effective way to distribute poetry, songs, and satire. Early broadsides were simple documents printed in black ink without illustrations.
(Sources include: Library of Congress; "Printed Ephemera: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera"; Tavistock Books; "A Brief History of Broadsides"; websites accessed December 14, 2020.)
The Broadsides and printed ephemera collection is an artificial collection assembled by Texas State Archives staff beginning in the early 20th century. Printed ephemera was produced to distribute information as events unfolded, and it offers unique snapshots of Texas's and the nation's past. This collection consists of approximately 700 documents related to Texas and United States history, especially the Republic of Texas and Texas Revolution, and includes documents from and about founders such as: Stephen F. Austin, David Burnet, Sam Houston, Anson Jones, Mirabeau B. Lamar, R.R. Royall, Henry Smith, William Travis, and Lorenzo de Zavala, and General Santa Anna. Also included are a number of documents from the papers of suffragist Erminia Thompson Folsom and many documents pertaining to the Civil War, political campaigns in Texas, and a number of state offices such as the governor, secretary of state, and comptroller. The ephemera in this collection includes both originals and copies of: ballots, bulletins, bylaws, certificates, charts, circulars, contracts, correspondence, diplomas, folders (printed material), handbills, invitations, leaflets, newspaper clippings and supplements, military orders, ordinances, pamphlets, petitions, posters, proclamations, programs, prospectuses, financial records, reports, resolutions, and testimonies. Records date 1645-1999, bulk 1835-1930s.
Several original Broadside documents were removed from this collection as they are part of the Mirabeau B. Lamar papers. Lamar papers call numbers for these documents are provided below:
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. 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.).
Under the Copyright Act of 1976 as amended in 1998, unpublished works are protected for the life of the author plus 70 years. The term of copyright for published material varies. Researchers are responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).
(Identify the Broadside number and title), Texas State Archives Broadsides and printed ephemera collection. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
Accession numbers: 1993/194, 2010/108, 2011/409, 2020/055
These documents were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by numerous donors in the 19th and 20th centuries. Also included are purchases made by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission and copies of original documents held by other institutions. Not all items have associated accession details. Documents in 1993/194 were donated anonymously to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission on June 8, 1993. Documents in 2010/108 were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the estate of Irma Lou Wilcox September 2008. Documents in 2011/049 were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Fort Bend County Museum Association on June 17, 2011. The rest of the collection was accessioned for control in June 8, 2020. Donor information, if known, is included in the inventory.
Processed by State Archives staff, dates unknown
Metadata and EAD description by Angela Swift, April 2021
The original documents described in this finding aid have been digitized and are part of the Texas Digital Archive available online at https://tsl.access.preservica.com/tda/special-collections/#broadsides.
The following publications provide the location and a description of the some of the documents in this collection. Streeter or Winkler numbers, if known, are noted in the inventory:
Other Finding Aids
The inventory of individual documents is available in an Excel spreadsheet, which can be sorted by title, date, subject, and format. This inventory also notes if a document is an original or copy.