Texas State Historical Association

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The Texas State Historical Association and TSHA Online, a digital gateway to Texas history.  Here you will experience a vast storehouse documenting the rich and complex history of the state through innovative online features and content.

Organized in Austin on March 2, 1897, the Texas State Historical Association is the oldest learned society in the state. Its mission is to “foster the appreciation, understanding, and teaching of the rich and unique history of Texas and, by example and through programs and activities, encourage and promote research, preservation, and publication of historical material affecting the state of Texas.”

The association’s publications include the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, more than 150 scholarly books, the Texas Almanac, and the well-known Handbook of Texas Online. The online Handbook, the nation’s preeminent state history encyclopedia, attracts 400,000 visitors per month from more than 200 countries and territories around the world. Through its varied education programs, the Association directly serves more than 50,000 elementary through college-aged students each year, while indirectly reaching an additional 86,000 through its teacher training opportunities.

TSHA History

Founded as a private, nonprofit educational organization on March 2, 1897-the 61st anniversary of the Texas Declaration of Independence - the Texas State Historical Association has long been regarded as the nation's most dynamic regional history organization. Reinforced by more than one hundred years of scholarship and educational programs, its mission is to further the appreciation, understanding, and teaching of the rich and unique history of Texas through research, writing, and publication of related historical material.

Educational Programs
The Association’s Educational Department, established in 1939, seeks to encourage and advance the teaching of history—especially Texas history—in Texas schools. This division provides programs for students, teachers, and the general public.

The Junior Historians of Texas is an extracurricular organization dedicated to students in grades four through twelve. The Walter Prescott Webb Historical Society is the counterpart of the Junior Historians on the college level. Both organizations work through established school instructional programs, empowering students to discover, research, write, and share their intimate understanding of Texas history. The TSHA publishes two journals for student writings: the Texas Historian (for the Junior Historian program) and Touchstone (cosponsored by Lee College) for the Webb Society.

Texas History Day is a competition affiliated with the National History Day program that provides an opportunity for Texas, U.S., and world history students in grades six through twelve to demonstrate their comprehension of history through papers, projects, performances, video documentaries, and interpretive websites. As many as twenty thousand young Texans are involved in the program at the local, regional, and state level annually. More than eight hundred students compete in Texas History Day, and sixty or more students travel to National History Day each year as representatives of Texas.

Teacher training is another goal of the Association, focused principally on Texas educators at the elementary, secondary, and college levels. History Awareness Workshops are practical instructional conferences held at different times throughout the year that concentrate on new techniques of adding enrichment and relevance to the teaching of history. Hundreds of teachers each year attend sessions of these workshops

Assembled each summer, the Heritage Travel Program is a one-week traveling seminar pertaining to specific subjects in Texas history. Traditionally targeting teachers only, this program was expanded in 2004 to involve a broader audience including the public at large.