Business directories are searchable online registries of businesses. They can help potential clients become aware of, contact and locate businesses. They also provide key business information and statistics.
Corporate websites may include detailed business information, such as financial reports and press releases. Historical newspapers and city directories can also provide Texas business directory data.
Texas Secretary of State
The Texas Secretary of State is one of the six officers designated by the Constitution to head the Executive Department (the others are the governor, lieutenant governor, comptroller of public accounts, commissioner of the General Land Office and attorney general). He or she is appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate and serves for a term that coincides with the Governor’s.
The office is responsible for a wide range of duties, including overseeing elections, maintaining official and commercial records, publishing government rules and regulations and appointing notaries public. The office also attests the Governor’s signature and affixes the seal to proclamations, commissions and other official documents. It acts as the chief international protocol officer, receiving foreign dignitaries and delegations.
The office was created in 1836. It is the oldest of the six departments in the state’s Executive Branch. The department was first headed by Stephen F. Austin, founder of the original colony of Texas, then by Myra Atwell McDaniel. The current Secretary of State is Jane Nelson, who was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott on January 5, 2023. She previously served two terms on the State Board of Education and 30 years as a state senator, representing North Texas. Nelson was the first woman in legislative history to chair a standing budget-writing committee and she led the Senate Finance Committee for four sessions. She also served as a member of the State Affairs Committee, which oversees election policy, for eight sessions.
Texas Historical Commission
The Texas Historical Commission (THC) protects and preserves the state’s historic and prehistoric resources for the use, education, enjoyment, and economic benefit of present and future generations. It encourages and supports county historical commissions (CHC) in their work and assists them through a variety of programs.
The agency is governed by a board of 17 members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate to overlapping six-year terms. Members must be citizens of the State of Texas and represent all geographic areas of the state. The board selects a chairman and an executive director. The agency operates through divisions including the Archeology Division, the Architecture Division, the History Programs Division, the Community Heritage Division, and the Marketing Communications Division.
The goal of the History Programs Division is to assist county historical commissions, museums, local governments, and students and educators. The division oversees grants, surveys, a Statewide Preservation Plan, the Historic Sites Atlas, ephemera, and research. It also publishes and records historic documents and markers and maintains the state archives. The division carries out a number of outreach programs including preservation work days and heritage festivals. The division also manages the program that provides historic properties with plaques recognizing their importance in Texas history. The division is responsible for reviewing applications and inscriptions for Official Texas Historical Markers and assessing the history of buildings and sites proposed for marker placement.
Portal to Texas History
The Portal to Texas History is a gateway to historical materials held by museums, libraries, universities, and other organizations throughout the state of Texas. It features images, documents, maps, books, letters, manuscripts, artifacts, and newspapers that span the fifteenth century to the present. In addition to these digital resources, the Portal also includes a number of educational resources designed to engage students with history in new ways.
Portal partners strive to balance the goals of making their collections available online while preserving them for future generations. They carefully assess the potential harm that may be caused by their content and consider other factors including professional best practices, the accuracy of the historical record, and allocation of scarce resources.
For this reason, users should be aware that some of the material on The Portal to Texas History contains content that some people might find objectionable and/or emotionally disturbing. This may include depictions of nudity, graphic violence, or other violent and/or distressing images. It also may contain words and opinions that reflect systemic intolerances such as racism, sexism, religious discrimination, or homophobia as they manifested at various times in our history.
All Portal to Texas History users are responsible for using the materials they access in compliance with the terms and conditions of use and copyright laws. If you believe that the work you have used is not in accordance with these terms and conditions, please contact the corresponding collection-holding partner for further information.
Library of Congress Historical Company
The Library of Congress has a number of resources that can help you research the history of a company or corporation. These include business-related periodicals indexed in several subscription databases. These are available to Library of Congress patrons who are on-site and to other subscribers. The Library also has a collection of historical business directories on microfilm. These are arranged by location and include a comprehensive subject index.
You can search for these directories by name in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. You can also find print copies of these publications in our Historical Directories collection. These books were published for salesmen, merchants and other people who wanted to contact residents in a given area. They are arranged alphabetically and list the names of adult residents of a city or town.
Many local libraries and historic sites have records relating to individual companies. The Portal to Texas History can be a good place to start your search. You can also find information on specific businesses through the Texas Secretary of State and the Texas Historical Commission.
You can also use the Library of Congress online catalog to locate works on business and economic history. The librarians in Business Reference Services can provide additional assistance on finding these materials. They can also advise you on locating archival collections in other locations in the United States and Canada.