Skip to main content

Claude Elliott Texana Collection

Identifier: 1974-001

This is an artificial and disparate collection of Texana, or materials relating to the history of Texas. In order for the collection to be useful to researchers, an artificial order was imposed by the processor. The collection is divided into seven series: Pre-Republic (to 1836); Republic (1836-1845); Annexation and Early Statehood (1845-1860); Civil War and Expansion (1861-1901); Modern Statehood (1901-1956); Claude Elliott Papers; and Governors Ferguson/Sterling Papers. Series, sub-series, and folder titles have been standardized as much as possible. The first five series, directly relating to Texas history, each contain the same three sub-series: Documents, Printed Material, and Creative Works. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order and items within the folders are arranged chronologically.

The standardized folder titles are fairly broad in order to accommodate the varied nature of the collection. In general, a folder entitled Land will contain deeds; a folder entitled Legal will contain miscellaneous items such as wills and probate documents, indentures, and promissory notes; and a folder entitled Government will contain sheriff's documents and gubernatorial appointments to local offices. In a few instances, such as with the Annexation of Texas, the amount and focus of the material warrants a specific folder title.

In some instances, items from the twentieth century, such as newspaper or periodical articles, have been placed in an earlier series if the information pertains to an event or person in an earlier period. For example, twentieth century articles on brands have been placed with the nineteenth century brand book.

Some material in the collection was owned previously by Dr. Alexander Dienst, Jr. (1870-1938) of Temple, Texas, a historian and collector of Texana. His handwritten notes and commentary appear on some of the items. He was a friend and supporter of Governor James E. Ferguson.


  • 1798-1963


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


4.50 linear feet

Biographical Information

Claude Elliott (1896-1958) was a historian, university professor and administrator, writer, and collector of Texas history material. He was born in Cross Plains, Texas, on September 21, 1896, and grew up and received his early education in Dora, Texas. He attended Abilene Christian College, Simmons College (now Hardin-Simmons University), and West Texas State Teachers College, then served in the United States Navy during World War I. He completed his undergraduate education in 1923, receiving a bachelor of arts degree from Southwest Texas Teachers College (later Southwest Texas State University and now Texas State University). In 1928 he received a master of arts, and in 1934 a doctorate of philosophy, from the University of Texas at Austin, studying under Eugene C. Barker, Charles W. Ramsdell, and Walter P. Webb. Elliott taught school while working on his graduate degrees: he taught history and served as the principal at Donna High School, served as superintendent of the La Feria school system, and taught history at UT. In 1927 he married Emma Edwin Moore of San Marcos.

Elliot held a number of positions at Southwest Texas State University. He was professor of history from 1929 to 1942, registrar and director of personnel from 1942 to 1949, coordinator of veteran affairs from 1943 to 1945, and the first dean of graduate studies from 1949 to 1958. He was a member of a number of historical organizations, including the Texas State Historical Association, the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, the Texas State Teachers Association, and the Classroom Teachers Association. Elliott was a fellow of the Texas State Historical Association, serving as vice-president from 1947 to 1952 and president from 1953 to 1955. He was a member of the advisory council and a major contributor to the first two volumes of the Handbook of Texas.

His publications include Leathercoat: The Life History of a Texas Patriot (1938) and Theses on Texas History (1955). Texas: Wilderness to Space Age was published posthumously in 1962 by his wife and Dr. William Pool of Southwest Texas State University. Elliott's articles were published in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly, the Georgia Historical Review, the Southwestern Social Science Quarterly (now the Social Science Quarterly), and the Journal of Southern History.

Acquisition Information

Gift from Mr. & Mrs. John T. Carter (Elliott's niece), 1974

Guide to the Claude Elliott Texana Collection
John Suter and Joanie South-Shelley
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2021-12-16: As a part of the 2021 Special Collections reparative description project, Bethany Scott revised this finding aid’s series-level scope and contents note for potentially harmful language per current best practices.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA