Digitizing Historical Oil and Gas Hearings Files

1932-1972 East Texas Region (Railroad Commission Districts 5, 6, and 6E)

Project Supporters

National Historical Publications & Records Commission8882/nhprc-sm

centennial_logo-smTexas State Library and Archives Commission & its
Texas Heritage Digitization Initiative

December 2008

  • The Railroad Commission of Texas is awarded a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to digitize East Texas region historical hearings files from 1930-1972.  See press release announcing the grant.

8885/shelvefiles      8879/filelabel

January 2009

  • A project “kick-off” meeting is held with representatives of the Railroad Commission, Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Texas Heritage Digitization Initiative, and the imaging contractor.
  • The imaging contractor begins the “Statement of Work” (SOW), which outlines the requirements of the digital imaging work to be performed and the results to be achieved.

March 2009

  • The Railroad Commission and the contractor approve the SOW.

April 2009

  • The contractor and the Railroad Commission begin developing the detailed specifications for the project as outlined in the SOW.

May 2009

  • Preparation (prepping) of physical files for imaging begins.



July 2009

  • Key entry of the tracking and indexing data into the contractor’s Production Control System (PCS) begins in early July.

8880/filesform                  8877/boxesfiles

  • Scanning of pilot boxes begins on July 21.
  • The first semi-annual report to the NHPRC (pdf file format) gives the status of the project through June 2009. 

September 2009

  • A Project Specifications document is finalized and approved on September 8.
  • File prepping is completed on September 2.  One-hundred and twenty-five archive boxes of files have been prepped for scanning.
  • Key entry into PCS is completed at the end of September.
  • Quality assurance and review of the scanned pilot boxes begins.

December 2009

  • Pilot review completed.
  • Scanning of all Base or “Parent” boxes completed.
  • Quality Assurance and review of imaged files begins using test web site.

8883/onlinehome           8884/onlineresults

January 2010

February 2010

  • The contractor provides a web-based editing tool which will be used to rotate, relocate, and delete blank pages within pdf files as necessary. 
  • On February 5 presented a project status update at the Texas Heritage Digitization Initiative annual conference, including a discussion of the application and funding process.

April 2010

  • Initial Quality Assurance work completed on all files.  File editing continues.

July 2010

  • The Museum Computer Network accepted the Commission's proposal to present at their annual conference to be held in Austin, Texas in October 2010.
  • The July 2010 semi-annual report to the NHPRC (pdf format) gives the status of the project through June 2010.

October 2010

  • Completed editing work on all project files.  The contractor will complete their work so that the digitized hearings files will be accessible on the project website by the end of November.
  • The Railroad Commission will participate on a panel at the Texas Library Association's annual conference in April 2011.  The session is tentatively titled "Dollars for Digitization: Getting and Managing Federal Grants for Digitization Projects."  
  • The Commission gave a presentation on the project at the Museum Computer Network annual conference on October 28, 2010.

November 2010

  • The Commission presented workshop sessions on the project and demonstrated how to search the online application at its Texas Oil and Gas Expo on November 4 and 5, 2010.

December 2010

  • The Historic Hearings Files for Districts 5, 6, and 6E are now available online.
  • The NHPRC has approved a 6 month extension of the project grant, through June 2011, so that the Commission can measure the usage of the online database as well as develop a Finding Aid to the files.

January 2011

February 2011

  • A Finding Aid and an Index to the Historical Hearings Files were developed and are now available online.

April 2011

  • The Commission gave a presentation on the project at the Texas Library Association annual conference on April 14, 2011.

September 2011

Historical Hearings Web Site Monthly Usage Statistics:

Number of Web Site Hits
December 2010
January 2011
February 2011
March 2011
April 2011
May 2011
June 2011
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