The Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) Board has awarded $192,268 to the General Libraries of The University of Texas at Austin to further the development of the Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO) program.
TARO is designed to assist scholars and citizens across Texas in locating important archival materials relating to the history, culture, social, and economic conditions of the state. Many of these materials have been long forgotten, overlooked, or virtually unknown for generations.
The General Libraries is the lead institution in a consortium of libraries including the Austin History Center, Houston Public Library, Rice University, Southwest Texas State University, Texas State Library and Archives, the University of Houston, The University of Texas at Arlington, The University of Texas Pan American, The University of Texas at El Paso, The University of Texas Medical Branch, and The University of Texas at San Antonio. The consortium will use the TIF funds for the creation of electronic finding aids to unique archival materials at these institutions. The electronic finding aids will be mounted on a website already in existence for the Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO) project (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro).
The co-directors of the project are Mark McFarland, Assistant Director for Digital Library Services, General Libraries; and Kris Kiesling, Coordinator of Technical and Digital Services, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center.
Students, faculty, independent professionals, avocationists, genealogists, K-12 students and teachers, and anyone with an Internet connection can avail themselves of the electronic finding aids to learn more about these unique materials located in libraries, large and small, across the state.
This is “Phase II” of TARO. Plans for future phases include (1) the digitization of the archival collections themselves so that the citizens of Texas can have clear, ubiquitous, any-time access to important archival collections held throughout Texas, and (2) the addition of more library partners to increase the variety and quantity of information available.
Since its creation by the 74th Texas Legislature in 1995, TIF has awarded approximately $1.2 billion in telecommunications infrastructure grants to its four constituent groups- public schools, libraries, institutions of higher education, and public, not-for-profit healthcare facilities.