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 You already know we’re about history, but did you know we can help you practice your language skills as well?Cover of document with title Comanche Texts

Although the majority of items in the Portal are in English, we are developing significant holdings in other languages:

  • Spanish–5,373 items–including newspapers, maps, letters, and photographs 
  • German–814 items–including materials from the German Immigration to Texas Collection and new items in the Texas Cultures Online Collection
  • French–575 items–including resources from more than 25 different counties in Texas

We also have items in Czech, Italian, Hebrew, Latin, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Comanche, and other languages.

To find materials in a particular language, browse a collection of interest, or conduct a search for your desired topic.  When the results list opens, choose a language from the facets on the left-hand side of the screen.

screen shot showing location of language facets

You may sometimes see a choice for “no language.”  This generally refers to non-text items such as photographs and physical objects.  However, when a photograph contains “readable” text such as a banner, sign, label, or plaque, it will be assigned the language shown.  Here are some examples:

photograph of street sign in Spanish languageA Spanish-Language Photo 

photograph of a group of men surrounding a banner in the German languageA German-Language Photo

image of an Algerian bank note with one section of text in the French language

A French-Language Physical Object 

So, muchas gracias, vielen Dank, and merci beaucoup for visiting The Portal to Texas History!

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historical marker for the Central National Road of Texas In 1844, the Congress of the Republic of Texas passed a law to open and establish a National Road.  Running from the Elm Fork of the Trinity River to Kiomatia Crossing on the Red River in far northeast Texas, this Central National Road was set to become part of a larger “international highway” connecting San Antonio to St. Louis.  Travel with us through The Portal to Texas History to learn more from primary and secondary resources.

The enabling law appears in The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 2.  Here we learn that the road was to be at least 30 feet wide with no tree stumps taller than 12 inches from the ground.  Bridges were to be at least 15 feet wide and “built of good substantial materials.”  Contractors building the road would be paid in public land grants.

Newspapers of the time not only reprinted the legislation (The Northern Standard, March 2, 1844) but provided opinions and commentary such as these remarks from the Telegraph and Texas Register, March 20, 1844: “the act does not specify that any ditches shall be cut to drain the swamps or marches [sic] through which the road may pass . . . the road may be opened through the prairies only, while the sections containing woodlands and those where bridges are required, will be neglected, and thus the road would be useless.”

A century later, historians discovered the surveyors’ notes for the road.  In a 1944 issue of The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, J. W. Williams discussed the route indicated by the notes and provided maps.

Map of the Central National Road of Texas

In the end, westward movement of the frontier and changes in population centers reduced the importance of the road, but it is still remembered in a historical marker in Paris, Texas.

To learn more, search for “central national road” in the Portal.

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Bringing Home the GameTwice a month staff members choose an “Interesting Image” to share from the digital collections.  This postcard (chosen in honor of Valentine’s Day) is called Bringing Home the Game and is part of the Private Collection of Joe E. Haynes.

See more: postcards | Valentine’s Day items | items with the term “hearts”

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Welcome!  This blog is meant to provide informal information about The Portal to Texas History and the UNT Digital Library as well as some of the related resources.  We’re planning to share some of the things that we think are particularly neat about new collections, features, and how we make it all happen.