Municipal Archives


​Resources for Researching Neighborhoods

Pathfinder Number 1

Manuscript and Paper-based Materials

Dallas Park and Recreation Department-Related Records


Collection 1995-023—Park and Recreation Department Subject Files, 1911-1970 
Subject files consist of records on individual parks and Park Department activities.  These files often include correspondence with neighborhood groups, petitions for park amenities and activities and information about park design, construction and maintenance over time.  They frequently include maps showing not only the park, but sometimes the entire neighborhood.  Occasionally these maps show property ownership.

Collection 1995-022—White Rock Lake General Subject Files, 1921-1953
Collection 1995-037—Park and Playground System (publication), 1921-1923
Collection 1995-043—Park Department Works Progress Administration Records, 1939-1940
Collection 1995-047—Grauwyler Park and John and Emma Grauwyler, 1827-1963
Collection 2002-001—Park and Recreation Department Plans and Drawings, 1911-1960

Annexation Records [Records of annexed areas, both incorporated and unincorporated]


Collection 1991-063—City of Fruitdale, 1937-196 
Collection 1991-064—City of Kleberg, 1956-1978
Collection 1991-087—City of Oak Cliff, 1891-1904, 1930
Collection 1991-108—City of Renner, 1953-1977 
Collection 1991-110—Town of Preston Hollow, 1940-1945
Collection 1991-114—Town of Honey Springs, 1937-1946
Collection 1992-015—Oak Lawn Heights and Related Annexations, 1929-1934 
Collection 1994-001—Annexation Plat Maps, 1890-1956
Collection 1996-039—Annexation Ordinance Project, 1903-1993

Other Manuscript Collections


Collection 1991-022—City of Dallas Housing Department, 1938-1999
Collection 1991-068—Vickery Place Addition, 1920
Collection 1991-069—Lagow School District, 1919
Collection 1991-070—Fairland Annex Segregated Housing Materials, 1920
Collection 1991-071—Caruth​ Place Addition, 1920
Collection 1991-111—Municipal Bond Certificates, 1874-1972
Collection 1991-118—Maple Avenue Property, 1917-1919

Maps

Collection 1999-001—General Map Collection, 1915-1985
Maps created mostly by City departments for various city government functions, such as planning and public works.  Maps often include information about property ownership, city limits, extent of neighborhood development, and transportation details such as interurban lines, bus lines, and train tracks.

Collection 1994-001—Annexation Plat Maps, 1890-1956

Photographs

​Collection 1999-003— City Photographer, 1950-1997
Five thousand black and white and color photographic negatives and prints documenting people, places, and events concerning Dallas city government.  Although city government is the focus of this collection, photographs for neighborhood research include parks, recreation centers, and events held at specific sites around Dallas.  A second series of evidential photographs used for legal cases in Code Compliance 196-197, organized by street address, occasionally document building and block façades.  

Photographs prior to 1950 by the City Photographer are located in the Texas/Dallas History & Archives division of the Dallas Public Library.

Collection 2003-001— Aerial Map Photographs of Dallas, Texas 1930, 1949, 1974, 1979
Five hundred black and white photographic negatives and prints.  Aerial photographs of the entire City of Dallas for use by the city’s Public Works and Planning Departments.  Maps can be used to examine existing structures.  Most maps are 1”-500’ scale.  Aerial photographs can be used to document historically black neighborhoods and land changes over time.  The 1930 set is entirely digitized; other years are available in negative form or hardcopy. 
Street Names and Street Name Changes

Street Name and Street Name Changes Index, 1900-1976
Microfilmed card index containing resolutions and ordinances by the Dallas City Council naming or re-naming streets in the corporate limits of Dallas.  The City Archivist will assist researchers in more detailed street research if requested.


City Secretary’s Files/Council Action Files

[City Council Minutes, Ordinances and Resolutions]

Dallas City Council’s official records, including minutes of the Dallas City Council [and earlier forms of government], from 1868 to the present, are available for research in paper, electronic, and micrographic forms. 

Complete earlier records (1868-1950) and later records (1979-1997) are on microfiche and indexed by subject matter and by ordinance and resolution numbers, and may be viewed at the City Secretary’s Office. 

Mid-century minutes, ordinances and resolutions (1950-1970s) are indexed and microfilmed, excluding original contracts and memoranda.  Other council records from the same period are in process of microfilming; contact archivist for status.

Council minutes, agendas, and ordinances and resolutions from 1995 to the present are available in electronic form at the City Secretary’s Office website.

Council records contain primary documents associated with annexation, early neighborhoods and neighborhood groups, evidence of construction of streets, bridges, parks, libraries, and other city properties and services in specific neighborhoods.

City of Dallas Board and Commission Minutes [Various Dates]​

Collection 1999-004—City Plan Commission Minute Books, 1919-1983

Bound minutes from 1919-1983 on microfilm, unindexed; later years located in City Secretary Files on microfiche by year and indexed.  This body is responsible for making recommendations to the City Council regarding planning and zoning matters and is also involved in the platting and recording of subdivisions and additions.  Early-day developers and key dates in developments are documented if they appeared before the commission.

Landmark Commission Minutes, 1987-Present

Contained in City Secretary’s Office Files by year in both hardcopy and microfiche. Indexes by year on microfiche.  This body is charged with encouraging the use and/or adaptive reuse of historic buildings and houses within the City of Dallas. Information on properties proposed for landmark protection, historic neighborhood planning, and economic development for the downtown Central Business District.​