Impact and Reach

Texas Archival Resources Online is hugely important to researchers searching for materials and locating repositories.

A single search allows researchers to discover resources from over 19,000 finding aids from more than 80 archives, libraries, museums, and other cultural heritage centers. The scope of primary source material available on TARO is as historically-rich and diverse as the state itself.

For some repositories, TARO provides the only outlet for sharing collection descriptions with users across the globe. For those who maintain their own collections websites, TARO offers the added value of getting those listings in front of new audiences and revealing connections with other related materials across the state.

In 2022, TARO was awarded the Advocacy for Archives Award by the Texas Historical Records Advisory Board (THRAB). TARO was also the subject of THRAB’s 2023 Texas Archives Month poster.

Community Support

TARO offers support to ensure members can participate in this community effort. Documentation like the Best Practices Guidelines is available to help members encode and submit their finding aids. TARO also hosts in-person workshops and is developing online training tools. And the TARO listserv offers a venue for communicating with other participants.

If creating XML files poses a barrier, a simplified process funded by the Summerlee Foundation makes participation easier by allowing archives to submit finding aids in Microsoft Word.

Members or prospective members are encouraged to ask for assistance. Each new member—even each new finding aid—makes TARO better!

Cost (Free)

TARO is completely free to member institutions and researchers. This is possible thanks to the generous support of the University of Texas at Austin Libraries as well as the untold hours contributed by the volunteer-driven TARO community. Some cultural heritage aggregation sites charge members to participate (reasonably so!), but TARO is committed to its no-cost membership model.


The new TARO website meets ADA-accessibility standards, ensuring equal access for all users.


The Texas Archival Resources Online consortium is based at The University of Texas at Austin Libraries. In addition to the staff and technology support that comes with this institutional home, it also means the site (and the community) will be stewarded into the future.


In addition to the institutional support provided by the University of Texas at Austin Libraries, TARO has received financial support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Texas Historical Resources Advisory Board, and the Summerlee Foundation. TARO was first supported from a research grant from the Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund (TIF) Board of the State of Texas in 1999.

Moving Forward

TARO’s 2022-2025 Strategic Plan “TARO Today | TARO Tomorrow” offers directions for future development and member support.

TARO launched an entirely redesigned website in 2021, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The new site offers an improved user experience for both researchers and members, featuring an improved search function, ADA-accessibility, and a simple tool for uploading finding aids.


“The ease with which TARO allowed me, and the reference staff of these archives, to browse collections to find the resources I needed for my research cannot be overstated. It is essential for archival research in this great state” — Bill O’Neal , former State Historian of Texas

“From a small repository perspective, TARO has been so valuable in letting researchers know that we exist and pointing them to unique collections we have that intersect with the Texas and Austin history collections in other, larger repositories in the state” — Kristy Sorensen, Associate Director of the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Library