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Research at the Archives

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Research Guides at the GLO Decordova

The Texas General Land Office sells research guides highlighting Spanish and Mexican land grants in South Texas and catalogues for the Spanish Collections.

Research Guides available at the GLO
Conducting research in the Archives and Records of the Texas General Land Office has never been easier thanks to the online resources available to the public. All the tools for conducting research are found here in one location.

An interactive search of the Land Grant Database provides access to more than 2.5 million full-color scanned documents, as well as basic information on all documents constituting the Land Grants of the General Land Office. Detailed research on nearly 45,000 Land Office maps, sketches and drawings ― some dating back more than 300 years ― can be done on the Searchable Map Database. You can also easily search for ancestors with the alphabetized GLO Surname Index.

Helpful information for effective research at the Land Office is in the Helpful Info on the right-hand column of this page.

Research assistance is also available upon request.

Reminder: Check Online First!

More than 2 million documents in the Archives and Records of the Land Office are available online and in full-color PDF format, available for download for free. Almost all maps are available for viewing online, many with zooming capability to examine in greater detail.

Research tips when Visiting the Texas General Land Office Archives:

  • Come prepared. When researching an individual or piece of land, first consult the Surname Index and Land Grant Database. This will provide a general knowledge of available files and could lead to additional finds while at the Land Office.
  • Many documents from the Land Grant Database are available online to download and print for free. If you find a document online that you wish to research at the Land Office, it's helpful to bring a print of it on your visit.
  • Ask research staff to help you in locate an ancestor's land grant with a GIS data search. This will show exactly where the land grant is today in relation to major streets and landmarks.
  • Visit the Archives.  Learn More