Fighting over the Alamo’s treasures


The Alamo in San Antonio
The Alamo in San Antonio

No matter who owns it, the Alamo Research Center is priceless.

The 38,000 items housed inside the historic mission and battleground represent 110 years of collecting by the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, although the site is now managed by the state General Land Office.

A lawsuit by the Daughters claims that much of the library collection was donated to the private heritage society to remain in its care, not the state’s.

State officials have argued all along that some of the items were bought with state money, and they had trouble getting the Daughters to identify which items belonged to the Daughters and which belonged to the people of Texas.

A group of academics and archivists, including former State Archivist David Gracy, has written to Land Commissioner George P. Bush expressing concern that the state’s takeover might discourage future donors from lending items to museums and libraries.

The courtroom seems like the best place to sort out this complicated dispute. A trial is set for February.