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Department of Economic Development Records

Identifier: MA 2019.023

Scope and Contents

The Department of Economic Development Records consists of materials accumulated since 1966 through 2012. The materials include correspondence, annual reports, minutes, plans, agendas, presentations, financial documents, job descriptions, photographs, slides, maps, drawings, posters, clippings, pamphlets, magazines, resolutions, petitions, applications, surveys, ordinances, mixed media, and ephemera.

The collection has three series: Preservation and Revitalization, Sister Cities International, and International Programs. The first series, Preservation and Revitalization (1966-2000), contains two subseries: Historic Preservation which includes correspondence with the Texas Landmark Commission, Denton business owners, and residents, letters describing the history of prominent homes on the streets of Oak and Hickory, maps and drawings of the area, and photographs for the zoning and preservation of historic sites in the downtown Denton area. The second subseries, Main Street Program contains project descriptions of the Main Street Program, budgets, meeting minutes and agendas, and photographs and slides of buildings and events held in the downtown area which was known as Main Street. Series II, Sister Cities International (1997-2005), consists of correspondence between Denton city officials and international leaders from Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, and San Nicholas, photographs of their signings, agendas, maps, and clippings. It also contains correspondence, photographs, and clippings from Fuego y Alma police training and Cinco de Mayo celebrations, including featured artist Sra. Socorro Martinez. Series III, International Programs (1999-2012) is comprised of programs correspondence for the following International Law Enforcement Exchange Program featuring the visit by Major-General Ioseb Alavidze from Tblisi, Georgia, the Energy Efficient Workshop in Estonia, a Denton Official trip to Brazil, and presentation, plans, agenda, and business cards from the Japan-America Grassroots Summit. Anyone researching the Historic homes or downtown area of Denton will value these records. Those studying Denton’s international ties will find this Series II and Series III helpful.


  • 1966 - 2012
  • Majority of material found within 1980 - 1999


Language of Materials

The majority of material in this collection is in English. One folder pertaining to Japan-American Grass Roots Summit contains materials in Japanese; On folder pertaining to the International Law Enforcement Exchange Program in Tblisi, Georgia contains items written in Georgian script; Several folders pertaining to Sister Cities contain materials in Spanish.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections Department of the Denton Public Library.

Historical Sketch

The Economic Development Department serves to promote the City of Denton’s local businesses with recruitment, retention, and expansion support as a community service. It is responsible for the creation of over 7200 jobs since 1999 due to the inception of its incentive program, in which the City invested $16.5 million in tax-related incentives. Denton earned a 300 percent return for all the incentives awarded. Economic services include developing proposals for industrial prospects, administration and coordination of the City enterprise zones programs, development of economic incentive programs, production of the City Fact Book, coordination of employee relocation programs, the compilation and distribution of community statistics and information, and working with the Denton County Historical Commission and Texas Landmark Commission for preservation.

The department also works with international businesses and governments through Sister Cities International for economic development partnerships. Sister Cities International was founded by Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956 to unite diplomats and volunteers across the globe, creating mutual respect, understanding, and cooperation between cultures. In previous years, Denton City Officials have traveled to the Nuevo Leon region of Mexico as part of the program and hosted delegates for festivals such as the Cinco de Mayo and Fuego de Alma celebrations. Additional international relations such as the Japan-Grassroots Conference, University of North Texas trip to Brazil, and the International Law Enforcement Program have been sponsored for economic development.

Downtown Denton established the Denton Main Street Program through the Economic Development Department in 1989 and was named a Texas Certified Main Street in 1990. The program is managed by the Denton Main Street Association, a non-profit organization funded by sponsorships, memberships, grants, and volunteers. Through a low interest loan program cosponsored with downtown’s First State Bank, free design assistance from the Texas Main Street architect and a 50 percent tax abatement over 10 years from the City to anyone who purchased a locally designated historic building, the program was able to support the improvement of more than 94 downtown structures. The association now hosts many City events and festivals each year including Wassail Weekend, the Denton Black Film Festival, and the Thin Red Line Fest. The Denton Main Street has instilled its partners to bridge differences, find commonalities and work together for a joint cause.

Dane, Suzanne G. Main Street Success Stories. Washington, D.C.: National Main Street Center, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1997.
City of Denton Annual Program of Services. Public Affairs, 2018
City of Denton Annual Program of Services. Paul Lehrer and Word Processing, 1990
Sister Cities International,, 2020
Economic Development Partnership,, 2020
Denton Main Street,
City of Denton: Economic Development


3.3 Linear Feet (Six manuscript boxes, two binder boxes, one photo box and one oversize folder)


The Economic Development Collection contains the historical background and involvement of the Main Street Program, Sister Cities International, and other international programs between 1966 and 2012. Its assistance to the City of Denton includes the improvements of local businesses and presevation of historic structures with the assistance of the Denton Historical Commission and the Texas Landmark Commission.

Series Description

The Department of Economic Development Records is arranged in three series:

Series I. Preservation and Revitalization 3.13 linear ft. (6 manuscript boxes, 1 photograph box, 1 oversized box, and 2 three ring binders), 1966 - 2000.

Arranged in two subseries: 1. Historic Preservation and 2. Main Street Program.

Subseries I. Historic Preservation 1.11 linear ft. (1 manuscript box, 14 folders, and 1 oversized folder), 1966 -1999.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries II. Main Street Program 1.34 linear ft. (2 three ring binders, 1 manuscript box, and 8 folders), 1983-2000.

Arranged by topic.

Series II. Sister Cities International 0.55 linear ft. (1 manuscript box and 6 folders), 1997-2005 .

Arranged by topic.

Series III. International Programs 0.13 linear ft. (3 folders), 1999-2012.

Arranged by topic.

Provenance Statement

The Department of Economic Develepment Records were donated to the Denton Municipal Archives, Special Collections, Denton Public Library on 2019-10-22 and 2019-11-06. A large portion of the historic preservation materials from Series I was transferred to the library in 2016 as part of a Trash to Treasure Day event.

Additional Sources

Additional materials on historic preservation and the Denton Main Street Program can be found at the Emily Fowler Central Library's Special Collections in the DTEX collection. Information regarding historic preservation may also be found at the Courthouse-on-the-Square Museum. The City of Denton no longer participates in the Sister Cities International program, but additional infomation may be found on their website. Two certificates pertaining to Sisters Cities International can be found in the vertical file under Denton--Awards, Recognitions.


The books/magazines in this collection have been separated from the main collection and incorporated into the Special Collections stacks.


It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission from copyright holders of materials to which this institution does not own copyright.

Images in this collection may be identified by a unique number that provides information about format, record group, collection, series, box, folder and image numbers. If one exists please use this number when ordering reproductions of images for this collection.

Note to the Researcher

Larger Maps from Series I, subseries II, were stored flat in Folder 5, Oversized Drawer 2 with Removed Item notices in the corresponding folders. Since the collection was donated in no discernable order over similar time periods, the materials were arranged by subject.

Materials Removed List

All duplicates and orginal binders and folders were removed and replaced with acid-free folders. Newspaper clippings and post-it notes were photocopied to acid-free paper and the originals were discarded. The Texas Dog Lover's Companion by Larry D. Hodge and Main Street Success Stories by Suzanne G. Dane were removed from the collection and added to the Special Collections Department of the Denton Public Library. Box 6, Folder 4 contained a photocopy of the History of The City Federation of Women's Clubs, Denton, TX which was identical the Special Collection's book. The scan has been removed with the exception of the final page which consisted of an additional clipping not found in the book. Resumes and Employment applications were destroyed due to the presence of sensitive, personal identification information.

Guide to the Department of Economic Development Records, 1966-2013
Robin Lyle
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Edition statement
First Edition

Repository Details

Part of the Denton Municipal Archives Repository

Emily Fowler Central Library
502 Oakland St.
Denton TX 76201 USA