The original Handbook was conceived by TSHA President Walter Prescott Webb of The University of Texas history department. It was published as a two-volume set in 1952, with a supplemental volume published in 1976.
In 1996, the New Handbook of Texas was published, expanding the encyclopedia to six volumes and over 23,000 articles.
In 1999, the Handbook of Texas Online went live with the complete text of the print edition, all corrections incorporated into the handbook's second printing, and about 400 articles not included in the print edition due to space limitations. The handbook continues to be updated online, and contains over 25,000 articles. The online version includes entries on general topics, such as "Texas Since World War II", biographies such as notable Texans Samuel Houston and W. D. Twichell, ranches such as the Matador, and geographical entries such as "Waco, Texas".
- The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. ISBN 0-87611-151-7. Retrieved December 20, 2008.
- Texas Since World War II from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- Houston, Samuel from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 2008-12-20.
- Waco, Texas from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 2008-12-20.