Archival Resources

A guide to archival resources at UTSA Libraries Special Collections

What to Expect When You Arrive

Researchers using resources at UTSA Special Collections located on the 4th floor of JPL. UTSA Special Collections

Image: Researchers using resources at UTSA Special Collections located on the 4th floor of JPL. UTSA Special Collections.

Special Collections materials are open to all researchers; a UTSA affiliation is not required. Special Collections materials are often rare or fragile. In the case of archival collections, many items are unique and irreplaceable. Because of this, there are restrictions on what items are allowed in the reading room.

Important Information:

  • Researchers are required to follow the Special Collections Reading Room Rules.
  • Holdings in Special Collections do not circulate (they cannot be borrowed or taken home).
  • A photo ID is required to use materials.

During your first visit, you will be asked to fill out a Researcher Registration Form. You will be asked to provide your name, contact information, institutional affiliation, and a brief description of your research project. During future visits, you will only need to show your photo ID.

Staff will retrieve materials for you and provide any special handling instructions relevant to the specific materials you are viewing.

Special Information for UTSA Students

If you are visiting Special Collections as part of a class with your instructor, you do not need to make an appointment. Your instructor will have made arrangements with us in advance.

If you are doing research on your own outside of class, you will need to make an appointment in advance to use most collections. Our archival collections and rare books are housed in secure locations that are only accessible to Special Collections staff. This is because they are rare, fragile, unique, and/or irreplaceable. These items are available to you for research, but we need to know which materials you would like to see in advance so that we have enough time to retrieve them for you. If you need help determining which materials you would like to see during your appointment, please contact us.

Camera Use


splityarn. "Cannon PowerShot SD1000."Researchers are invited to use their personal digital cameras to photograph collection materials in the reading room. Personal scanners, tripods, or flashes may not be used. Photographs and/or digital images can only be used for personal reference and research purposes. Further details about camera use in the reading room can be found on the registration form.

Please remember to use the appropriate citation when referencing Special Collections materials. Researchers assume full responsibility for observing all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.


Image: splityarn. "Cannon PowerShot SD1000." June 18, 2008. Used under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license.