Skip to Main Content

University Archives - Research

A guide for using the Trinity University Archives

Getting Started

Whether you are working on a class project, an administrative report, compiling family history, conducting scholarly research, or just wanting to learn more about the history of Trinity University, the University Archives is the place to be!

Visiting Special Collections and Archives

Before you go...

Before visiting or contacting the Special Collections and Archives, it's best to have a general idea of what your looking for.  Remember to check our online resources, but know this is not all that we have.  The more information you have about a topic you would like to research, the easier it is for staff to locate relevant information for you. 

While research appointments are not necessary to use the reading room, it is best to schedule one when requesting to view specific materials.  This helps the staff prepare materials for your visit.  If you have located items you would like to view from one of our finding aids, please provide the collection name and number as well as the box and folder number for the materials you wish to reference in your appointment email.

If you are having difficulty finding material through our digital resources but suspect we might have what you're looking, or if you're just not sure where to start, please contact

You have arrived...

When you visit the archives please be aware of a few basic guidelines for our reading room. 

  1.  Archival material and rare books are to be consulted only in the Reading Room and do not circulate.

  2. Coats, backpacks, purses, or any bags must be stored in the coat closet or lobby during your visit. Researchers may bring laptop computers into the Reading Room.

  3. Eating and drinking are not permitted.  

  4. To preserve our collections, materials must be handled with care at all times: do not lean on, write on, fold or handle materials  in a way that may damage them. Tracing is not permitted. Only pencils may be used in the Reading Room.

  5. Please remove only one folder from a box at a time and replace  all materials in their original order. 

For complete guidelines and registration, please visit the Reading Room and Archives please go to our visit us page.

Statement on Culturally and Racially Insensitive Material

Working with archival material requires us to acknowledge the past on a regular basis. Working with material in the Special Collections and Archives is no different. Some archival materials may represent positions, cultural norms, and values that are no longer, or never were, acceptable.  Individuals might come across insensitive and socially unacceptable descriptions and depictions within our older materials.

However, archives have a responsibility to maintain the historical integrity of material and should serve as a means of accountability.

Similarly, there may be instances in which material has been described in an insensitive and socially unacceptable manner during acquisition or processing. Archival descriptions are not fixed documents and should be reviewed regularly and updated as needed.

If you come across any material that you are concerned about, please speak to the archivist so they can address the material and its descriptions.

Navigating Archival Resources

Navigating the University Archives may seem intimidating at first, but there are plenty of tools and resources at your disposal.

The archives contains photographs, papers, audiovisual material, ephemera and memorabilia, department files, faculty papers, architectural drawings, alumni collections, and more! 

For information on rare books and special collections unrelated to Trinity, please contact Special Collections Librarian, Colleen Hoelscher at


Searching the Archives

Once you have determined whether the resources you need are in the University Archives, you can begin by searching through our  Archival finding aids and descriptions, digital publications, digital collections, and web archives. If you have further questions about searching the archives, please check out our tutorials & guides for searching the archives online.

Finding Aids & Descriptions- The archival finding aids and descriptions are useful if you plan to visit the archives in person or make a remote request for specific materials. 

Screenshot of the Dr. Earl M. Lewis Papers finding aid














Digital Publications- The digital publications available include The Trinitonian, The Mirage, and the Course of Study Bulletins, with some publications dating to as early as the 1860s. 

Digital Collections- Our digital collections provides digital accessibility to selected resources from the University Archives as well as Special Collections. These materials reflect the broad range of subjects in our physical holdings, ranging from medieval manuscripts to modern day San Antonio social movements. Collections are presented in a variety of formats, including photographs, art, text, video, and audio. 

Web Archives- The web archives house captured snapshots of Trinity University's website and various related pages, including records of faculty and student organization pages. 


Much of the archives is not digitized but is available by visiting the reading room. Reference requests can be sent to University Archivist Abra Schnur at or to  You may request scans by completing the Duplication Order Form, but please note that special permission may required to reproduce or publish materials. For more information on our reference policy, including remote requests, please see our Policies and Procedures