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Teaching with Special Collections & Archives

A guide for faculty interested in instruction sessions using Special Collections & Archives

About Us

Special Collections & Archives is home to the library's rare book and manuscript collections, as well as the University Archives. Our primary function is to support the undergraduate curriculum through primary source instruction, research consultations, and digitization. 

What kinds of material does SCA have?

We generally describe SCA as a "teaching collection"--a little bit of everything, with a few areas of particular strength. Some areas with particularly large holdings include: 

  • American first editions
  • Fine press and alternative press books
  • Latin American history and anthropology, with a particular emphasis on Mayan and Aztec codices
  • Photography
  • Presbyterian history
  • Texas history and literature
  • Trinity University history
  • Victorian travel literature

Almost all of our rare book collection can be searched via the library catalog. Some materials are not yet cataloged; consult with the Special Collections Librarian for more information. 

Manuscript holdings--including items in the University Archives--can be searched in our finding aid database, AtoM. Additions to this database are ongoing, and currently constitute only a fraction of our holdings. When looking for items on a particular topic, instructors are encouraged to reach out to the Special Collections Librarian or University Archivist for assistance identifying uncatalogued materials.