Rare Books Collections

Rare Books collects published materials emphasizing the history and development of the Texas-Mexico border region in general and the people, history, art, life, and literature of San Antonio and South Texas in particular. Several key areas of our collection are highlighted below. Read our rare books collection development policy

San Antonio History

Books, newspapers, and other materials documenting all aspects of San Antonio's history, from the establishment of Mission San Antonio de Valero in 1718 to the present.
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San Antonio Authors and Artists

These two collections focus on the literary and artistic output of writers and artists whose work substantially depicts or concentrates on San Antonio and South Texas.
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Materials covering the history of Texas from the Spanish Colonial period through the 20th century, with particular concentration in the areas of South Texas, the Texas-Mexico border region, and the history of Texas immigrants.

Also includes the John Peace Collection of Texana, consisting of rare books collected by Mr. John Peace of San Antonio relating to the Spanish Colonial, Mexican Republic, Republic of Texas, and Annexation periods.
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History of Mexico and Mexican Cookbooks

Focuses on the Texas-Mexico border region, but includes titles on other regions as well. As part of this collecting area, UTSA Special Collections curates the Sons of the Republic of Texas' Kathryn Stoner O'Connor Collection, consisting of over 1,500 rare books and pamphlets, primarily in Spanish. 
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Mexican social, culinary, and publishing history is documented in our collection of over 1,500 Mexican, Texan, and Southwestern Cookbooks in English and Spanish, from the 19th to the 21st centuries.
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Western Americana

Rare first edition 19th and 20th century books covering the history of the Western United States. The Richard Warden Collection is rich in subject areas from Native American tribes and overland travel to the gold rush and Western fiction.
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The Civil War

Texas' involvement in the Civil War is the major focus of this collection, though it also includes general Civil War rarities.
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Includes holdings concentrated in four areas: 1) San Antonio and South Texas architecture; 2) Missions of Mexico and the Southwest; 3) Trade Catalogs, 1880-1945 [bulk 1900-1925]; and 4) historic architecture titles from the library of architect Ralph Haywood Cameron.
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Fine Press Collections

Archives the output of small and fine presses in Texas, with particularly extensive holdings from Encino Press and Texas Western Press under the direction of Carl Hertzog.
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Yiddish Literature and Jewish History in Texas

Consists of over 2,000 novels, poetry books, memoirs, essays, and periodicals printed in Yiddish, presented to UTSA in 1977 by the Jewish community in Mexico City. Additionally, UTSA collects published works documenting the experiences of Jewish immigrants to South Texas.
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