Faculty Teaching in the Archives (FTIA) Grants


UTSA Libraries Special Collections invites applications for the Faculty Teaching in the Archives (FTIA) Grants for 2017-2018 academic year. The grants are aimed at instructors who would like to design or invigorate an undergraduate or graduate course with unique content from UTSA’s Special Collections and generate innovative primary source assignments and projects for students.

The FTIA Grants offer teaching faculty an opportunity to implement innovative archives-centered pedagogical approaches in their courses in order to introduce students to a variety of primary sources, engage students in-depth archival research, build students’ critical thinking skills, and stress participation in collaborative projects and presentations. FTIA grants generate opportunities for building partnerships and collaborations with Special Collections librarians, and foster interdisciplinary teaching.

UTSA’s manuscript and rare book collections are well suited for faculty wanting to engage with teaching evidence-based research methods, public history, book studies (broadly defined), or material culture in a variety of subject areas and topics.

UTSA’s Special Collections span interdisciplinary subjects relating to San Antonio, Texas, Mexico and the borderland areas of the Southwestern U.S. and Northern Mexico. Strengths of the collections include Western Americana and Native American history, Spanish Colonial and Latino/Texas history and literature, Mexican culinary history, regional civil rights histories, book arts and printing, architecture, and photography documenting our region. In addition, a wide range of materials from around the world enables research and instruction in a variety of disciplines from medieval art to creative writing. The UTSA history archives provide a rich source on UTSA institutional history as well as faculty and staff papers and photograph collections.


FTIA Grants are open to UTSA tenured, tenure-track and non-tenure track faculty teaching undergraduate and graduate courses at any level. Interdisciplinary approaches are strongly encouraged.

Preference will be given to course design that:

  • Incorporates innovative archives/rare books–centered pedagogical approaches
  • Involves close collaboration with an archivist or rare books librarian to define specific learning objectives, select materials or documents, design tailored small group activities, and model document analysis though directed prompts
  • Utilizes special collections materials and spaces throughout the semester
  • Provides opportunities for students to do at least one of the following:
    • scaffolded research and writing assignments using a variety of primary sources
    • training in critical analysis and use of primary source materials through specific and tailored prompts
    • student engagement with scholarly communications, social media, blogs, or exhibit curation/creation


Four grant recipients will receive $1,000 each to supplement their departmental annual travel allowance. Upon award, the money will be transferred to the recipient’s department and earmarked for the recipient’s use.

Selection Criteria

Successful proposals will demonstrate how students will benefit from the opportunity to select, analyze, and use primary sources to learn and create new knowledge. Proposals will be evaluated for:

  • Feasibility: Is the project realistic in terms of what can be accomplished? Does the proposal communicate clearly the project’s central goals, learning objectives, and approaches?
  • Depth of integration: To what extent will special collections materials be integrated throughout the course?
  • Innovative pedagogy: Does the project employ well designed practices or approaches that are either new to the instructor, course, or department, or new to the application of those practices? If so, how do these new approaches facilitate student learning?
  • Partnership building: Does collaborating with a librarian/archivist help to build or strengthen connections between the academic program and the UTSA Libraries? What is the extent and the nature of the collaboration between the instructor and the librarian/archivist?

To Apply

Please submit a 2-3 page proposal narrative for developing a new course or redesigning an existing course that makes significant use of UTSA’s special collections. The course must be taught in fall 2017, spring 2018, or summer 2018.

Proposals should be accompanied by an endorsement from the Department Chair mailed directly to specialcollections@utsa.edu.

All applications and Department Chair endorsements are due by midnight on March 20, 2017. Decision notifications will be sent by April 20, 2017.

For more information or questions, please contact Agnes Czeblakow, rare books librarian.

Submit your grant application


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