UTSA Libraries Launches Redesigned Special Collections Website

UTSA Libraries is proud to announce the launch of a new website showcasing the university’s Special Collections—rare books and archives documenting the diverse histories and development of San Antonio and South Texas.

The enhanced online presence directly supports UTSA’s ascent to Tier One status, making these valuable research materials more accessible to both scholarly and casual researchers.

“One of the indicators of a Tier One research university is the caliber of its special collections,” said Dean Hendrix, dean of UTSA Libraries. “In a sense, they’re the university’s treasures – collections that attract scholars from around the world because of their uniqueness.”

“Anyone researching San Antonio and South Texas history will want to spend some time exploring UTSA’s collections,” he continued. “They’re second to none – particularly our collections highlighting our region’s underrepresented communities.”

The new site features an impactful design through the use of large banner images, clear articulation of signature collecting areas, simplified request forms, a direct feed from archivists’ Top Shelf blog, and a revised navigational structure for an improved user experience.

The library team behind the website’s development included Amy Rushing, head of Special Collections, Katie Rojas, manuscripts archivist, Kristin Law, university archivist, Anne Peters, director of library communications, Carolyn Ellis, technology project management librarian, Ross Heinsohn, web specialist, George Marez, web designer, Emily Cox, librarian, and Veronica Rodriguez, special projects librarian.

“By emphasizing our collection strengths and inviting users to discover some of our signature collections, we are able to provide a glimpse into our rich holdings,” said Rushing. “For users who want to delve deeper into our collections, the site offers more streamlined ways of searching and browsing as well as more detailed information about the types of material we collect.”

Signature collecting areas for the university include the history of the African-American and LGBTQ communities in San Antonio, the history of women and gender in Texas, Mexican-American activism and advertising, the Tex-Mex food industry, and urban planning.

The UTSA Libraries are on the forefront of reimagining the 21st century academic library. With four locations across three campuses, the libraries are fueling UTSA’s ascent to Tier One status by providing students and faculty with seamless, comprehensive access to information and learning resources as well as innovative spaces for active learning and interdisciplinary scholarship.

Pictured above: Catching Cattle with Lasso from O.M. Robert's maps edition of "A Description of Texas, its Advantages and Resources" (1881), John Peace Collection, UTSA Special Collections.