Faculty Teaching in the Archives (FTIA) Grants

 for Academic Year 2024-2025


The UTSA Special Collections Faculty Grant is aimed at instructors who would like to design or invigorate an undergraduate or graduate course with unique content from UTSA 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 to introduce students to a variety of primary sources, engage students in in-depth archival research, build students’ critical thinking skills, and stress participation in collaborative projects and presentations. The aim of FTIA grants is to generate opportunities for building partnerships and collaborations with the Special Collections Librarian and help foster more interdisciplinary teaching curriculum.

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 Special Collections specializes in interdisciplinary subjects relating to San Antonio, Texas, Mexico, and the borderland areas spanning the Southwestern US and Northern Mexico. Our strengths include Western Americana and Native American history, Spanish Colonial and Latinx/Texas history and literature, Mexican culinary history, regional civil rights histories, as well as book arts, printing, architecture, and photography documenting the 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. UTSA University Archives provides a rich source of faculty and staff papers, UTSA photograph collections, as well as UTSA institutional history.


The Faculty 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 special collections librarian to define specific learning objectives for the visit to the archives, select materials or documents, design tailored small group activities, and model document analysis through 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 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


Two grants will be awarded. One for instruction using any Special Collections research materials and one for instruction using our Chicano research collections. Each grant recipient will receive $1,000 for professional memberships, workshops, research, conferences, etc. Upon award, the money will be earmarked for the recipient’s use within one academic year.

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 clearly communicate 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 novel approaches facilitate student learning?

Partnership building: Does the instructor-librarian/archivist collaboration help to build or strengthen connections between the academic program and the Libraries? What is the extent and the nature of the collaboration between the instructor and the librarian?

Schedule interruption plan: In case classes must go virtual for a few weeks, has the instructor included a contingency plan that has been approved by the Special Collections Librarian?

To Apply

Before applying, please contact the Special Collections Librarian, Steph Noell, at steph.noell@utsa.edu to identify materials relevant to course topics. Faculty must submit a 2-to-3-page proposal narrative for developing a new course or redesign of an existing course that makes significant use of the collections and resources of the UTSA Special Collections. The grant period during which the winning course proposal can be taught covers 3 semesters: Fall 2024, Spring 2025, and Summer 2025 of the 2024-2025 academic year.

Faculty applications should be submitted to steph.noell@utsa.edu. Proposals should be accompanied by an endorsement from the Department Chair. All applications and Department Chair endorsements are due by midnight on March 18, 2024. UTSA Special Collections will notify applicants of its decision by April 30, 2024.