About the Special Collections & Archives

What is the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Special Collections & Archives?

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Library Special Collections & Archives collects papers, such as files, letters, maps, and photographs from individuals, businesses and organizations which illustrate the history of the Lower Rio Grande Valley. Our purpose is both to educate and preserve, so we clean and repair documents, and then organize and describe them so that researchers can use them.

Who can use the Special Collections & Archives?

Anybody can use the UTRGV Archives. Please email us at archives@utrgv.edu or call at (956) 882-7968 (Brownsville Campus) or (956) 665-2726 (Edinburg Campus) before coming so that the appropriate materials are ready and we can ensure staff will be available to assist you.

Donating to the Special Collections & Archives

If you are interested in donating materials, you may have to visit our Special Collections & Archives. Go to The Society of American Archivists A Guide to Donating Your Personal or Family Papers to a Repository for more specifics on types of things collected by Archives and what archivists do.

Do you have stuff from your Grandparents you think we would be interested in? We collect original documents, such as papers, maps, photographs, videos, and audio tapes that deal with the Lower Rio Grande Valley which help illustrate the history of the area. If your materials fall in that category please call or e-mail (see contact information below).

We do not collect museum items, such as clothing, tools, toys, or other objects. These have their own unique requirements for proper preservation and conservation. Please contact the area museums directly:

Museum of South Texas History
Mission Historical Museum
Weslaco Museum
Historic Brownsville Museum
International Museum of Art and Science

Monetary donations

The UTRGV Library Special Collections & Archives is a non-profit organization. Preparing materials for use by researchers is the most expensive operation in a repository. Although financial gifts are rarely a prerequisite for the acceptance of a collection, donors who can also assist repositories with financial support are encouraged to do so. Donors' financial gifts of cash, stocks, bonds, or mutual funds can help the UTRGV Library Special Collections & Archives pay for the arrangement, cataloging, and conservation of their donated personal materials. A donor may earmark financial gifts for immediate use by the UTRGV Library Special Collections & Archives or, to provide long term financial support, the donor may donate funds to establish an endowment. Gifts to an endowment are invested long term; income is disbursed annually from the endowment to provide financial support to maintain and preserve the archived materials.

For your personal use…

If you have things at home you want to keep in good condition, visit the National Archives & Records Administration’s Caring for your Family Archives website. There are tips and information on how to keep your papers, photographs and other materials from deteriorating with age.