Special Collections & Archives

Special Collections is used to describe our collections within the Library that are special, either because they refer to our geographic region, such as the Lower Rio Grande Valley Collection (LRGV) or Archives. Other reasons a collection may be special is because they were received as a complete collection, such as the Holman Collection, or because the books are rare and unique, such as our Rare Book and Special Materials Collection.

Contact us at:


Brownsville: (956) 882-7968

Edinburg: (956) 665-2726

Brownsville Campus Special Collections Hours

Sunday Closed
Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Saturday By appointment only

Edinburg Campus Special Collections Hours:

Sunday and Monday Closed
Tuesday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Hours may vary during the Summer, during Holidays, and between semesters. A complete listing of University Library Hours, with these schedule changes, may be found on the Library's webpage.

Brownsville Special Collections & Archives is located on the second floor of the Brownsville Library, in room 2.202. Edinburg Special Collections & Archives is located on the first floor of the Library to the left of the elevators, in room 1.104.

To find Special Collection materials in the online catalog, go to Advanced Keyword, enter your keywords and under Location select "Special Collections" or you can browse our featured list.

Anyone can come and use the materials in Special Collections. We welcome all researchers, students, faculty, genealogists, and anyone interested in local history or rare books.

List of available collections

Special Rules for Special Collections

Users should be aware that much of the Collection's holdings are valuable and unique and are therefore very expensive or impossible to replace. The Library staff will retrieve the requested materials. When reviewing the materials, please use pencils only, and if you take them home, keep them away from kids and pets! The staff reserves the right to inspect all backpacks, purses, and other personal articles before leaving the area.

If your call number has:

LRGV c.1 (1st or only copy) Library Use only
LRGV c.2 and above (2nd or more copies) Available for checkout
Rare Books from the Rare Collection Books may be viewed in Special Collections Room only


Select materials can be checked out with a proper identification and a Library bar code. Currently enrolled students, or currently employed faculty or staff, have standard check-out privileges. All other patrons may check-out materials for two weeks. Members of the general public may obtain a public patron card for an annual fee. Visit the Circulation page for more complete information.

Overdue Fines and Fees

$1.00 per day

CAUTION: Because our books are unique and often irreplaceable, they have a higher fine than other Library books. Users are responsible for damage and replacement costs for Special Collection materials.

Dusting off the Decades

How to Care for Your Treasures at Home handout

Dusting Off the Decades slideshow

Highlights of the Decades posters