The mission of the Collection is to preserve and make available to our patrons materials which chronicle the history and development of all aspects of the rich heritage of San Antonio, Bexar County, and Texas from prehistoric times to the present. Special focus is on the history and development of San Antonio and Bexar County as entities within the larger context of Texas, the Southwest, and Northern Mexico. While the primary focus is on history and culture of San Antonio and Texas, items also reflect the customs and crafts of various ethnic groups which make up the population. Also in the collection are materials on politics, archaeology, ranching, plant and animal life, cooking, religion, literature, water-related issues, and much more. The collection includes not only books, but also maps, serials, microforms, and archival files.
Examples of collections include:
Please note: The Texana/Genealogy Department has ScanPro readers to view and digitize microfilm. These units are able to save digitized images to a USB drive or print hard copies. However, not every unit is connected to a printer. Please bring your own USB drive.
These are groups of materials given to the Library by local individuals and are designated as special due to the nature of the collection or the original owner. Examples include,
The staff of the Texana/Genealogy Department has two main goals with regard to the Genealogy Collection. The first is to continue to acquire materials to meet the ever expanding needs of our patrons. Virtually every state east of the Rockies is represented, as well as Canada and Mexico, and some European countries.
The second goal is to educate family historians as to what materials we can provide and the proper historical and genealogical research methods to use. To this end the Department offers monthly classes, special events, and community outreach programs.
The types of records purchased as books or microfilm include court records (deeds, probate, marriage, etc.), church records (baptisms, burials, marriages, membership lists, etc.), cemetery readings, local histories, military records, passenger lists, and others. Some examples from the collection include:
The archival collections are generally non-published materials representing individuals or organizations. In preserving our local history for future generations such collections are very important as they contain information not likely to be found elsewhere. When lost, the place of that individual or organization in history may be gone forever along with any references to the important contributions made to society. As the primary location in San Antonio for preserving local history, the Texana/Genealogy Department seeks to acquire, preserve, and make available these important local resources. Some of the archival collections maintained by the Department are: