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Special Collections & University Archives: FAQs

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Frequently Asked Questions

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

  • UTRGV's Special Collections & University Archives collect and make accessible to researchers primary source (original) materials such as correspondence, business files, maps, and photographs from local people and businesses which illustrate the history of the Lower Rio Grande Valley and Northeast Mexico. Our collections consist of over 25,000 books, newspapers, and journals, and over an estimated one million archival items.
  • We are also the archives of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, and as such we steward the output of the university: its publications, research, correspondence, and related publicity.
  • Special Collections & University Archives have two offices; one on UTRGV's Brownsville campus and one on the Edinburg campus.

Who can use Special Collections & Archives?

  • All are welcome to visit Special Collections & Archives, but we do encourage visitors to request an appointment to ensure access to materials and spaces. Please call us at 956.882.7968 (Brownsville) or 956.665.2726 (Edinburg), or email us at archives@utrgv.edu for assistance. 
  • Our items are unique and many cannot be replaced if damaged, lost, or stolen. It is our goal to keep these documents safe for you and all future researchers. For this reason, we have guidelines and restrictions on use. Please read our Guidelines for User Access for more information about visiting the Archives.
  • In general, we can transfer books from our holdings, including rare books, between campus offices, but as a matter of policy we do not transfer archival items (things like photographs, ledgers, correspondences, slides, and other unique items). Researchers will need to visit the campus at which archival items are stored to view those materials.

Do you have any resources scanned and available online?

We do! Special Collections & University Archives have our materials on two platforms: UTRGV's Digital Collections and UTRGV's Institutional Repository. Resources on these platforms can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection, and are keyword searchable.

How do I cite materials from your collections in my research?

  • The Library does not own the copyright in much of the material in its collection and is therefore unable to grant copyright permission to publish those items. It is the researcher's responsibility to determine copyright and other possible restrictions on reuse (e.g. publicity, privacy, moral rights) and to obtain proper permission when publishing or distributing materials found in these collections. Click here for more information on digital collections rights and use
  • As a courtesy, we request that whenever quoting material from our collection you cite us as the source of the material as follows:
[Title of Collection]; [item description], [dates]. [Number of Collection], Box [#], Folder [#], [name of item, e.g. Photograph of McAllen, 1951]. University Library, Special Collections & University Archives, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, [Edinburg or Brownsville], Texas. 

Can I reproduce or publish materials from your collections?