Municipal Archives & Records
The Archives is a closed stack facility that is accessible to the public for research purposes by appointment only. All visitors will be asked to sign in and out and to follow our Policies and Procedures for safe handling of fragile historical materials. To schedule a visit or request research materials contact the Archivist at 210.207.4214 or email your research request.
The City of San Antonio Municipal Archives & Records is a division of the Office of the City Clerk. It is a repository for the historical government records of the City of San Antonio. It contains records created by various City departments over time, including maps, printed materials, photographs, electronic material, and audio/visual material. While some materials are only available for viewing at the Municipal Archives & Records, many materials have been digitized and are available for search online in our digital collection.
The Archives serves two purposes: to collect records to ensure their preservation for future generations, and to make these records available to the public for research.
The Municipal Archives & Records performs limited research for the public. To begin your research, start by reviewing the finding aids to the processed collections available online. Next, search the online Digital Collections. If you don't find what you are looking for, please feel free to email the Archivist so they may assist you in your research needs. Below is reference materials to assist in your searching of certain collections:
All researchers must call or email the facility to make a research appointment. Our telephone number is 210.207.5076, and email may be directed to City Clerk Archives. Appointments are scheduled Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., except for holidays.
The City of San Antonio’s Municipal Archives & Records (MARs) staff, working with the Development Services and Information Technology Services departments, has completed a major records management project to identify, classify, inventory and bar code over 25,000 architectural drawings.
Knowing the sheer volume of their record holdings,the Development Services Department (DSD) was understandably overwhelmed by the prospect of having to inventory the architectural drawings prior to their acceptance for storage at the MARs. During the course of discussing the project with the client, it was revealed that Development Services staff routinely logged requests for building permits into a legacy mainframe computer application. Working with the Information Technology Services Department, MARs Staff was able to extract certain information from the mainframe application using simple delimited files. This information was then imported into an MS Access database and compared against the Texas State Library and Archives Commission records retention schedules for records of this type, which are governed by the Commission’s Public Works (PW) schedule.
The purpose of the architectural drawing (new structures, interior renovations, etc) and whether the drawings were, or were not, granted permits determines the length of retention. This information was also imported into the MS Access database and, upon importation of the delimited files, the records were automatically assigned the appropriate classification codes and retention periods. Each architectural drawing is assigned a bar code number, which is affixed to the drawing and "mated" with a shelf location. The exact location of a drawing can be determined in seconds.
For more information or a demonstration of the process, contact Melinda L. Uriegas at (210) 207-7255.
Local retention schedule information can be found at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission website.
To obtain additional information regarding the Records Management Process city employees may visit the intranet site at cosaweb/rlo. If you have other questions, please email the Archives Division of the Office of the City Clerk.