News Releases 2008

Release Date: July 31, 2007
City of San Antonio Communications and Public Affairs Department: 207-7234


New San Antonio Archives Program Preserves City’s History
First ever City Archivist creating possible future model for municipal governments

Historical records, aerial photographs of the city, a mayoral collection and other valuable items can be found in the City’s first ever San Antonio Archives Program. The program, envisioned to possibly become a model for other municipal governments, is intended to preserve the City’s historical findings.

Currently, the collection includes archived City Council minutes, ordinances, aerial photographs of the city, maps from the City Engineer and historical items such as letters from Mexican General Santa Anna. Recently hired City Archivist Amanda Carvell manages the collection and is expecting 2,000 cubic feet of historical records next year along with a photo collection to add to the current archives. The collection is kept at the City’s Municipal Records Facility, 719 S. Santa Rosa, a location equipped with protective systems such as climate control and fire suppression.

“San Antonio is a historic and unique city and we take pride in the foundation and events that have led us to where we are today. The battle cry of the Alamo will never be lost or forgotten and neither should we risk losing items that provide us a strong physical connection to our history,” said Carvell.

The Office of the City Clerk, City Library and the San Antonio Library Foundation partnered with each other to seek out seed money for the program. Their efforts resulted in a $98,000 in-kind grant from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

“The goal is to eventually create the City’s first ever History Center,” said City Clerk Leticia Vacek.

A second partnership between the Office of the City Clerk, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District, and the Genealogical Society in Salt Lake City will result in all City-generated birth and death certificates from the 1870’s to the 1920’s to be placed on microfilm. That data would later be available online. A third partnership with Bexar County could lead to a shared display of historical items.

“The City’s accomplishments in this area are already leading to national recognition. The Society of American Archivist has requested Ms. Carvell to speak at its national conference in Chicago next month,” said Vacek. “We are proud she will represent San Antonio on a stage of this magnitude so early in our efforts.”

For more information or to view items in the archives program, call Carvell at 207-7029.


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