About the Collection

Library/Resources > About the Collection

Our library contains a variety of materials documenting the history of San Antonio and South Central Texas. Although our collections include architectural drawings, archives, books, clippings files, maps, oral histories, and photographs, the online catalog is a work in progress and does not yet contain the library’s complete holdings. Please visit or contact the library, if you can’t find what you’re looking for online.


Architectural Documents

Over 400 drawings of local structures, including some Historic American Buildings Survey documentation and restoration projects. Architects represented include Atlee B. & Robert M. Ayres; Ralph Cameron; Bartlett Cocke; Ford, Powell, & Carson; Alfred Giles & Guindon; J. Riely Gordon; Robert H.H. Hugman, and George Willis.

Archives and Special Collections

The archives document the evolving history of the Conservation Society. It includes the past presidents’ scrapbooks, 1924 – 1999; newsletters, 1955 – present; yearbooks, 1924 – present; and 16.5 linear feet of documents in vertical file form without formal finding aids. The Special Collections consist of rare books and manuscripts documenting the history of San Antonio or that of The Conservation Society of San Antonio.

Books and Periodicals

Over 5300 volumes focusing on architectural history, historic preservation and urban planning, architectural restoration techniques, and San Antonio and general Texas history. The collection also includes San Antonio City Directories, 1877 – 2002, although not every year is covered. Pre-1970 directories must be viewed on microfilm.

Clippings Files

Over 98 linear feet of articles, brochures, photocopied documents, and research notes covering a variety of people, places, and things related to San Antonio. Click here to access the subject indexes for our Clipping Files and Texas Communities Files collections.

Historical Photographs and Postcards

Nearly 16,000 photographs covering early San Antonio from the 1850s through the late-twentieth century, with a focus on buildings and streetscapes.  Our online catalog includes over 1,500 scanned images.


Approximately 374 maps depicting Texas, Bexar County, and San Antonio, c. 1687 to 1996. San Antonio maps include Augustus Koch’s nineteenth century Bird’s Eye Views and a complete set of 1952 Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps.


Over 70 reels, including Bexar County Tax Rolls, 1837-1926; San Antonio City Directories, 1877-1970; and Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for San Antonio, 1885-1951 (specific years only).

Oral History Tapes and Transcripts

Over one hundred tape-recorded interviews cover a range to topics from local and Society history to historic preservation issues and strategies. Unbound transcripts are available for the majority of recordings. Appointments to listen to recorded interviews must be made in advance.

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