Research Links

Library/Resources > Research Links

Resources For Online Research

The following links are a mixture of search tools and content-based sites providing information on various aspects of San Antonio and Texas history. The links are arranged alphabetically by either the name of resource or the subject matter to make browsing easier.

Architects and Architectural Drawings

AIA Historical Directory of American Architects

American Institute of Architects
This resource guide allows you to use an alphabetical list of names to search for architects (and some firms) that joined the AIA prior to 1978.

Alexander Architectural Archive

The University of Texas at Austin
A repository of over 139 collections of architectural material, including any type of document involved in the management of a firm, the development of a design through the finished product, and the reflection of lives of architects, landscape architects, planners, designers, preservationists, historians, professors, and businesses in the industry. Emphasis is on the southwest region of the United States, however, the archive does have material from England, California, Chicago, and some Latin American countries.

Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS)/Historic American Engineering Record (HAER)

Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
Collections of documentary measured drawings, photographs, and written historical and architectural information for over 31,000 structures and site in the United States and its territories. This online collection contains 138 records for Bexar County, including the missions, several military bases, bridges, residences, plus some commercial and public buildings. Several search options, including full-text, are available. Pay attention to the options in the drop-down menus below the search window, since these parameters will affect the search.


Bexar County 300th Anniversary Digital Archives

BiblioTech, Bexar County Digital Library
BiblioTech, Bexar County’s all-digital public library, is working with member partners, including the 26 suburban cities of San Antonio, to create individual digital anthologies. Together, these anthologies will reflect and preserve the rich, diverse histories found in Bexar County.

San Antonio: Municipal Archives

San Antonio Office of the City Clerk
Digitized collections include ordinances and many other local records, such as historic city block maps, 1898-1990; Edward G. Trueheart maps, 1899-1901; and city engineer maps, 1847-1929.

Texas Archival Resources Online (TARO)

The University of Texas at Austin
This site consists of the collection descriptions or “finding aids” for participating archive, library, and museums across Texas. Consider these an extended table of contents that describe unique materials only available at the individual repositories. In most cases, the collections themselves are NOT available online.

Bexar County

Bexar County Historical Commission

Bexar County Historical Commission
The Commission initiates actions and cooperates with state and local programs to encourage awareness of historic preservation and foster appreciation of Bexar County’s historical significance. The Commission has five standing committees: Historical Markers, History Appreciation, Oral History, Historic Structures and Places, and Cemeteries.

Bexar County Real Property/Land Records

Bexar County Clerk
Scanned images of public records, including property deeds, can be viewed online and printed. Users must register, but there is no charge.  Your browser must be able to run Java to view the documents.

Courthouses of Bexar County 1731 – 1978

Sylvia Ann Santos, Bexar County Historical Commission
Provides history and descriptions of Bexar County’s four courthouses.


Bridges in Bexar County

James Baughn & contributors
Database of over 25,000 bridges in the US, past and present. Searchable by state, county, and city.  Zoom in on the map to pinpoint the bridge location and access information.

TxDOT Bridges (GIS APP)

Bridge Division of TxDOT
A statewide dataset of bridge locations mapped by the Bridge Division of TxDOT.  Provides the year built, GPS location, and operational status amidst more technical data.

Cemeteries, City

Cemeteries of Texas/Lavonne Bradfield
A history and plot map for City Cemetery No. 1, the first public cemetery in San Antonio.

City of San Antonio Parks and Recreation Department
A brief history of the development of the city cemetery complex on San Antonio’s East Side.

San Antonio Public Library 
This resource guide includes a compilation of all the City of San Antonio’s cemetery records in PDF format.

Cemeteries, County

Bexar County Cemeteries

Texas USGenWeb Archives
A list of cemeteries in Bexar County arranged alphabetically by name, along with the location and notes on where records and published information can be found.

Edwards Aquifer

The Edwards Aquifer Website

Gregg Eckhardt
Contains a wealth of well-organized information on natural science, history, issues, and laws relating to the underground water system that sustains San Antonio and the surrounding area.  Use the Index to All Pages to find historic sites and waterways supported by the aquifer’s springs.  Each location’s history, from early days to recent improvements, is illustrated with vintage postcards and contemporary photos.

Farms & Ranches

Historic Farm and Ranch Complexes

San Antonio Conservation Society Historic Farm & Ranch Complexes Committee

This survey site showcases late-18th century through early-20th century farm and ranch complexes located in Bexar and adjacent counties in Texas. The goal is to celebrate and to promote conservation and preservation of historic properties and to provide inspiration and examples for others looking to do the same with their properties.

Gas Stations

Field Guide to Historic Gas Stations in Texas

Texas Department of Transportation

The updated field guide incorporates new features, including a company branding guide that provides graphic clues to identify, categorize, and evaluate gas stations.  Another important addition is a new matrix that visually explores the evolution of gas stations by major oil companies over time.

Historic Gas Station Survey

San Antonio Conservation Society Survey Committee

This survey site offers a self-service guide to nearly 1,500 gas stations built in San Antonio from the early to the mid-twentieth century.



San Antonio Genealogical and Historical Society

This website provides information about the Society’s library, genealogy classes, and publications. Learn how to do genealogical research and what sources are available.

San Antonio Public Library Texana and Geneaology

San Antonio Public Library
See web site for listing of online research guides, including family history, local history, and Texas history. Hours and classes available also listed.

HemisFair ’68

HemisFair ’68: A Guide

University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries

Provides a list of archival collections held at UTSA Libraries Special Collections that contain information relevant to HemisFair. Each collection title is linked to an online guide that gives a detailed description and inventory of the contents of the collection. Some collection materials have been digitized and are available to view online, but most must be viewed in person.

Historic Districts, Neighborhoods, and Sites

Historic Districts in San Antonio

City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation
A short history of each of San Antonio’s historic districts, including photos and a boundary map.

Historic Resource Survey

City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation – Interactive Address Search Map
An ongoing project of the City and the San Antonio Conservation Society, the survey identifies buildings and districts that are eligible for historic designation. Scroll down to survey summaries for available histories of Collins Gardens, Dilworth Green, Highland Park, Motor Courts and Lodges, Oak Hills, St. Cecilia, Tobin Hill, Uptown, and Woodlawn Place Addition.

National Register of Historic Places

National Park Service, Department of the Interior

The National Register of Historic Places is the Nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. Properties listed in the Register include districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that are significant in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, and culture. The San Antonio Conservation Society Library has National Register nominations for many listed buildings in San Antonio, but most listed Texas sites can be found online in the Texas Historical Commission’s Sites Atlas (below).

Texas Historic Sites Atlas

Texas Historical Commission

More than 200,000 site records, including data on Texas Historical Markers, National Register of Historic Places properties, museums, neighborhood surveys, and sawmills. The database is searchable by county, site name, full text of historical markers, or by address. The address search allows the user to view maps identifying historic site locations in the vicinity of a known address.


San Antonio House Registry

Don B. McDonald Architect AIA LTD: a collaborative Tricentennial project

A digital collection of 300 houses that express San Antonio’s climate, cultures, and materials through architecture. Browse houses chronologically, from the 18th to the 20th century. Or, search by architect, architectural styles, or neighborhood.

King William Historic District

King William Association
This site features a variety of articles on the general history of the historic district and the surrounding area, as well as the architecture and people that make King William distinctive.


Historical GIS Story Maps – Bexar County, Texas

Bexar County and The University of Texas at San Antonio
This Tricentennial project celebrates the community of Béjar’s long and rich history through an interactive mapping interface known as Story Maps.  The initial set of interactive Story Maps focuses on the region’s earliest inhabitants up to circa 1820, when Spanish rule came to an end. Ongoing funding from Bexar County will make it possible to continue these “stories” by covering the half century or so following Mexican Independence (1810-1821).

Interactive Map of San Antonio Historic Districts and Landmarks

City of San Antonio, Office of Historic Preservation

Determine whether a local site has historic designation using this interactive map’s address search tool.

Texas Bird’s-Eye Views

Amon Carter Museum
Bird’s-eye views appear as something between a panoramic view and a map. They were drawn by hand using, most often, two-point perspective to produce a three-dimensional rendering. The city views are surprisingly accurate and represent a much neglected source for understanding the history of Texas. This site showcases fifty- nine Texas views, documenting forty-four different cities.

Texas General Land Office Archives

Texas General Land Office
Established in 1837, the Archives consist of land grant records and maps dating to the 18th century that detail the passage of Texas public lands to private ownership. Many of these documents continue to be used even today by surveyors, land men and others researching land ownership. Use the Heritage tab at the top of the page to access resources.

Texas Digital Sanborn Maps

San Antonio Public Library
These maps show the footprints of buildings and are useful for comparing changes in basic physical form over time. Construction materials and use are also indicated, as well as prior street names and addresses. Includes San Antonio, 1885 – 1952.  You must have a San Antonio Public Library card and password to log in.

UT Austin Perry-Castañeda Library

Sanborn Maps for various Texas cities, including San Antonio, 1877 – 1924. No password required.



San Antonio Public Library
You must have a San Antonio Public Library card and password to log in to the databases (under “A” for Access NewspaperARCHIVE).  Contains millions of searchable, browsable and viewable pages of newspapers from around the world – San Antonio papers cover 1865 -1978.

San Antonio Express-News and San Antonio Light

San Antonio Public Library

You must have a San Antonio Public Library card and password to log in to the databases (under “S” for San Antonio Express-News). Includes full text articles written for the San Antonio Express-News. Accessible by keyword and date. No images or classifieds.  Covers Jan. 1, 1990-current.

San Antonio Register

Portal to Texas History, University of North Texas

The Register reported on local, statewide, national, and world news of specific concern to San Antonio’s Black community from 1931 through 2004. Full page scans include photos and advertising.


Portal to Texas History

University of North Texas

The Portal contains a variety of primary source materials from or about Texas , including photographs. The downloadable images have been made publicly available for use in research, teaching, and private study.   Please see the responsibilities of use page for additional guidelines on rights and citations.

UTSA Special Collections – Photographs

University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries

The digital collection contains a portion of the larger holdings, including photos from the San Antonio Express-News and the San Antonio Light newspapers. Photographs cover: historic views of San Antonio, small towns in South and Central Texas, ethnic communities and culture, daily life, street scenes, family photographs, portraits, events, architecture, and UTSA history.

Preservation – Building Care

Secretary of the Interior’s Standards

National Park Service

The Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties are common sense historic preservation principles in non-technical language. They promote historic preservation best practices that will help to protect our nation’s irreplaceable cultural resources.

Technical Preservation Services

National Park Service

Provides technical assistance and guidance on the physical preservation of historic properties. These publications have become the basis for responsible care of historic buildings and are used by property owners and preservation professionals.

Preservation – Incentives and Laws

Historic Preservation Handbook for Texans

Historic Fort Worth, Inc. and the Texas Bar Foundation

This 2017 handbook outlines the full range of options available to protect a historic site and the economic incentives available through preservation laws at the local, state and federal levels.

Historic Preservation Laws (Federal)

National Park Service

This page provides links to laws governing historic preservation, including: federal law (United States Code [USC] and Public Laws [PL]), federal regulations (Code of Federal Regulations [CFR]), Presidential executive orders, and orders issued by the Director of the National Park Service.

River Walk

San Antonio River Walk

Paseo del Rio Association
A chronology of events in the history of the San Antonio River and the development of the famous River Walk that transformed downtown San Antonio.

Roadside Architecture

Debra Jane Seltzer
“This website contains more than 2,500 pages and over 60,000 photos. You’ll find buildings, signs, and statues from all over the country. The focus is mainly on objects that still exist from the 1950s-1970s. But there are plenty of things from before and after that time period.”

San Antonio Missions

San Antonio Missions National Historic Park

National Park Service
Links found on this page take you to research, management documents, and general information on the history and culture springing from the San Antonio Missions.

San Antonio Missions World Heritage Site

UNESCO World Heritage Convention
History about each mission and the World Heritage designation, plus PDF versions of all the sections making up the 344-page World Heritage application. The application includes detailed descriptions of each mission, photos, and maps.


Save Outdoor Sculpture

Smithsonian American Art Museum
Save Outdoor Sculpture! (SOS!) (1990-1999) was a nationwide survey committed to documenting and preserving America’s outdoor sculpture. This website allows you to search an inventory of nearly 32,000 outdoor sculptures throughout the U.S., including those in San Antonio.

Texas History

Handbook of Texas Online

Texas State Historical Association
The online handbook is a searchable, electronic version of the print encyclopedia of Texas history, geography, and culture. It contains over 23,000 articles covering a wide range of topics, including San Antonio history, architects, and an assortment of historic buildings. Users can search by keyword or browse a listing of articles either alphabetically or by subject. The bibliographies at the end of each article can be extremely useful. No images appear in the online version at this time.

Institute of Texan Cultures (ITC)

The University of Texas at San Antonio
A university educational center dedicated to enhancing the understanding of the history and diverse cultures of Texas through exhibits, programs, and publications that encourage acceptance and appreciation of our differences, as well as our common humanity. Manuscript and photo collections are housed at the ITC and may be searched through the UTSA Libraries online catalog and UTSA’s digital collections website.

Portal to Texas History

The University of North Texas
The Portal is a gateway to Texas history materials. You can explore unique collections from Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, genealogical societies, and private family collections. The Portal continues to grow as additional partners contribute digital versions of their collections.

San Antonio Public Library Texana 

San Antonio Public Library
Collection focuses on the history and development of San Antonio and Bexar County.  Materials include city directories (books and microfilm), as well as clipping files, maps, etc.


San Antonio Theaters: Now and Then

Gary Yantis and collaborators
Provides visuals, sounds and text information for current and historic theaters in San Antonio from 1906 to present.


Works Progress Administration (WPA)

The Living New Deal

Dept. of Geography, University of California, Berkeley
Documents the numerous public works projects completed in San Antonio (and across the country) between 1933 and 1943, as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s attempt to bring America out of the Great Depression with a “New Deal.”   This site includes photos and is searchable by state and city, type of project, agency, and artist.  It provides considerable information about the various New Deal programs and agencies, as well as extensive links to related resources.

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