Virtual Exhibits

Library/Resources > Virtual Exhibits

Now you can view online exhibits that highlight different themes in San Antonio history.

Each exhibit features materials from the library’s digital collections, including original documents and historic photos.  Start your journey back in time by clicking the exhibit banner.

All exhibits made possible through the generosity of the Society’s Capital Club.

Note: The images from our digital collections are displayed for educational and personal research use. If you are the copyright owner of material displayed in an exhibit and believe that we have exceeded the fair use allowed by copyright law, or have not given proper credit, please let us know.

Alamo Plaza History:
A Photographic Guide to the many Faces of Alamo Plaza

Discover the story of the plaza’s transformation from the 1850s through the 1980s in historic photos. Journey counterclockwise around the plaza, starting at the Alamo, to learn more about the enterprising men and women who shaped the plaza as a destination. Interspersed between photos of the plaza’s historic buildings, you will find windows into social life there.

Color postcard of Alamo Plaza, c. 1911

A Night in Old San Antonio®: A History in Photographs

This exhibit provides a behind-the-scenes glimpse at the colorful characters and unique traditions that make NIOSA® one of San Antonio’s favorite annual parties. It also illustrates how proceeds from NIOSA®: are used to help protect and restore historic properties around the city of San Antonio.

Watercolor poster showing Night in Old San Antonio opening parade past Dashiell House in La Villita.

From Air Raids to Foreign Aid:
A Snapshot of San Antonio in WW II

The bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japan on December 7, 1941 catapulted America into World War II.  In San Antonio, the potential threat of aerial bombardment and the need to strengthen Pan-American alliances, introduced new sights, sounds, and activities to the civilian population. Discover intriguing aspects of San Antonio’s war years with this exhibit.

La Villita Restoration

HemisFair '68: A Confluence of Photographs

Many credit the 1968 world’s fair held in San Antonio as the catalyst for the city’s modern advancement and its resurgence in tourism and conventions during the latter half of the twentieth century. The urban park where the fair took place, now simply called “Hemisfair,” is no stranger to transformation. Before today’s parkland became an international attraction, it was home to a neighborhood rich in layers of history and culture. This exhibit tells the story of both places, focusing on what locals gave up to create HemisFair ’68, and what they gained in return.

Hemis Fair '68

Old Fashioned

This exhibit features fashions from bygone eras. From bustles and bows to flat caps and towering hats, we examine the various clothes, accessories, and hairstyles popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. We also provide brief glimpses into the lives of the people pictured, some of whom figured prominently in our local history.

Old Fashioned

San Antonio Missions: Our World Heritage

This companion piece to our Heritage Education program allows you to visit all five Spanish colonial missions with the click of a mouse. Find your way around the mission grounds with drawings from the 1890s, step back in time to visit the mission ruins in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and learn more about each mission’s distinctive architectural features. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has recognized the outstanding cultural significance of missions San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo), Concepción, San José, San Juan, and Espada, by awarding them World Heritage Site designation.


Texas Peace Officers Association

This exhibit focuses on the Texas Negro Peace Officers Association, now known as the Texas Peace Officers Association, an organization formed in 1935 by African-Americans in South Texas to promote racial equity in law enforcement. All of the items displayed document the association’s Tenth Annual Convention held in San Antonio, Texas on September 18-19, 1945.

Peace Officers Association

This image is copyrighted.