University Writing Center
February 10, 2016


An archive is a physical repository of documents pertinent to a specific topic, person, period, or local. Unlike a digital database, that might include facsimiles of primary documents along with secondary documents, archives are usually composed exclusively of primary documents, including letters, notebooks, early drafts of published work, photos and videos, and legal documents such as wills, marriage certificates, and deeds. The full holdings of an archive are seldom catalogued, so archival research often means searching through scores of documents in order to put together a full picture. Occasionally, historians come across a document in an archive that radically changes the historical record. The University Library has several archives and special collections.

 The University Library archives home page can be found at http://lib.utpa.edu/collections/archives.

 The Lower Rio Grande Valley Collection, which includes several archives, home page can be found at http://lib.utpa.edu/collections/lrgv

 The University Library Special Collections home page can be found at http://lib.utpa.edu/collections

 The Museum of South Texas Archive and Artifact Collection home page can be found at http://www.mosthistory.org/Archive-Artifact-Collections

 The University Library houses an oral history collection on the third floor. Use of this collection is by special request.

 Most local newspapers keep archives of their own publications, which can be accessed by the public. 

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