From Paper to Microfilm to Digital Access
The Bexar Archives Online project builds upon the legacy of over one hundred years of institutional care by archivists, librarians, historians, and translators from the University of Texas at Austin. Called “one of the greatest historical treasures of the American continent” by the late historian Lester Gladstone Bugbee, the Bexar Archives constitute the principal resource for the Spanish and Mexican history of Texas from 1717 to 1836. In 1967 the university began an ambitious microfilming project of the Bexar Archives under the auspices of Chester V. Kielman and Carmela Leal. The exhaustive accompanying calendar, the second made by the university, describes every document in the General Manuscript Series, 1717–1836. The microfilmed documents echo the physical arrangement experienced by researchers in our reading room. Copies of the microfilm were made available to other institutions providing access beyond the grounds of the University of Texas at Austin. As digital technologies evolved, the Briscoe Center embarked on an equally ambitious digitization project in 2010. The Briscoe Center makes digital versions of the microfilm available online, as well as a limited number of scans from the original source material, with item-level descriptive metadata. Currently, microfilm rolls 8 to 30 are available online.
For the convenience of our patrons, digitized content from the Bexar Archives can be browsed by year or by microfilm roll.