Policies and Procedures of the Municipal Records Facility Archives

The Archives is a repository for the historical records of the City of San Antonio. It contains manuscripts, photographs, maps, film, electronic, and printed materials.

The Archives serves two purposes. First to collect records to ensure their preservation for future generations and secondly to make these records available to the public for research. Researchers are asked to observe the procedures listed below to ensure their continued preservation.

Use of the Municipal Archives & Records Facility

  1. Call or email the facility to make a research appointment.
  2. On your first visit, complete a registration form and fill out an Open Records Request. Complete the Open Records Request form online before you visit the facility, or complete it once you arrive at the Municipal Archives & Records Facility. The registration form is also available online and at the facility. The registration form establishes the researcher’s identity, defines the scope of research, and signifies agreement with the requirements of the Municipal Archives & Records Facility
  3. Sign the registration book.
  4. Leave photo identification with the staff when requesting records. The identification will be returned once all records have been returned. Acceptable forms of identification are Driver’s License, Military Identification, Passport, or a State ID.
  5. All coats and outerwear must be left in the assigned area.
  6. All briefcases, book bags, handbags, books, newspapers and other personal belonging must be left in the assigned area.
  7. Laptops, digital cameras and recording devices are permitted in the research area providing their use does not disturb other researchers and that such use does not physically damage the records. Outlets for laptops are available.
  8. To avoid being a distraction, please turn off phones or set ringers to vibrate.
  9. Personal papers are not permitted in the research area. For security reasons, papers may be reviewed by staff prior to leaving the facility.
  10. Eating or drinking is not permitted in the research area.

Use of the Records

  1. To help protect the records, we require pencils to be used for taking notes.
  2. Researchers are required to not lean on the records or rest other books or objects on the surface of the records.
  3. When handling records, gloves are required and will be provided by staff.
  4. Handle any photographic image by the edges.
  5. Do not make notes in the margin of the records or attempt to correct any misspelling.
  6. Do not make marks on the records.
  7. Tracing is not permitted.
  8. Records may only be used in the research area. They may not be removed to any other part of the building
  9. Only one box or book may be used at a time. Remove only one folder at a time. Use the out-cards provided by the staff to mark the folder’s place in the box. Return folders in the same order and facing the same way they were retrieved.
  10. Any person found stealing, defacing, mutilating or in anyway damaging the records will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The above activities will be grounds for permanent removal from the Municipal Archives & Records Facility.

Requesting Records

  1. Researchers are required to fill out an Open Records Request, either online or at the Municipal Records Facility.
  2. The Texas Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552), gives you the right to access government records; the officer for public information may not ask you why you want them. All government information is presumed to be available to the public, although certain exceptions may apply. Governmental bodies shall release requested information as promptly as possible, unless the information is exempt from disclosure under the Public Information Act.
  3. Click Here for fees associated with Open Records Request
  4. Click Here to learn more about requestor's rights and government responsibilities [Adobe PDF]
  5. Click Here for the Attorney General's Office Open Government Website
  6. If the duplication of a record is required, please contact staff.
  7. Management reserves the right to restrict duplication of a record.

Copyright of Unpublished Materials

All photographs, documents, videos or other artistic works contained herein are the copyrighted works of the City of San Antonio. Any use without the written permission of the City of San Antonio is forbidden.

719 S. Santa Rosa, San Antonio, TX 78204 * (210) 207-4214 * Fax (210) 207-6539
archives@sanantonio.gov * Hours M-F, 8:00am - 5:00pm