Mary and Jeff Bell Library

Special Collections and Archives

Please direct all research questions, requests for images of publication quality, and questions about citations to specialcollections@tamucc.edu so that we may help you more efficiently. Emails sent to individuals may result in a delayed response. You also are welcome to telephone us at 361-825-4500.

Quicklinks

Search Finding Aids

The TAMUCC Special Collections and Archives Finding Aids contain descriptive information about our manuscript and photographic collections and institutional records. Links to online access are included when available.

 

Mission

The primary focus of Special Collections and Archives at the Mary and Jeff Bell Library, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, is to locate, acquire, preserve, and make available to researchers materials about Corpus Christi and Texas, particularly South Texas. The department also supports the study of the Mexican American experience and the history of Mexico as it affects Texas and collects materials documenting the history of TAMU-CC and its predecessor institutions.

Our Collections

Special Collections holds items dealing with history, urban and ethnic studies, literature, folklore, art, photography, government, anthropology, sociology, education, the sciences, business, and other disciplines. It contains approximately 20,000 books, periodicals, and other printed primary and secondary items, as well as an estimated 9,000 linear feet of archives and manuscript materials, including photographs and oral history interviews. Special Collections is also home to thousands of maps, many of which document the surveying and development of the area. Recently, the department has begun collecting manuscript materials and university records in digital formats as well.

Manuscript Collections

Special Collections and Archives has a growing body of papers of individuals, organizations, and institutions that reflects the development of our urban area and surrounding region. Such records include those of civic and political leaders, business people, writers, as well as everyday families. Our flagship collections are the Daniel E. Kilgore Collection, the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Papers, and the Charles F. H. von Blucher Family Papers.

The Dan E. Kilgore Collection contains over fifty linear feet of documents as well as a seminal body of Texas books and documents assembled by Daniel E. Kilgore (1921-1995), who was a longtime certified public account in Corpus Christi, renown Texana collector, and past president of the Texas State Historical Association. General topics include Texas and South Texas, Mexican Americans, Mexico, ranching, county and city growth.

Corpus Christi physician, founder of the American G.I. Forum, and legendary community leader, Dr. Hector P. Garcia was active in political and civic affairs for over fifty years. He ranks as one of the most important figures in Mexican American history. His papers comprise one of the most valuable resources in existence on the Mexican-American experience during the last half of the twentieth century. Dr. Garcia's papers contain his voluminous archives dealing with the American G.I. Forum which he began in 1948 and cover the major issues faced by Mexican Americans during his career as a champion of civil rights.

The Blucher Family Papers are the records of an eminent pioneer family of Nueces County surveyors. Beginning with Felix and Maria von Blucher during the nineteenth century, the Blucher Family Papers contain valuable, hand-drawn maps, as well as other business and personal records spanning several generations. The Blucher Papers also include the Conrad Blucher Surveying Collection, a voluminous body of maps and field notes dealing with South Texas that reflect the work of the Blucher surveyors over the years.

University Archives

Special Collections and Archives also houses select university records and printed items such as university catalogs, campus newspapers, and student annuals. We have materials from these university incarnations:

  • University of Corpus Christi (1947-1973)
  • Texas A&I University at Corpus Christi (1973-1977)
  • Corpus Christi State University (1977-1993)
  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi (1993-present)

Print Publications

Special Collections and Archives contains books on Corpus Christi, South Texas, and Mexico as it relates to the history of Texas. Most of our books are accessible through Bell Library's online catalog. The department also holds copies of periodicals and newspapers published in South Texas and northern Mexico, some of which are on microfilm.

Digital Collections

Selected items from our manuscript and photograph collections and University Archives have been digitized. Scans of and information about these items are freely available online via the TAMU-CC Repository. Faculty, staff, and student research and scholarship, including articles, theses, and dissertations, is also accessible via the TAMU-CC Repository.

Digital Exhibits

Our digital exhibits provide context for and help tell the story of some of our digitized materials. Dr. Hector P. Garcia and his papers are featured in such an exhibit.

About the Department

Planning a Visit

We can best assist you if we know you are coming. If you would like to conduct genealogical research in Special Collections, or will be traveling from out of town, please contact us via to specialcollections@tamucc.edu or 361-825-4500 in advance to plan your research trip. We will discuss with you the date of your visit and the research resources of most potential use to you so that we can help you get the maximum benefit from the time you spend in Special Collections.

Special Collections and Archives is located on the second floor (Room 205) of the Mary and Jeff Bell Library. For driving directions, parking information, and other local information see the University’s Travel Accommodations page.

For Instructors

Faculty who are interested in scheduling a class visit or in learning what departmental materials complement their course should contact the department in advance. The Special Collections staff work with faculty to choose relevant materials and develop a plan for class visits and subsequent student support.

If your students plan to conduct an oral history project, please contact us in advance so we may provide the necessary forms and guidance.

General Services and Policies

Because of the fragile, rare or unique nature of our materials, researchers must comply with the following departmental policies.

  • The research materials in Special Collections and Archives may not be borrowed. Researchers must use them in the Special Collections reading room under staff supervision.
  • Researchers must present a valid photo id at the time of their first visit.
  • Personal cameras and laptops are permitted in the reading room. All other personal items must be stored in the locker provided. Wireless Internet is available in Special Collections.
  • Ink pens, food, and drink are not permitted in the reading room.
  • Reference assistance is available Monday-Friday, 8am-5pm via email, phone, or in-person consultation.

Contact Us

Mailing Address

  • Mary and Jeff Bell Library
  • Special Collections and Archives
  • Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • 6300 Ocean Drive, Unit 5702
  • Corpus Christi, Texas 78412-5702

Email

Please direct all research questions, requests for images of publication quality, and questions about citations to specialcollections@tamucc.edu so that we may help you more efficiently. Emails sent to individuals may result in a delayed response.

Phone

You also are welcome to telephone us at 361-825-4500.

Donating

Special Collections and Archives takes pride in its active policy of locating and collecting additional research materials. We need your assistance in finding rare books, photographs, maps, letters, records of businesses and organizations, scrapbooks, and other historical documents relating to Corpus Christi and South Texas. If you or someone you know possesses materials which might be donated, please contact us. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi is extremely fortunate to benefit from The Daniel E. and Carol Isensee Kilgore Endowment for Texana. We invite you to assist the university in its mission to serve the educational needs of the Corpus Christi and greater South Texas region by donating to the Kilgore Endowment.

Transferring University Records

Did you know that if you work for TAMU-CC, the materials you create in the course of doing your job, such as print and email correspondence, are considered state records? The TAMU system has created a Records Retention Schedule that governs what should be kept and for how long.

Therefore, if you are leaving the university, please contact us so we can collect the required files that are of long-term historic value. We will ask you to sign a transfer form that tells us generally what the materials are and what dates they span.

Departments should also transfer records to the archives periodically in accordance with the Records Retention Schedule. So if in doubt, don’t throw it out!

News and Events

**You can read more about our ongoing map digitization collaboration with the Spatial Query Lab at the Conrad Blucher Institute.**