Use the Archives
- Hours and Directions
- Our Collections
- Congregational Histories
- Archives Policies
- Understanding Archival Research
- Contact the Archivist
The Austin Seminary Archives is open by appointment. You can find directions to the Austin Seminary campus here. There are visitors' parking spaces available throughout campus. Parking passes are available at the Library Services Desk or at the reception desk in the McCord Community Center.
The archives is located in the Wright Learning and Information Center, which is building #5 on the interactive campus map. We are the last building on the left as you leave campus and exit back out onto 27th street. The archives is located on the third floor in room 303. Angle towards the left when you come out of the stairwell and you will see some glass front bookcases with old books in them on either side of the archives.
The Austin Seminary Archives include correspondence, photographs, diaries, printed material, audio and video material, and other documentation of Austin Seminary and the Presbyterian church in the Southwest.
The Archives has many collections, only some of which have completed inventories available online. If you have any questions about using the archives in person, or if you would like to ask a reference question via email, please contact the archivist.
See the Archives Collections page for information and links to help you search our holdings.
Many researchers are interested in researching the history of their congregation. We have created an index of congregational materials throughout our collections, arranged by state, city, and church. You can view the index here. Inventories for collections referenced in the index are available on the Archives Collections page. The Congregational History Collection is displayed separately from the rest of our finding aids. You can view the PDF version here
Due to limitations of space, in-person access to all archival materials is by appointment only.
Archival materials do not circulate and must be viewed on-site.
Most material that is open for research can be photocopied or scanned for personal use unless the material is too fragile or photocopies are restricted by the donor. All photocopying will be performed by archives staff.
Researchers may take digital photographs of archival materials for personal research use (no flash). Information on the number of photos taken will be reported to archives staff.
The Archives reserves the right to limit use of any material in a fragile physical condition. Researchers may be required to use a facsimile to protect the original from wear.
In all collections, records containing employee records, student grade information and/or social security numbers are restricted for a period of 80 years from the date of creation or until the individual is deceased.
Note that parts of some collections may be restricted for a period of time as part of our agreement with the donor. In addition, many Austin Seminary administrative records and Congregational records have certain access restrictions. Please contact the archivist with any questions about the availability of a collection.
The Austin Seminary Archives collects and preserves select websites relating to our students, faculty, and staff. For more information, see our web archiving policy (PDF).
Using archival inventories
Archival collections are usually accessed through finding aids or collection inventories. A finding aid provides a summary of the collection, a brief biography of the creator, and an inventory of the materials in the collection and their dates. In general, material is inventoried at the folder level, and not at the item level. Researchers use the finding aid to narrow down their search and locate folders that may be of interest. The description of the collection is generally broken up into "series," or groupings of like items. The finding aid will usually be organized in an outline format below each series grouping.
Using Archives: A Guide to Effective Research by Laura Schmidt (Society of American Archivists)
Using Archives: A beginner's guide (Archives Hub)
To schedule an appointment, or for information about the Austin Seminary Archives, contact:
Associate Director of the Library and Head of Archives and Records Management
Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary
Wright Learning and Information Center
100 E. 27th Street
Austin, TX 78705-5797