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Our Lady of the Lake University's Center for Mexican American Studies and Research is a rich resource of valuable historic documents and information that include the Old Spanish Missions Historical Research Collection, the María Antonietta Berriozábal Collection and the Mexican American Collection. View information on the collections held at OLLU below.

Spanish Colonial Collection

In 2015, the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recognized San Antonio's five historic missions' sites as a "World Heritage Site."

Available to researchers are duplicates of documents made in archives located throughout Mexico, Spain, France, England and Italy. The majority were duplicated in Franciscan Archives in Zacatecas, Celaya, and Queretaro, Mexico, and in Archivo General de Indias, Sevilla. Of significance also are duplicates made in the Museo Naval, the Archives Departementales de Seine-Marine, and the Ministre de Outre Mer.

The documents offer a wealth of information on Spanish Colonial Missions and presidios (1680-1820) and shipwrecks off the Texas coast (1550-1850).

Also included in the collection are the colonial records known as the Saltillo Archives, as well as photographs, slides, maps, and drawings of the San Antonio Missions and other Spanish sites relevant to Texas and mission history.

Berriozábal Collection

María Antonietta Berriozábal earned the distinction of serving as the first Mexican American woman on the city council of a major U.S. city when she represented San Antonio's District 1 from 1981-1991. She ran an impressive but ultimately unsuccessful bid for mayor of San Antonio in 1991, capturing 47 percent of the vote.

The Collection

Berriozábal donated to OLLU approximately 90 cubic feet of records documenting her 10 years on San Antonio's City Council, during which council members considered several major developments for the burgeoning city.

Mexican American Collection

The Mexican American Collection includes:

  • Fifteen cubic feet of correspondence, minutes, newsletters, and photographs that make up the collection of Las Hermanas-USA, a national Hispanic women's organization.
  • The collection of La Sociedad de la Union, a mutual aid society, includes membership rolls and minutes from 1895-1955.
  • The Oral History Collection includes 95 tapes of interviews focus on issues related to the Mexican American community.