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Blume Library: Special Collections

Description and Collections

Special Collections is a limited access area available by appointment only. It is located on the 3rd Floor of the Blume Library. The collection includes, but is not limited to, the following items:

University Archives - materials generated by St. Mary's University throughout its history. Materials include, but are not limited to, University publications, yearbooks, meeting minutes, and photographs.

The Spanish Archives of Laredo - consists of 3,245 documents and records the growth and development of the borderland city of Laredo from the time of its founding in 1755 by Don Tomás Sanchez under Spanish rule to 1848 when it came under the jurisdiction of the United States. The Laredo Archives Series (6 volumes of published documents) and the Indexes to the Laredo Archives are also located with the microfilm set of the Laredo Archives collection on the 2nd Floor of the Blume Library. Digitized versions of seven indexes are available through the Portal of Texas History.

Old Spanish Trail Association - records, clippings, brochures and correspondence, kept by two of the Association's leaders, Mr. Harral Ayres and Mrs. Henry Drought, documenting the plans for the highway that connects Texas with both eastern and western states, preserving the relics and ruins of five great missionary centers: San Augustine, San Antonio, El Paso, Tucson, and San Diego. The plans began circa 1912 and continued into the 1930s.

Vance Papers - extensive collection of materials on Henri Castro and his colonists. Includes 12 of the 27 shipping lists recorded by Henri Castro and copies of many of the Medina County Court records from 1844 to 1898. Named for the donors, Frank X. Vance and Dorothy Lobitz Vance of Castroville.

The Military Collection - contains about 200 titles on the history and art of war on land and sea, on tactics, strategy, training maneuvers, infantry, cavalry and other special services. Another 200 books cover the history of the Peninsular War, 1807-1814. Also includes books on other wars of the nineteenth century. Gifts of Charles Gruzevski and Colonel Martin L. Crimmins.

The Mathematics Collection - originates from a school maintained by the Society of Mary at the University of Fribourg and includes approximately 250 nineteenth century imprints. Most of these items are in the French language.

Colonel Martin L. Crimmins Collection - Col. Crimmins (1874-1955), a member of the U.S. Army from 1898 to 1926, was a Roosevelt Rough Rider, traveler, herpetologist and military historian. He had more than 200 articles published. The collection includes letters, military papers, articles he wrote, fort plans and valuable information on many forts, particularly in the southwest. There is also a large collection of maps and plans. See the link for a detailed list.

Felix D. Almaraz Collection - Dr. Felix D. Almaraz, St. Mary's graduate (1959, 1962) and internationally known historian has donated his personal papers, lectures, speeches, articles and book manuscripts to the Special Collections of the Louis J. Blume library.

The Pola Negri Collection - includes personal and family papers, photos (many in albums), religious items, political items, albums of newspaper and press clippings, film festivals, awards received, video tapes of several of her movies, her personal record (music) collection and some books. There is no personal correspondence except fan mail.

Most of these collections are not described in the Library Catalog. Please contact Jill Crane or the library office at 210-436-3441 for more information.

Questions? Ask Us


Research Librarians

Special Collections Hours

Access by Appointment Only.


Jill Crane
210-431-2299 x1314

Records Transfer Form

Digital Collections