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Introducing our SRT Mexican Manuscripts Collection Digitization Specialist

July 18, 2017

Special Collections received exciting news last semester regarding the Sons of the Republic of Texas Kathryn Stoner O’Connor Mexican Manuscript Collection: the Summerlee Foundation awarded the Sons of the Republic of Texas (SRT) funding that will ensure the complete digitization of this collection.  The grant allowed Special Collections to hire a digitization specialist who will manage the entire project, including scanning all of the historical manuscripts and uploading them into our digital library portal.  Currently, a portion is available for online use.

So who gets to work with these documents and complete this large-scale digitization project?  We’re delighted to introduce Alyssa Franklin, our SRT Digitization Specialist!


Alyssa reads through a bound manuscript in the vault before taking it to the digitization lab.

She’s no stranger to the Mexican Manuscript Collection: as a UTSA graduate student she’d been assisting us with scanning, creating metadata, and uploading digitized folders since Fall 2015.  Now that she’s graduated and is working for us full time, she’ll have a lot on her plate!  Stay tuned for future posts from Alyssa about this project and the challenges (and fun) she’ll have delivering high quality metadata and scans to our online researchers.

Alyssa has the following to say about herself and her new position:

Hello all! I’m happy to evolve in my role within Special Collections as the new Digitization Specialist for the SRT Mexican Manuscript Collection. This collection contains thousands of documents encompassing several centuries of Mexico’s history that cover a vast array of subjects (from land disputes to personal correspondence). In this role, I will be facilitating the online accessibility of these valuable materials which will improve researchers’ access to the collection from all over the world.

I have been a part of the UTSA community since 2010, when I began my undergraduate degree here. I received my B.A. in psychology and art history in 2014. This past May, I received my M.A. in art history from UTSA. My thesis focused on the posthumous revival of an influential seventeenth-century bishop at the behest of an eighteenth-century Bourbon monarch.

I am putting my knowledge of Colonial Mexico into practice in my new role with Special Collections. While pursuing my M.A., I taught introductory art history courses for one year and joined the Special Collections team in September 2015. I worked on the digitization of the SRT Collection, which continues to be my modus operandi in the grant-funded role of Digitization Specialist. I am elated to continue and grow with Special Collections, and to see this long-running project come to fruition.

Welcome, Alyssa, and good luck!

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