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The Student News Site of Trinity University

Trinitonian

The Student News Site of Trinity University

Trinitonian

Hitting the stacks: TUASA hosts archives event

Trinity University Archives Student Advocates offers guests a peak into the past
The Special Collections room, located on the second floor of the library, is home to unique University records that require special care.

Trinity University Archives Student Advocates (TUASA) hosted a presentation and viewing of artifacts for students interested in the special collections and archives. During the event, students listened to a brief presentation by Abra Schnur, university archivist and faculty sponsor for TUASA. Afterward, students could look around the archives and go on a mini tour in the collections back room where artifacts are stored.

During the viewing portion of the event on Sept. 22, unique artifacts were laid out on the tables of the special collections room. These artifacts included a vintage poster of the map of Trinity, old publications, a tray with a depiction of the Skyline room, the bust of a woman’s head from Mayfield cottage, an old cottage that was once on campus and a print of the headstone of the first Trinity president.

The display items revealed how life at Trinity has changed over 150 years. For example, Ever Whitlock, senior history and ancient Mediterranean studies double-major and museum studies minor and TUASA’s vice president, shared that Mayfield cottage was the place on campus where women learned how to cook, stitch and partake in other home economic tasks.

Imaan Moosa, a junior neuroscience major, attended the archives and special collections tour. Moosa enjoyed viewing the different archival materials. Moosa said she potentially wants to be involved with TUASA and attend university archive events.

“During the tour in the archives collections backroom led by Abra Schnur, I kept taking pictures of the collections and was fascinated by how much stuff they have back there,” Moosa said. “I really want to see the collection of art posters they still have because I would love to keep some too. It was a really cool experience overall and I learned a lot of new things about Trinity’s history.”

The archives tour is one of the ways TUASA brings attention to the oft-overlooked Trinity archives. Whitlock was president of TUASA last year and has been involved with TUASA since its founding three years ago.

“In the club, we have around 50-60 students signed up but a solid 10-20 active members. We have biweekly meetings where we do general debriefs, event planning and talk about creating and lining up new events and relating them back to archives,” Whitlock said.

Archives consist of a collection of historic materials. The goal of the archives is to make history discoverable and accessible.

Hillary Solomon is a senior communications major and history minor who joined TUASA last year. Solomon said that she made good friends with members of TUASA and has a passion for learning about library science and history. Solomon found that different jazz artists used to perform in locations like Laurie Auditorium.

“Over the summer I was researching at Carver Community Center in San Antonio and they used to partner with Trinity for a while and host different types of events. As my research continued, I found out that Trinity had more archives related to Carver Community Center than they did themselves. It was so cool getting to see how archives are so functional and help people that want to know more about San Antonio and Trinity society,” Solomon said.

Abra Schnur shared in an email that the university archives have records that come from strategic communications, also known as public relations. Schnur shared that her main focus is to add to the “official” narrative and seek more information about under-documented student organizations and material related to the connections with the San Antonio community.

“Working in archives is very much tied to my identity. I am a mother, a spouse and a singer, but I do see this profession as my life’s work. And so, I am compelled to do meaningful work in trying to develop archival collections that are more holistic; collections that represent multiple points of view related to a collecting topic,” Schnur said in an email.

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About the Contributors
Malika Chauhan
Malika Chauhan, Pulse Reporter
Hi, my name is Malika and I am a pulse reporter! I am a junior majoring in HRM Business and minoring in Psychology, and my pronouns are she/her. A fun fact about me is that I play the drums and know how to unicycle (but not at the same time)!
Samuel Damon
Samuel Damon, Photographer
My name is Sam (he/him) and I'm a photographer here with the Trinitonian. I'm a senior Communications and German double major from Austin, Texas, and you can usually find me around campus with a camera in hand!

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