NACOGDOCHES, Texas - The East Texas Research Center at Stephen F. Austin State University is sponsoring the third annual "I Found it in the Archives" essay and video contest showcasing archived materials that have positively impacted people's lives.

"We're seeking entrants who have found something special in our collections - records, documents, photos, recordings, a meaningful item or treasure," said ETRC Director Linda Reynolds. "If it has meaning to you, it has meaning to us and is a wonderful basis for your entry."

Visitors to the ETRC are encouraged to write about the information they have found and what it means to them. Entrants should submit either a 400-word essay or a video describing their quest for information and explaining how finding it has made a difference. Those submitting an essay also should include a color photo of themselves. Videos should be no more than two minutes long. Contest submissions will be accepted through Feb. 3.

"It does not have to be some extremely significant discovery; you may have unearthed a clue to an unsolved mystery, discovered a long-lost relative, found the missing element in a critical paper trail or simply had an outstanding experience working with the archives staff while learning more about something important to you," Reynolds said.

The entries of the top three finalists will be posted online for a public vote. All finalists will receive a gift bag, and the winner will receive a prize package of gifts from local businesses and will be entered into the national competition sponsored by the Society of American Archivists. National winners will be hosted at the August Society of American Archivists Annual Awards Ceremony in New Orleans.

The entry form and a complete list of contest rules can be found online at

For additional information, email or call (936) 468-4100.