NACOGDOCHES, Texas –– Stephen F. Austin State University’s East Texas Research Center is set to host a series of workshops during the spring semester in the newly implemented Archive Lab on the first floor of Steen Library. Presentation topics include document research, genealogy, archival research basics, and digitization and storage.

The lab, which opened in fall 2023 after an approximate two-year planning period, is in place to provide instruction and hands-on experience with preservation, digitization and research with archival materials, according to Linda Reynolds, ETRC director.

“The lab helps acquaint students, faculty and staff with the ETRC’s services along with the knowledge of how to handle and work with archival collections that can be used in their personal life or career,” Reynolds said. “It also provides community outreach and connections with many East Texas cultural heritage entities.”

The lab’s workshops are free and open to the public. Faculty members also can schedule times to bring their students in to learn a specific skill, and community organizations can schedule workshops on specific topics.

Upcoming Archive Lab workshops include:

“Slavery Document Research” with Kyle Ainsworth, project manager of the Lone Star Slavery Project and SFA special collections librarian
4 to 5 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 20

Ainsworth will cover the basics of tracing slave ancestry, from offering tips for research in antebellum deed and probate records to exploring early postwar resources. Participants will have the opportunity to examine original documents held at the ETRC.

“Intro to Genealogy” with Linda Reynolds, ETRC director
4 to 5 p.m. March 6

Reynolds will lead an introductory presentation aimed at those who are interested in beginning genealogy but are unsure of where to start. The ETRC will consider future advanced genealogy presentations, if requested.

“Archival Research Basics” with Chris Cotton, university archivist and ETRC researcher
4 to 5 p.m. April 3

Cotton will assist attendees in the process of researching in an archive. In the presentation, Cotton will explain the difference in types of primary resources, how to use tools that help a user find information, how to narrow research focus, and provide tips on maximizing the researchers time in an archive.

“Digitation and Storage” with Linda Reynolds, ETRC director; and Will Honea, ETRC records manager
4 to 5 p.m. May 8

Reynolds and Honea will discuss how to digitize different types of materials using various programs, software and hardware. Additionally, they will assist users in understanding long-term storage of materials once they are digitized

Register here for the workshops. For more information, contact Candice Cloud, ETRC outreach librarian, at

Stephen F. Austin State University, the newest member of The University of Texas System, began a century ago as a teachers’ college in Texas’ oldest town, Nacogdoches. Today, it has grown into a regional institution comprising six colleges — business, education, fine arts, forestry and agriculture, liberal and applied arts, and sciences and mathematics. Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, SFA enrolls approximately 11,000 students while providing the academic breadth of a state university with the personalized attention of a private school. The main campus encompasses 421 acres that include 37 academic facilities, nine residence halls, and 68 acres of recreational trails that wind through its six gardens. The university offers more than 80 bachelor’s degrees, more than 40 master’s degrees and four doctoral degrees covering more than 120 areas of study. Learn more at the SFA website.