The Mission San Diego de Alcalá Excavation records document the nearly twenty years of excavation work conducted during
a University of San Diego course led by Professors Raymond Brandes and James Moriarty. Among the records are research materials,
photographs, documentation of the work conducted, and inventories of found artifacts.
The Mission San Diego de Alcalá Excavation course was created by Dr. Raymond Brandes in advance of the 200th anniversary of
San Diego. In addition to the educational opportunities it would provide for students, the course would enhance historical
interest surrounding the Mission for students and the community. The August 1966 University of San Diego College for Men course
titled Historic Site Methods was an outgrowth of a graduate seminar in which students began gathering research and examining
primary source documents related to California, San Diego, California Missions, and Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Coursework
for the Historic Site Methods course was conducted both on the University of San Diego campus and at the Mission. Dr. James
Moriarty began teaching the course with Professor Brandes in 1968. Research gathering continued through the Historic Site
Methods course primarily in archives and special collections in Mexico City and Berkeley, California. Students also participated
in conducting aerial and topographical surveys of the Mission site in order to determine where to begin the archaeological
dig. Students also created fencing around the dig site in order for visitors to the Mission to view their work, and assisted
with exhibit creation in the Mission museum. Student projects also included photographing and research artifacts, cataloging
and preserving artifacts, and creating illustrations of found artifacts and the archaeological area.
24 total boxes
2 mapcase drawers
(30 linear ft.)
The majority of this collection is open for research. Advanced notice is required to view the Student Field Notes portion
of the collection.