University of Houston librarians will take part in a series of virtual conversations with librarians from Swansea University, located in the United Kingdom. UH librarians will share information about UH Libraries’ practices and processes regarding the development of online learning.
In what will be the first of several scheduled talks, members of the UH Libraries Instruction Program will cover topics such as library staff structure, software, and assessment of student engagement with Swansea librarians.
The endeavor is mutually beneficial. It supports UH Libraries’ values of increasing cross-cultural knowledge and engaging in continual improvement; sharing experiences with partner institutions allows UH librarians to critically think about methods and processes.
The academic libraries’ talks represent an established record of strategic partnership between the two universities. Swansea University, a world-class public research university located in Swansea, Wales, is a UH partner institution, with a student exchange program, teaching and research collaboration, guest lectures, and joint conferences.
Gene McDavid, former Houston Chronicle executive and longtime friend of the University of Houston, passed away this month.
George Eugene McDavid (1930-2018) was a “lifelong newspaperman.” The Mississippi native moved to Houston with his family in 1958. He attended the University of Houston while working at the Chronicle, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration. In 1997, McDavid received the UH Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 1998, was appointed to the Board of Regents of the University of Houston System.
“Gene McDavid made innumerable contributions to the University of Houston Libraries for the benefit of our students,” said Lisa German, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair. “His advocacy for the renovation of the MD Anderson Library was appreciated by all of us here. He will be missed very much.”
University of Houston Libraries has awarded funds to innovative project teams through its Microgrant Program.
Now in its 10th year, the Microgrant Program fosters new ideas in support of the Libraries’ Strategic Plan and the University’s goals.
Library staff submitted proposals for new services and programs which would benefit teaching, learning and research objectives of the UH community, and will collaborate in cross-departmental teams to implement their ideas.
The UH Libraries Microgrant Program winners for 2018-2019 are:
Project title: Love Data @ UH
Wenli Gao (chair), Andrea Malone, Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Alex Simons
Formerly known as Love Your Data Week, the purpose of the Love Data @ UH event is to raise awareness and build an engaged community around topics related to research data management, sharing, preservation, reuse, and library-based research data services. The project team will invite campus units that provide data-related services to talk about their services, and also invite faculty/students who use data in their research and teaching to showcase their projects.
Project title: Inaugural UH Digital Scholarship Winter Institute
Claude Willan (chair), Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Elizabeth Stravoski
Hosted in the Digital Research Commons and facilitated by the Digital Research Services department, the inaugural Digital Humanities Winter Institute at UH will be a five-day intensive boot camp for UH faculty and students interested in planning and executing their digital scholarship research projects. A campus-wide call for applicants will be circulated in the early part of the fall 2018 semester. Six UH researchers will make selections using criteria adapted from current acceptance criteria for DRC project proposals, with the goal of developing a cohort of projects around a common theme or set of approaches.
The Institute will run from Monday, January 7, through Friday, January 11, 2019. During the week, participants will have opportunities for individual consultations with Claude Willan, Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Wenli Gao, and other specialists, as well as access to software and equipment. Each researcher will be given a flash drive with an FAQ about project building and a zip archive containing the required components to install several key free software tools to help them get started.
Thanks to the members of the Microgrant Committee: Alex Simons (chair), Jay Harkin, Jamie Duke, and Daniel Pshock.
A newly digitized and accessible collection focusing on Houston’s Riverside Terrace has been added to the UH Libraries Audio/Video Repository.
The collection features raw footage captured for the production of the 1987 documentary This Is Our Home, It Is Not For Sale by Jon Schwartz. The searchable and viewable clips comprise over 110 interviews with former residents, city council members, former University of Houston faculty, and other community leaders discussing the evolution of Riverside Terrace amid urban development, expansion of neighboring institutions, and changes in demographics during the 1950s and 60s. The firsthand perspectives of interviewees collectively provide a fascinating and honest narrative about race and real estate in mid-century Houston.
The complete documentary is available to watch in the UH Special Collections Reading Room. In addition, the papers of filmmaker Jon Schwartz are preserved and accessible in the Reading Room. This collection covers the full scope of records related to the production of the documentary. Interviews from the collection were digitized with the generous support of an Institute of Museum and Library Services TexTreasures grant, administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
The Energy and Sustainability Research Collection at University of Houston Libraries Special Collections documents Houston’s place as the global capital of the energy industry that continues to shape the city’s and the world’s technologies, economies, politics, environments, and cultures. Collections support a core university priority for research, teaching, and learning, and preserve the documentary history of exploration, innovation, development, and growth in oil and gas, alternative energies, and the environment.
The Harvey Memories Project, a collaboration between Rice University, University of Houston Libraries, Harris County Public Library, and Houston Public Library, is now live. The mission of the project is to collect, preserve, and share digital artifacts associated with Hurricane Harvey, as well as the many personal stories that Harvey left in its wake—stories of rescue, resilience, and recovery, as well as stories of painful loss and lingering questions.
Members of the UH community are encouraged to contribute items and stories to the project.
Members of the project team will be holding public events in August to promote the website as well as to assist the public in submitting their materials and stories. Two events include:
- Friday, August 17, 10 am – 2 pm at the Kashmere Multi-Service Center, in partnership with Houston Public Libraries
- Sunday, August 26, 6:30 – 8pm at Tom Bass Park
The Harvey Memories Project is supported by generous funding from a HERE Grant from the Office of the Provost at Rice University and from the Humanities Research Center at Rice University.
The William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library is pleased to present Play and Process by student artist Felicia Leyva. The opening reception will be held on Friday, August 3 at 5 p.m., with light refreshments. The exhibit will be on display through October, and is free and open to the public.
Leyva is a sculpture BFA student at the University of Houston. While she has experimented with several mediums, her work mainly focuses on her increasing interest in fiber arts. Known for her fun and colorful style, she enjoys bringing new life to everyday soft materials like yarn, foam, and felt. Her work has been exhibited at Blaffer Art Museum’s Student Exhibition and UH Biannual Art Show on campus grounds. As she continues her creative journey, she hopes to further blur the line between craft and fine art.
I make art because I can’t imagine myself doing anything else. It’s a great part of who I am. When I go days without making something, I feel almost sick and weighed down. The process of making art is my way of clearing out my mind and letting go of frustrations. Art is very therapeutic and as a person who internalizes things, I find much relief in it.
I’m geared towards making playful, lighthearted art because it reminds me of easier times as a child. I feel as though somewhere down the line of growing up, my life picked up a lot of anger and pain. I’ve been trying to cancel out these negative feelings with bright, colorful, artworks. I think I’m trying to create a fun and beautiful world to live in. One that makes myself and others feel happy.
I was introduced to the world of fiber arts about a year ago and fell in love with it. Fibers are the best medium for producing inviting, comforting textures. There is something magical about creating work that entices others to reach out and touch them. I have never minded if people touch my work. I actually encourage it because then you are no longer simply viewing but experiencing the piece. Through touch, I believe that you can connect with my artwork and ultimately, myself.
The Houston Hip Hop Posters collection is now available in the UH Digital Library.
Most of the 107 original posters in this digital collection were created to promote recordings by Houston hip hop artists, including such well-known figures as Bun B, DJ Screw, Paul Wall, and Scarface. The collection is also rich in the posters of artists from two underground rap collectives, the Screwed Up Click and the South Park Coalition.
The posters range in style from glossy and commercial to low budget and underground. They include images from the world-renowned Houston design firm Pen & Pixel Graphics, Inc., which pioneered the “bling” aesthetic in the nineties, particularly with their album covers for rap star Master P. They also include posters by independent Houston designer Mike Frost of SLFEMP.
Approximately one-third of the posters were acquired from Samplified Digital Recording Studios, and some of those were signed by the artists for the studio’s owner, Keenan “Maestro” Mosley. A handful of posters were retrieved from the original Cullen Blvd. location of DJ Screw’s Screwed Up Records and Tapes, where they had hung on the walls for many years. A few of the posters relate to Houston’s car culture, which is closely associated with hip hop music.
Did you know that you can find free online access to rare historical audio and video items from UH Special Collections at our audio/video repository?
An amazing variety of digitized content from the KUHT Collection and more is searchable and viewable online. Emily Vinson, audiovisual archivist at UH Special Collections, recently presented Now Playing: Recent Projects in Moving Image Digitization, in which she discussed the array of audiovisual collections held in Special Collections and the process of digitizing and making them available to the public.
Over the past two years, hundreds of archival videos and films have been digitized and added to the Libraries’ AV repository, such as Almanac, a news magazine series that ran from 1989 to 1994. According to Vinson, Almanac captured “some real and unguarded moments in Houston history” and “helped viewers make sense of local and national events as they unfolded.”