UH Libraries News

New Online Exhibit Features DJ Screw Recordings

A student-curated digital exhibit featuring materials related to DJ Screw is available online.

DJ Screw and his record collection

DJ Screw and his record collection

From Coast to Coast: A Tour of DJ Screw’s Record Collection was created by Jenna Goodrich as part of a Research for Aspiring Coogs in the Humanities (REACH) project.

“This project has given me a glimpse of the steps in the process of creating an exhibit, and has taught me about what all goes into archival work,” Goodrich, a senior Honors College political science major, said. “This experience is invaluable.”

Goodrich, who is interested in archival and librarian work, selected items from the archives of UH Libraries Special Collections’ Houston Hip Hop Research Collection, particularly from the DJ Screw Sound Recordings comprising over 1600 of the artist’s personal albums and singles.

In working with primary sources, Goodrich learned what curating an exhibit involves. “You have to creatively piece together a story and a theme based off of what you have,” she said. “I learned about the wide array of materials that are considered primary sources. I was working with vinyl records, a unique type of source that opened my eyes to types of media that can be used for research.” 

The online exhibit and the collection it represents offer viewers a deep look at DJ Screw and the milieu in which he created mixtapes. “The DJ Screw collection tells us about the diversity and wide scope of influence of both Houston hip hop and DJ Screw himself,” Goodrich said. “Screw had records from artists across the United States and used many different types of music to create his tapes. The vast amount of records from Houston-based hip hop artists sheds light on the entrepreneurial spirit of the artists.”

Based on her experience, Goodrich offers advice to other UH undergrads who may be interested in doing a research project. “I would suggest everyone try to do at least one research project before graduating,” she said. “Put your heart into the work so you can look back on your project and be proud of it when it comes time to apply for other fellowships or jobs. Create deadlines with your mentor and be in close contact with them to ground your project and give you structure. Have a vision of the end product in mind.”

Connecting Undergrads to Humanities Research

University of Houston Libraries projects in digital humanities are being offered through Research for Aspiring Coogs in the Humanities (REACH), a year-long introductory research experience for undergraduates in humanities disciplines. 

The UH REACH program is supported by the Cougar Initiative to Engage and the Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards (OURMA). REACH connects students to existing UH digital humanities projects and allows them to develop research skills through mentored, first-hand scholarly inquiry and through participation in OURMA research programming.

REACH participants receive a $1,500 scholarship split between the fall and spring semesters in the program, and will present their research at Undergraduate Research Day in April 2023.

Projects significantly connected to UH Libraries’ collections and expertise include Making the History of UH Student Group Afro Americans for Black Liberation (AABL) Available Online, Sharing Stories from 1977, OER Textbook: Be a Tech Advanced Cultural Learner, Triumph and Tragedy in the Bayou City’s Civil Rights Era, Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage Program, and SYRIOS.

Two projects from the 2021-2022 academic year included research drawing from UH Libraries’ collections related to the Houston GLBT Political Caucus and DJ Screw sound recordings.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are invited to apply by September 7.

Thompson Appointed Associate Dean for Research and Student Engagement

Santi Thompson

Santi Thompson

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce Santi Thompson as the associate dean for Research and Student Engagement (RASE), effective June 1.

The newly created position is designed to provide strategic leadership in building a collaborative and integrated approach to library specialties, one that promotes the teaching and research mission of the University.

“Santi Thompson is a highly regarded leader effectively leading robust research initiatives in academic library settings,” said Athena N. Jackson, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair. “He brings distinctive experience and an exceptionally collaborative spirit that will further strengthen the Libraries’ impact on information access, teaching, and research. I’m thrilled that he has accepted this new role.”

RASE is a recently created portfolio within the new intentional restructure of UH Libraries. The portfolio includes Information and Access Services, Research Services, and Teaching and Learning. As associate dean, Thompson will advance the University’s research goals by partnering with faculty, staff, and students across the research and learning lifecycle; advocate for the effective application of enterprise-wide services across the Libraries; and provide leadership in the enhancement of learning and research spaces and information literacy efforts for undergraduate and graduate programs, and co-curricular learning experiences in support of student success.

“The RASE associate dean role presents a variety of collaborative opportunities to optimize the Libraries’ services and expertise in teaching, research, and access to needed information and resources,” Thompson said. “I am excited to work alongside talented colleagues at UH Libraries to create diverse and enriching experiences for students, faculty, and staff to learn, create, and connect with one another.”

In his prior role as head of Research Services, Thompson was integral in positioning the Libraries to support expansion of research productivity at the University, and continues to provide significant contributions in the development of research support services. Thompson developed policies and workflows for the digital components of scholarly communications, including digital research support and digital repositories. Under his direction and with support from the UH Division of Research and Office of the Provost, UH Libraries launched the Digital Research Commons (DRC) in 2018, a facility dedicated to the production of digital research projects and instruction on digital research methodologies. Thompson has been instrumental in the creation of the Libraries’ digital collection development policy and in the development of the Libraries’ future digital asset management system. He was also involved in the development of a digital preservation policy and the selection of a digital preservation tool; and collaborated with several Libraries departments on the Cougar Research Open Access Repositories (Cougar ROAR). In 2020, Thompson was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Eva Digital Research Endowed Library Professorship, an appointment which enables the Libraries to expand its services in the emerging areas of digital research, data preservation and accessibility, and scholarly communication.

Thompson has authored and produced numerous peer-reviewed publications and presentations and has been invited to present his work at international venues. He has represented the profession and the University through leadership roles with the Digital Library Federation (DLF), the American Library Association (ALA), the Association of Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS), and the Texas Digital Library (TDL). In 2018-2019 he served as an inaugural DLF Futures Fellow. He is the principal investigator for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS)-funded “Digital Content Reuse Assessment Framework Toolkit (D-CRAFT)” grant project and the co-principal investigator for the IMLS-funded “Bridge2Hyku Toolkit: Developing Migration Strategies for Hyku.” He previously served as the principal investigator for the IMLS-funded “Developing a Framework for Measuring Reuse of Digital Objects.”

New Public Humanities Data Librarian

Linda García Merchant

Linda García Merchant

University of Houston Libraries welcomes Linda García Merchant, PhD as the new public humanities data librarian.

Please describe your role at UH Libraries and talk about some of your professional goals.

My role is to coordinate public humanities data initiatives and technology infrastructure to meet the needs of our University of Houston (UH) research community. This coordination is supported by a partnership between the UH Libraries and the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI). I am housed in UH Libraries Research Services alongside my accomplished data science and digital humanities (DH) colleagues.

My goal is to help researchers interested in exploring and articulating the humanities through digital methods, to create deliverables that both accomplish and exceed expectations. We are at a time where our UH community wants the opportunity to apply a rhetorical rigor to traditional and non-traditional forms of scholarship. When creating projects with a digital humanities-driven component, students and faculty see their own research questions generating new and unexpected insights. For example, writing about some aspect of James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room can also inform a Google mapping project of 1950s Paris as seen through the eyes of the book’s protagonist, visualizing a subtler form of isolation and distance that became apparent to the researcher producing both the essay and the Google map. Digital humanities projects allow for a robust, ongoing conversation between content, researchers, and related digital ephemera.

Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach in digital humanities?

For the last 14 years I’ve been a part of a national oral history project called the Chicana por mi Raza Digital Memory Collective (CPMR) documenting second wave Chicana Latina feminists with Dr. Maria Cotera of the University of Texas at Austin. CPMR is a post-custodial resource that to date has collected 150 oral history interviews, and over 15,000 photos, documents and ephemera. It is the largest collection of Chicana feminist materials in the United States and (we suspect) in the world. In 2007 I produced and directed a 90-minute documentary on Las Mujeres de la Caucus Chicana/The Women of the Chicana Caucus about the women of the National Women’s Political Caucus. It is this project that led to working with Maria on CPMR. Maria and I share a personal stake in this work—our mothers are a significant part of this legacy. My mom is Ruth “Rhea” Mojica Hammer, the first Latina to run for congressional office in the State of Illinois, then elected first vice chairperson of the National Women’s Political Caucus in 1973, ultimately serving as a presidentially-appointed commissioner to the International Women’s Year, National Women’s Conference in Houston in 1977. Maria’s mother is a foremother of Chicana feminist thought, Martha P. Cotera, author of Diosa y hembra: The history and heritage of Chicanas in the US, and Chicana Feminist. It was the realization that their contributions to this American history narrative was missing, that put both Maria and myself on this path to recover and reclaim their voices and the hundreds of Chicanas and Latinas working on civil and women’s rights during the 60s, 70s and 80s.

The work I do as an educator and founder of an oral history project and as a digital humanities practitioner and scholar is about the joy in the process and production of knowledge. As an active member of a cultural community, there is the responsibility to cultivate and produce these recovered narratives. There is also an obligation to sustain those resources through an engagement with the next generation of research communities to produce a shared understanding of these resources and their importance.

What are one or two ideas you’d like the community to know about digital humanities?

Digital humanities is not difficult to execute, if there is a good plan in place to do so. Planning and building a community to produce digital scholarship engages the researcher and technologists in the ongoing dialogue necessary to imagine, shape, and create deliverables that successfully and rigorously articulate the research question.

DH is happening all around us and this has become especially apparent in the last two years as DH has been a method used to respond and support the educational resources needed for the classroom, our libraries, and our homes. Access to sites, materials, and the ways to interpret and produce them is at the heart of what DH is and will remain—a method to reimagine the considerations and generative nature of knowledge production as scholarship in digital forms.

Grad Students Make Discoveries in Digital Research

Recently, five graduate students worked with members of University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Commons (DRC) to develop digital components of their dissertations. The students were selected by application to attend the Spring 2022 Digital Research Institute, a multi-day intensive experience aimed at building the foundational skills and knowledge needed to initiate and develop a piece of digital research. Each participant chosen for the Institute was awarded a $500 scholarship, provided by the UH Graduate School and UH Libraries, to assist in furthering their projects.

“I applied to the Digital Research Institute seeking help in defining background information for the question of how diversity in engineering has changed over time,” said Kristin L. Schaefer, P.E., a mechanical engineering PhD candidate whose research focuses on the persistence of women in engineering. “I was interested in data-mining the graduation data reported to the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) from 1998 to present to determine if there are any trends in how graduation has changed in the various disciplines and between different ethnicities, since we typically see infographics that simply discuss male/female B.S. degrees, ethnic distribution, or discipline distribution for a particular year, rather than exploring the trends with a longitudinal and intersectional view.”

Schaefer is the first graduate student to research this topic under Engineering Education (ENED) with Dr. Jerrod A. Henderson. The Digital Research Institute provided a new perspective to Schaefer’s work.

“I was able to think more critically about the message that I want to present in the introduction to my thesis, and I’m now inspired to further explore alternate methods to share the data,” Schaefer said. “I am encouraged that the things I’ve learned may uncover unexpected themes.”

Olusegun Babalola is a PhD candidate in industrial/organizational psychology whose work focuses on individual career interests and how they affect perceived career opportunities and choices. Using a sample of low- to medium-skilled youth from South Africa, Babalola is testing a well-known theory of vocational interests, Holland’s (1985) model which may hold utility for career counseling, recruitment, and selection in less developed parts of the world.

“This study focuses on lower skilled individuals,” Babalola said, “and I am testing the structural and predictive validity of the model for this sample while considering the broader context of a less structured economic and labor market than is typically studied.”

Over the course of the Institute, Babalola developed new ideas for research productivity. “I was introduced to numerous useful visualization tools that will undoubtedly help me in communicating my research in an interesting and impactful way to both academic and wider audiences,” Babalola said. “Also, I gained data management and analysis skills which will make the initial stages of my data cleaning process smoother, quicker, and much more insightful in the future.”

Michelle N. Martinez is a doctoral student in clinical psychology with a focus in neuropsychology. She is conducting research on Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) in Hispanic and Latin American populations, specifically the relationship between perceived discrimination, stress, and cognition in a heterogeneous sample of Puerto Ricans. 

“Prior research within my lab with Hispanic and Latin American community members from the Houston metro area has demonstrated that research and results need to be presented in a way that is more accessible and easily digestible by a range of community members,” Martinez said. “I can leverage the digital research methods I have learned, such as data visualization and use of data management tools, to help facilitate this goal and assist with disseminating my results.”

Danielle Llaneza, who is in her second year of a PhD program in counseling health, and Lucia Lopez-Hisijos, a first-year PhD student in political science, also participated in the Digital Research Institute.

“The experience of working with the researchers is always exciting,” said Reid Boehm, research data management librarian and lead instructor. “This cohort had exceptional projects that led to a lot of positive experimentation and discoveries throughout the week.”

“This was a remarkable cohort of researchers—a complete joy to work with,” said Taylor Davis-Van Atta, director of the DRC and the lead organizer of the Institute. “We hope to continue working with each of these researchers as they progress through their programs and future phases of their dissertation work.”

The Digital Research Institute is offered twice annually and is intended for graduate and professional students who are in the beginning phases of a piece of digital research, using computational tools that will form the basis of an article or a part of their thesis or dissertation. Digital research is defined here as the use of computational tools to produce new knowledge, and selection for the Institute is weighted toward applicants working at the intersection of traditional disciplines or who are applying digital methods to traditional modes of inquiry.

The Digital Research Commons exists to encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary research and build communities of practice around modern digital research methodologies. DRC staff members partner with faculty and students in the humanities, social sciences, and experimental sciences on digital research projects of all sizes, from the earliest stages of formulating a research question to publication and beyond. Contact the DRC.

Professional and Scholarly Spotlight Spring 2022

Librarianship often goes hand in hand with scholarship. Take a look at some of the recent research and professional contributions of University of Houston librarians.

Reid Boehm was an invited speaker for a panel talk, “Towards an Earth and space sciences knowledge commons,” at the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIP) winter meeting; and a guest speaker at the Texas Digital Library (TDL) Research Integrity working group meeting.

Boehm co-presented a poster, “Analysis of US federal funding agency data sharing policies: Highlights and key observations,” with P. Condon, H. Calkins, J. Petters, and R. Woodbrook at Research Data Access and Preservation (RDAP) Summit.  

Ana Corral presented a paper, “Comunidad book club: Planning, lessons learned, and application to health sciences librarianship,” and a poster, “Around the liaison role in 11 months: An early career librarian’s journey around and throughout the health sciences,” at the South Central Chapter of the Medical Library Association (SCCMLA) annual meeting.

Corral co-presented with M. Rawls, L. Tadena, W. Tavernier, M. Peralta, M. Bergamasco, and K. Adolpho on the work of the Residency Interest Group (RIG) diversity residency toolkit and resident-centered framework as part of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance task force webinar series; and “Library preparedness: Formalizing and supporting the diversity residency experience using a resident centered framework,” at the Conference on Academic Library Management (CALM).

Corral presented a paper, “Supporting the Latinx community’s health needs in southwest Virginia: Partnerships and collaboration during the COVID-19 pandemic,” on behalf of the group, R. Silva and A. Wright de Hernandez, at the International Congress of Medical Librarianship + Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (ICML+AHILA): A Call for Action: Engaging to Save Lives.

Corral and Rachel Helbing submitted a chapter, “Maintaining continuity through institutional growth and personnel changes,” for publication in the book Accreditation in the Health Sciences.

Kerry Creelman presented “Collections strategies without subject selectors: Restructuring and rethinking collections services” at the Electronic Resources & Libraries (ER&L) conference.

Veronica Arellano Douglas, Wenli Gao, Andrea Malone, and Emma Fontenot wrote “Beyond the numbers: Building a data information literacy program for undergraduate instruction,” which appeared in Teaching Critical Thinking with Numbers: Data Literacy and the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, edited by J. Bauder.

Douglas serves as a mentor through the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) Kaleidoscope program, mentoring LIS graduate students.

Catherine Essinger presented “Formulas for tracking faculty scholarship in architecture” at the Association of Architecture School Librarians annual conference, and served as chair of the nominating committee. 

Wenli Gao and Kerry Creelman co-presented “Learn from others: A look at collections policies from ARL member institutions,” at North Carolina Serials conference online.

Gao, M. Huang, G. Liu, and H. Yao co-presented “From outlier to mainstream: CALA’s journey for diversity, equity and inclusion in the library world” at Augusta Baker Lecture Series (invited).

Carolina Hernandez, Veronica Arellano Douglas, and Emily Deal co-wrote “Valuing the everyday: Using experiential scenarios to evaluate information” which appeared in College & Research Libraries News.

Jerrell Jones is the 2022 recipient of the Texas Library Association (TLA) Ray C. Janeway Scholarship and the TLA Summer School Scholarship.

Natalia Kapacinskas presented “Librarianship and disability at the performative turn” at the Concordia Library Research Forum.

Stefanie Lapka, Reid Boehm, and Rachel Helbing gave a lightning talk, “Data management and health sciences researchers: Learning together,” at the SCCMLA annual meeting.

Xiping Liu gave a lightning talk, “Cool things we’ve cataloged: ‘Cartonera Books’” at ACRL Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) online program, and served on the Chinese American Library Association (CALA) newsletter committee.

Andrea Malone serves as chair of the ARL Leadership and Career Development Program (LCDP) task force, and is a proposal reviewer for DH Unbound 2022.

Malone delivered a lecture for FREN 4351 about MLA indexing of francophone literary research.

Malone was featured in a video during Black History Month at Fallbrook Church’s Black Excellence celebration for being the first Black full librarian at UH.

Leonard Martin presented “Ghost in the MARChine: Pseudonymity and anonymity usage in electronica music sound recordings” at Northern Ohio Technical Services Librarians annual meeting; wrote “What’s an original when everything is a copy?: Chuck Person’s Eccojams Vol. 1 resurfaces from the depths of the internet” which appeared in the Association of Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC) newsletter; presented “Wickett Crickett and Houston G-Funk” at Music OCLC Users Group annual meeting; and taught “Music cataloging with Library of Congress vocabularies” as an American Library Association (ALA) eCourse.

Marilyn Myers serves as chair of the ACRL new roles and changing landscapes committee, and as treasurer for the Association for Conflict Resolution Houston Chapter.

Ariana Santiago was part of a panel presentation, “Professional development for open education leaders: A community dialogue,” at the Open Education Conference.

Santiago was elected to the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) steering committee for 2021-2024, and served as co-chair for the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) local arrangements committee.

Santi Thompson co-presented with D.B. Lowe, S. Barba, H.C. Tripp, and Natalia Kapacinskas “Giving CRediT taxonomy its due” at the Texas Conference on Digital Libraries; and co-wrote with A.S. Kenfield, L. Woolcott, E.J. Kelly, A. Shiri, C. Muglia, K. Masood, J. Chapman, D. Jefferson, and M. Morales “Towards a definition of digital object reuse” which appeared in Digital Library Perspectives.

Shawn Vaillancourt serves as chair of the Ex Libris Southcentral Users Group (ELSUG).

Vaillancourt, Kerry Creelman, and Ian Knabe presented “Serials threshing: Separating the wheat from chaff to find value in large journal package renewals” at ER&L.

Emily Vinson presented a webinar series on audiovisual accessibility through TDL, and wrote an article, “Dr. Richard I. Evans and the innovation of educational television,” which appeared in Houston History.

Mea Warren was selected as a 2022-2023 fellow of the ARL LCDP.

Warren and Veronica Arellano Douglas presented “Flying the plane while you’re building it: Cultivating a new team through organizational change” at CALM.

Research Services Offered at UH Libraries

Undergraduate Research Day was held at MD Anderson Library recently, featuring the work of UH undergraduates who have participated in independent research and faculty-mentored projects over the past year. UH Office of Undergraduate Research and Major Awards, in collaboration with the Honors College, coordinates the annual event with support from the Office of the Provost and Division of Research.

UH librarians were in attendance to highlight a variety of research services open to all UH scholars. UH librarians are available to assist at any stage of the research process, including:

  • scoping a research project
  • conducting literature reviews
  • finding and analyzing data
  • sharing and publishing research
  • learning about research methods and tools in the Digital Research Commons

Contact libteach@uh.edu to set up a research consultation or drc@uh.edu to learn more about research methods and tools.

Spring 2022 DH@UH Program

University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Commons is pleased to announce the program for the spring 2022 DH@UH, an event convening UH humanists, data scientists, librarians, and digital humanities practitioners at every level.



View full program for the spring 2022 DH@UH.

Join students, librarians, and faculty April 11 – 13 for a program highlighting the breadth of digital humanities work ongoing at UH. Discussion sessions will explore the practical challenges of starting and sustaining DH projects, the surprising afterlives of DH at work, and how those who are interested in engaging this work can discover and take advantage of existing opportunities on campus.

DH@UH is a joint venture of UH Libraries, UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, US Latino Digital Humanities Center, UH College of Technology, UH Graduate School, and UH Center for Public History.

DH@UH is free and open to the entire UH community. Registration is not required. Sessions will be held online via Zoom.

Save the Date for DH@UH 2022

University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Commons is pleased to announce the second annual DH@UH, an event convening UH humanists, data scientists, librarians, and digital humanities practitioners at every level.



Join students, librarians, and faculty April 11 – 13 for a program highlighting the breadth of digital humanities work ongoing at UH. Discussion sessions will explore the practical challenges of starting and sustaining DH projects, the surprising afterlives of DH at work, and how those who are interested in engaging this work can discover and take advantage of existing opportunities on campus.

DH@UH is a joint venture of UH Libraries, UH College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, US Latino Digital Humanities Center, UH College of Technology, UH Graduate School, and UH Center for Public History.

DH@UH is free and open to the entire UH community. Registration is not required. Sessions will be held online via Zoom.

The full program will be announced soon.

Announcing 2022 Sponsored Projects

University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Services (DRS) and Digital Research Commons (DRC) are pleased to announce the 2022 sponsored digital research projects. DRS collaborates with UH faculty, graduate students, and postdoctoral fellows on projects involving digital techniques across the humanities, social sciences, and experimental sciences, offering grants at three levels designed to address projects in various stages of development.

2022 sponsored projects are:

An Empirical Survey of the Analytic/Continental Divide
Graham Lee, Walter Barta, and Steve Chan
What is the difference, if any, between analytic philosophy and continental philosophy? Contemporary philosophers tend to identify themselves roughly along these lines, and so the field of contemporary philosophy is divided roughly along these lines. This project will produce a tool for users to model selected sets of continental and analytic philosophy to try to establish a firm semantic, discursive or syntactic basis for the distinction.

Building the Past: Reimagining the University of Houston Campus
David Guzman, Caitlyn Jones, and Shine Trabucco
How does memorialization/commemoration on the University of Houston campus reflect the university’s commitment to a diverse campus culture, and how have these spaces been contested in the past? Building the Past is an exercise at the crossroads of social advocacy and public history. Using the namesakes occupying the physical structures of the University of Houston, our project seeks to explore the silences and evasions inherent within the campus landscape. Additionally, it aims to highlight how the campus has served as a site of contestation for those who have been excluded both literally and figuratively from its landscape.

Opening Up Anti-Asian Racism Dialogues Through Storymap
Sunhong Hwang and Melody Lee
Our public-engaging project examines historical struggles of Asian immigrants and Asian Americans. We will create three storymaps to mark the past, the present and the future: 1) the historical timeline of anti-Asian and Asian American events and incidents; 2) an interactive ArcGis Storymap of the present stories and data documenting anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, which include a video series and an interactive storymap; 3) a map suggesting the resources Asian immigrants and Asian Americans can turn to in face of racist attacks.

The interactive maps enable viewers to contribute to the current dialogues of anti-Asian racism. Our project looks through the specific incidents from 2020-2021, and identify whether they are microaggression, physical violence, harassment or other problems, how and where they take place, and how they contribute to the stigmatization and “othering” of people of Asian descent. Our project can help increase public awareness of the social problem of anti-Asian racism.

The Digital Carceral Body: the Making of Recidivist Women in Texas
Ariel Ludwig
Mass incarceration is often framed as a social and political issue, but is less often acknowledged to be a data or epistemological/ knowledge problem. This project sets out to understand the history of risk projections that determine both the time and conditions of release from jails or prisons in Texas. This history will form part of the digital archive that will also include works of art, writing, and interviews responding to this history from women living at Angela House, a non-profit that assists formerly incarcerated women with substance use disorders.

David Mazella
This project will extend its research questions regarding eighteenth-century genres to investigate further how both literary and non-literary genres were shaped by their producers, audiences, and local print infrastructures in the target year. This investigation will eventually entail

  • constructing a full-text corpus for the dataset preparatory for topic modeling and text mining; text mining would help pinpoint the differences within and among the genres, and help refine existing genre-proximity classifications;
  • preparing strategies for analyzing the problematic genre category of “collection,” to understand some of the principles of inclusion and exclusion governing both simple and compounded forms like “periodicals,” “garlands,” “miscellanies,” “fugitive texts,” etc. found in the existing dataset;
  • preparing strategies for analyzing the problematic gender category of “NKA” (not known or anonymous authors or printers) found within our existing dataset, and
  • as part of the investigation of the dataset’s anonymous or collective authors, conducting biographical research on named authors/printers’ backgrounds and careers, including authors’ status as living or dead or texts’ status as new or reprinted in the target year.

Why DH Needs UX
Peggy Lindner, Elizabeth Roswell, Kristina Neumann
This project will examine the interplay between DH and user experience (UX) research: the process of creating products or tools that are efficient, enjoyable, and effective in their use. From its foundations at Bell Labs in the 1950s to its development as a discipline by Apple in the 1990s, UX research has now become industry standard in the production of technology. The field of DH, however, has yet to fully realize the significance of UX for a successful digital project or even include it at all as part of project development.

Our overall objective is to contribute to the theory and practice of DH, specifically in the accessibility and sustainability of DH projects. We intend to reach already active and future DH practitioners by providing a bridge to the technology field and industry. Through our own experience with SYRIOS, we seek to demonstrate the efficacy of collaboration between these worlds at all stages of a DH project.

Sharing Stories: the 1977 National Women’s Conference
Nancy Beck Young and Leandra Zarnow
Our project is a multi-year, multi-state, multi-institutional effort led by the University of Houston to document and analyze the experience and impact of thousands of delegates and observers of the 1977 National Women’s Conference (NWC). The next phase of this project is three-fold. First, we will clean and launch the demographic data for the Western states and the Pacific territories in summer 2022 to augment our Mapping NWC site feature and begin data visualization work. Second, we will be preparing our data for the next regional roll out in fall 2022 to introduce New England and Midwest states to the Mapping NWC data set. Third, we will develop how-to videos for the project, improve site interactivity, and construct our mobile design to make our launch site more user friendly on multiple platforms. Ultimately, our aim is to create an open source digital archive that spurs quantitative and qualitative scholarship and public engagement and is fully complete by 2027, the fiftieth anniversary of the NWC.