UH Libraries News

New Endowment Supports LGBT History Research Collection

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce the establishment of a new endowment to support the LGBT History Research Collection.

The Hollyfield Foundation Endowment will provide funding for the acquisition and preservation of primary source materials in the LGBT History Research Collection, one of 13 collecting areas in UH Libraries Special Collections. The collection preserves and promotes the archives of LGBT communities and organizations from Houston and the region. Materials, including personal papers, organization records, and library collections, document the communities’ activist, cultural, social, and political activities, and the personal experiences of community members.

Through its support of LGBT and AIDS non-profits, the Hollyfield Foundation has made a substantial positive impact on local LGBT communities since its inception in 1994. The Houston-based organization contributes to charities that work to prevent discrimination, promote equality, and assist in HIV/AIDS education, care and treatment.

“Jay Hollyfield deeply loved Houston and our LGBT community and history,” said Elizabeth McLane, Hollyfield Foundation board president. “The Hollyfield Foundation Board of Directors is thrilled that his name will now be linked perpetually to one of the nation’s most extensive and exceptional LGBT history collections.”

In recognition of this grant, UH Libraries will establish an annual exhibition of materials from the LGBT History Research Collection, to be held at MD Anderson Library during June each year as part of Pride Month.

Marilyn Myers, interim dean of UH Libraries, said the endowment supports the Libraries’ mission to preserve and provide access to unique primary sources for teaching, learning, research, and scholarship. “This endowment will allow UH Libraries to expand the LGBT History Research Collection and increase engagement with students and scholars,” Myers said. “With this gift, we’ll be able to make accessible a rich collection of primary source materials to those seeking an understanding of the history and legacy of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities.” 

Ask Your Engineering Librarian

Engineering librarian Edward Gloor will host open hours for UH engineering students each Thursday of the fall 2020 semester. Beginning September 17, 1 – 2 pm, engineering students are encouraged to access the Microsoft Teams space (log in with Cougarnet credentials). Gloor will be available to help you start your research, find sources, and organize your research.

How to log in to Microsoft Office 365

Ask your engineering librarian

How to Work With UH Libraries Liaison Services

University of Houston Libraries Liaison Services provides expert knowledge for your academic and research needs. Learn more about Liaison Services.

Liaison Services - who we are and how we help you

Liaison Services – who we are and how we help you

Texas Art Project: Digitized Microfilmed Archives

Thanks to a Texas State Library and Archives Commission TexTreasures grant funded by the Institute for Museum and Library Services (IMLS), over 100 reels of microfilmed archives documenting women and underrepresented communities in Texas visual arts will be digitized and made accessible online.

The Texas Art Project is an extensive collection of visual arts history preserved at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) library. Between 1978 and 1985, MFAH contacted artists, galleries, and arts organizations across Texas to document unique manuscript papers and research materials on microfilm, as part of the Smithsonian Institution Archives of American Art (AAA). The project yielded nearly 700 reels, a subset of which featured materials from women artists, artists of color, and galleries that hosted them. This subset is the focus of the TexTreasures grant which allowed University of Houston Libraries Special Collections and MFAH to collaborate on the digitization of approximately 150,000 images, previously available only in a limited, localized capacity in microfilm at MFAH. Digitized images of materials such as correspondence, exhibition catalogs, reviews, and publications will become openly available online with multiple points of access, thereby facilitating scholarship and research using unique primary sources.

Portrait of Dorothy Hood in the studio (1977) | Martha Armstrong | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Archives

Portrait of Dorothy Hood in the studio (1977) | Martha Armstrong | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Archives

“When these materials were gathered on microfilm at the MFAH as part of the AAA, it was a tremendous gift as far as preservation,” said Marie Wise, managing archivist at MFAH. “We are so fortunate that these rich materials were preserved as they were. In digitizing them and creating searchable metadata, we are now making them accessible to a far broader audience. In this way, scholars and students can uncover this amazing history.”

View MFAH introductory exhibit of the Texas Art Project | View list of Texas Art Project collections

Contributions from women artists and artists of color are underrepresented in scholarship and public awareness, making this project particularly relevant in today’s social climate. “The goal of the digitization project is to provide a resource for scholars, students, and teachers to be able to engage with the lives and work of these artists,” said Christian Kelleher, head of UH Special Collections. “We want to boost awareness and appreciation for that work. We want to see that students are educated on archival research and critical inquiry, and that scholars are able to produce new knowledge based on unique primary sources preserved here.”

Wise noted that the project is about expanding accessibility through institutional partnerships. “By working together, we can make the collective art history resources in Houston and in Texas more discoverable,” Wise said. “The stories that are held in our respective archives are interwoven, and we all want the fullest historical picture possible preserved and studied. The MFAH is very glad to be a partner in this project.”

"Artists try cooperative gallery" | Mary McIntyre [Mary Myart Malott], Austin American-Statesman, 17 April 1977 | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Archives

Artists try cooperative gallery (1977) | Mary McIntyre [Mary Myart Malott], Austin American-Statesman | Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Archives

An important part of the project involves the support of student success. Two graduate students in arts-related fields were hired to assist in indexing and cataloging the collection, research each artist, and contact each artist.

Lysette Portano, a professional contemporary dancer and one of the project’s graduate assistants, is enrolled in the MA in Arts Leadership program in the Kathrine G. McGovern College of the Arts at UH. “As an interpreter, I have always been curious about artists’ creative processes,” Portano said. “This drive has led me to research and experience different art forms. I became interested in this project because it uncovers artists that reshaped the Texas art scene and preserves the legacies of their contributions to the arts.”

Carolann Madden, a PhD candidate in literature and creative writing at UH, was drawn to the project for similar research interests in folklore and ethnography. “It’s important for us to understand “archives” as places, both physical and digital, where we can find a wide array of material,” Madden said. “The material on the reels is incredibly valuable and exciting, and should be shared. While this project was proposed and started before the pandemic, watching our archives and libraries close around the world served as a meaningful reminder that digitization not only helps preserve material in our archives, but also offers access to it wherever we are.”

TexTreasures is a yearly competitive grant program of TexShare, a consortium of Texas libraries joining together to share print and electronic materials, purchase online resources, and combine staff expertise. TexShare is administered by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission (TSLAC).

The TexTreasures awards are made possible by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to TSLAC under the provisions of the Library Services and Technology Act. The mission of IMLS is to advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grantmaking, research, and policy development.

Recordings of Library Services Open Forum Series Now Available

Last week, University of Houston Libraries held a series of online open forums about library services geared toward graduate students. Librarians explained how these services are related to graduate study, research, and teaching, and how librarians work with graduate students. 

The series was recorded and each session is accessible below via Microsoft Stream:

Accessing Library Materials and Services
Lee Hilyer, Head of Information & Access Services

The UH Libraries has over 2 million items in its physical collections, and millions more available electronically. In addition, the Libraries offers access to services to help you with your courses, your research projects, and your classes (if you’re a TA). These include equipment, specialized software, and media production facilities. Join Lee Hilyer, Head of Information & Access Services, to learn about accessing the Libraries’ wealth of resources and services.

How A Subject Librarian Can Help You: Research and More
Lisa Martin, Interim Head of Liaison Services, Coordinator of Outreach and Business Librarian

Did you know that there’s an expert in the library who can provide support for you in your research, teaching, and more? Subject librarians offer research consultations when you need help finding data or resources, provide library information sessions to courses that you teach or attend, and connect you to library services and programs that you need for your success at UH. Join this session to learn how UH subject librarians help graduate students succeed.

Teaching Support for Graduate Student Instructors & TAs
Veronica Arellano Douglas, Instruction Coordinator

In this session, the UH Libraries Instruction Team will share instructional resources and services available to graduate student instructors & TAs interested in teaching research skills, critical thinking, and information literacy from a learner-centered perspective.  Get innovative teaching ideas, resources, and learn how the librarians could work with you to enrich your teaching.

Learning about Digital Research at UH
Santi Thompson, Head of Digital Research Services; Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Director of the Digital Research Commons; and Claude Willan, Director of Digital Humanities Services

In this session, the Digital Research Services team will give an overview of the services we offer around digital humanities, publishing, theses and dissertations, and data archiving and sharing. We will introduce the Digital Research Commons, the home for digital research on UH campus, and share details of our fall events series. This session will help introduce you to key research tools and methods as you embark on your careers as emerging scholars.

What does the Library do for your data needs: A conversation with UH Libraries research services
Wenli Gao, Data Services Librarian; Andrea Malone, Coordinator of Research Services

The University of Houston (UH) Libraries is building programs and data-related services to support research that creates and utilizes large amounts of data. In this session, we will discuss the resources and services we provide and share examples of how we have worked with graduate students. We also want to learn what data needs you encounter so that we could tailor our services to fit your needs.

Students Discover Bauer History Through Digital Humanities Project

Students from the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston conducted a digital humanities project using primary documents preserved in UH Libraries Special Collections University Archives.

The Bauer History Project, which was sponsored by the UH Libraries Digital Research Commons, involved the capture, cataloging, processing, and analysis of historical College of Business Administration/Bauer College materials. Students of senior professor of practice Emese Felvégi worked in small teams to produce a digital database using physical objects, processing a total of 147 items and creating 596 unique scans in the first phase of the project.

Project managers Esther Adaramola, Uzma Masood, and Sorosh Malekzad

Project managers Esther Adaramola, Uzma Masood, and Sorosh Malekzad

Esther Adaramola, whose major is management information systems, was one of the project managers. Her role involved scheduling days to file and process the archives. She and fellow project managers collaborated to determine a digital tagging system for the archives that were photographed, and oversaw the capturing, processing, analyzing, and tagging phases.

Flexibility and collaboration were key to the success of the project. “Like the rest of the world, COVID-19 took us by surprise and made us rethink how to proceed,” Adaramola said. “Thankfully, I work with amazing people who were willing to hop on many video calls to strategize how we could continue to make progress. Things worked out well since we all understood the potential benefits associated with completing this project on time. I think what made this project extra special to me was that my coworkers and I were genuinely excited about working on it and sharing our findings.”

Project manager Sorosh Malekzad, also majoring in management information systems, said the important aspects of the project involved planning and adapting to obstacles. “We were prepared for the process by attending a training with university archivist Mary Manning and reading articles recommended by director of digital humanities services Dr. Claude Willan and Dr. Felvégi,” Malekzad said. “We enhanced and picked up new skills along the way. I learned how to batch rename images on my own and created a short video to show others my findings—this is a process that automated a tedious manual process and saved us a lot of time.”

The students presented their project to Felvégi, Willan, and Manning. “I was very impressed with the work the students have done—especially as their worlds have been turned upside down,” Manning said. “The project is an excellent example of how students learned, found meaning in, and excelled at their work during COVID-19.” 

Uzma Masood, whose major is accounting, was also one of the project managers. “I had the honor of working with Dr. Felvégi in past semesters,” Masood said. “In spring 2020 she introduced the research of Bauer history from UH Libraries and I jumped at the opportunity.”

Masood said the project was significant to uncovering Bauer’s hidden stories. “Our work in Special Collections is significant to not only creating an online database but also bringing to light the past of our business college. We only flourish and become the powerhouse that we are today because we learn from our past, we know our history and we understand where we hail from.”

Screenshot from the Bauer History Project presentation

Screenshot from the Bauer History Project presentation

“The students performed a never-before-completed experiential learning task with our historical records and also provided a service to our college,” said Felvégi, who is part of the Bauer College of Business Department of Decision and Information Sciences. “Once the collection has been processed in full, we will be able to look at changes in materials released by our college from the late 1940s and on and examine how majors, programs, and our campus have evolved.”

The significance of the project was heightened in part by the demands of the pandemic. “The project was a success as an academic project but has also been a success on some level by providing a purpose outside of their quarantine spaces,” Felvégi said. “Having set meeting times and objectives required students to stay connected. For many, this connection may have given a sense of normalcy during an otherwise challenging time.”

“I personally learned a lot while working on this project,” Malekzad said. “It was something I enjoyed doing and I am excited to take it further to the next step.”

The project contributes to UH Special Collections’ mission of making it easier for stakeholders to access archives.

“Our work in Special Collections plays a role in bringing Bauer’s history to life,” Adaramola said. “By shining a spotlight on these historical archives, we can measure how far Bauer has come in terms of curriculum. Being able to contextualize Bauer’s historical timeline is a great benefit not just for the college but also students and visitors. The archives tell a story about some of the roots that helped grow Bauer into the leading-edge and student-centered educational powerhouse it is today.”

Data Visualization Student Competitions

Join us on Friday, July 24, 2020 to see the UH Annual Data Visualization Student Competitions hosted by the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI) and University of Houston Libraries.

Time: 10am to 12pm CST

Agenda:

10:00
Opening remarks by Martin Huarte Ph.D., Associate Director of the HPE DSI

10:05                     
Dan Price, Ph.D., “The Sampled City – Visualizing Granularity and Connection in Health”

10:40 to 11:50      
Students’ presentations, 5 mins + 5 mins for Q&A each

11:50                     
Online voting (a link will be provided then)

12:00                     
Winners announcement

Where: Zoom
https://times-uh.zoom.us/j/97363752814?pwd=ZElTSCtxVlJRQlVXR3NWS2Q0Z0F3dz09

Questions? Please write to Martin Huarte mhuartee@central.uh.edu.

UH Graduate Students Open Forum Series

University of Houston Libraries announces a series of online open forums to be held during the week of July 13. The series, geared toward graduate students, will provide an overview of library services. Librarians will explain how these services are related to graduate study, research, and teaching, and how librarians work with graduate students. 

Registration is NOT required. How to join a Zoom meeting

Monday, July 13, 2020 
10:00 – 10:45 am
Accessing Library Materials and Services
Lee Hilyer, Head of Information & Access Services

The UH Libraries has over 2 million items in its physical collections, and millions more available electronically. In addition, the Libraries offers access to services to help you with your courses, your research projects, and your classes (if you’re a TA). These include equipment, specialized software, and media production facilities. Join Lee Hilyer, Head of Information & Access Services, to learn about accessing the Libraries’ wealth of resources and services.

Join Zoom Meeting:
https://zoom.us/j/94786448861?pwd=bElUL2p4dk9FNWs5cHBGK0V0Sm91dz09 
Meeting ID: 947 8644 8861
Password: 867270

Tuesday, July 14, 2020
10:00 – 10:45 am
How A Subject Librarian Can Help You: Research and More
Lisa Martin, Interim Head of Liaison Services, Coordinator of Outreach and Business Librarian

Did you know that there’s an expert in the library who can provide support for you in your research, teaching, and more? Subject librarians offer research consultations when you need help finding data or resources, provide library information sessions to courses that you teach or attend, and connect you to library services and programs that you need for your success at UH. Join this session to learn how UH subject librarians help graduate students succeed.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/99494583556?pwd=SUZrdXA4V01zQVlvZUJQZ3k4SEZlUT09
Meeting ID: 994 9458 3556
Password: 363933

Wednesday, July 15, 2020
10:00 – 10:45 am
Teaching Support for Graduate Student Instructors & TAs
Veronica Arellano Douglas, Instruction Coordinator

In this session, the UH Libraries Instruction Team will share instructional resources and services available to graduate student instructors & TAs interested in teaching research skills, critical thinking, and information literacy from a learner-centered perspective. Get innovative teaching ideas, resources, and learn how the librarians could work with you to enrich your teaching.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/97768468696?pwd=SVBRRklNbzQzNVpSaGRvaE1SWGthQT09
Meeting ID: 977 6846 8696
Password: 979560

Thursday, July 16, 2020
10:00 – 10:45 am
Learning about Digital Research at UH
Santi Thompson, Head of Digital Research Services; Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Director of the Digital Research Commons; and Claude Willan, Director of Digital Humanities Services

In this session, the Digital Research Services team will give an overview of the services we offer around digital humanities, publishing, theses and dissertations, and data archiving and sharing. We will introduce the Digital Research Commons, the home for digital research on UH campus, and share details of our fall events series. This session will help introduce you to key research tools and methods as you embark on your careers as emerging scholars.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/91332390834?pwd=bkdyVUtRbnlRVTJpcmc5K2FBVVJ0QT09
Meeting ID: 913 3239 0834
Password: 542573

Friday, July 17, 2020
10:00 – 10:45 am
What does the Library do for your data needs: A conversation with UH Libraries research services
Wenli Gao, Data Services Librarian; Andrea Malone, Coordinator of Research Services

The University of Houston (UH) Libraries is building programs and data-related services to support research that creates and utilizes large amounts of data. In this session, we will discuss the resources and services we provide and share examples of how we have worked with graduate students. We also want to learn what data needs you encounter so that we could tailor our services to fit your needs.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/96236913321?pwd=dERFZXdnOXBONTRVU1I1QVZSdklkUT09
Meeting ID: 962 3691 3321
Password: 496580

UH Libraries Receives NEH Grant

After Hours flier

After Hours flier

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce that it has received a $348,751 grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Program to support the Gulf Coast LGBT Radio and Television Digitization and Access Project. The grant will allow for the creation of detailed archival finding aids, digitization, transcription, description, online publication, and an online exhibit documenting over thirty years of Houston-area radio and television history created for and by local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans communities. 

Four series — After Hours, Lesbian & Gay Voices, Wilde ‘n’ Stein, and TV Montrose — are included in the project, totaling over 5,000 hours of content not heard or seen publicly since its initial broadcast decades ago. The recordings are currently inaccessible to researchers, and due to fragile audiovisual tape formats, are at significant risk of loss due to deterioration.

The unique audio and video recordings are drawn from UH Libraries Special Collections and through a partnership with the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History, Inc. (GCAM)

Judy Reeves of GCAM, the project’s primary partner, said that “On September 6, 1987, Jimmy Carper, a gay activist/volunteer in Houston, TX popped a cassette into the recorder and taped the inaugural broadcast of a show called After Hours on KPFT 90.1 FM because he realized it was groundbreaking for the local GLBT community. He recorded the show for nearly 30 years until his death in 2014. He had no idea that the tapes would be a significant part of his and the communities’ vast history. We are grateful to Jimmy Carper and to UH for having the foresight to preserve, collate and make available the thousands of hours of GLBT history.”

Whitney Cox, lecturer at Rowan University and member of the project’s advisory board, said “I’m thrilled that this will not only preserve some of the key pieces of Houston’s queer history, but that it’ll make them accessible to so many people.”

The project will be managed by Emily Vinson, audiovisual archivist, and Bethany Scott, coordinator of digital projects. Grant funds will allow for the hiring of three project staff members and is slated for completion in 2023.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES

Created in 1965 as an independent federal agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities supports research and learning in history, literature, philosophy, and other areas of the humanities by funding selected, peer-reviewed proposals from around the nation. Additional information about the National Endowment for the Humanities and its grant programs is available at www.neh.gov.

Thanks to Emily Vinson and Bethany Scott for contributing this story.

Spring 2020 Digital Research Commons Events

UPDATE March 17, 2020: We are postponing the remainder of this semester’s Digital Research Commons activities until further notice. This applies to all scheduled events as well as DRC open hours. We will continue to monitor COVID19 developments and adjust our service and program offerings accordingly.

University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Commons will host several events during the spring 2020 semester, including a workshop on digital project management, scholarly publishing clinics, and a text mining series.

Text Mining Lecture I: Algorithmic Thinking: How to do Literary Theory with Statistics
Tuesday, March 17, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Dr. Claude Willan, University Libraries

The recent, extended contretemps that began with Nan Da’s article in Critical Inquiry and spilled over onto social media and a panoply of journals drew combatants from opposite sides of worrisome trends in the literary academy. Among the more alarming was how scanty a vocabulary the scholars arguing with one another about the validity of what Da termed “computational literary studies” held in common. In this talk, I offer one such common vocabulary.

At their best, both groups laid (or lay) claim to a preoccupation with how to apprehend aesthetic qualities of a text under the aegis of a more or less attenuated formalism. I connect the priorities of literary digital humanists to those of their skeptics by considering operations like topic modeling as heuristic devices with an uncanny resemblance to literary-theoretical schemas of the early- and mid- 20th century, using Tristram Shandy as a workbench and test bed.

All are welcome to this talk, which is intended for seasoned digital humanists and newcomers to the field alike, as well as anyone interested in text mining, digital humanities, literary theory, and eighteenth-century literature.

Scholarly Publishing Clinics
Fridays beginning March 20 through May 8, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Taylor Davis-Van Atta, University Libraries

Have questions about the scholarly publishing process? Bring them to the Digital Research Commons for a friendly consultation. Topics might include but are not limited to:

  • The rights you have over your journal articles, book chapters, and monographs, and strategies for retaining those rights
  • Making your publications available open access – the free, legal, and safe way
  • Use of your previously published materials in your thesis or dissertation
  • Understanding an agreement with your publisher and how to negotiate to obtain the desired rights for publications

Digital Project Management Workshop: How to Keep Your Head above Water during a Digital Project
Monday, March 23, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Dr. Kristina Neumann, CLASS and Dr. Peggy Lindner, College of Technology

We will discuss how to build and manage an evolving project and team, as well as keep communication open between the humanities and STEM. Attendees should be prepared to brainstorm with others through several guided exercises.

Text Mining Workshop I
Tuesday, March 24, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Dr. Claude Willan

An introductory level workshop to text mining. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptops.

Text Mining Workshop II
Tuesday, March 31, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Dr. Claude Willan

An intermediate level workshop to text mining. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own laptops.

Text Mining Lecture II: Data Acquisition and Analysis in the Study of Digital News in Africa
Thursday, April 2, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Dr. Dani Madrid-Morales, CLASS

Digital media, from blogs to newspaper websites, are fast becoming the preferred source of news in most African countries. However, very few resources are available to systematically collect and analyze content from these news sources on the continent. This session will discuss some of the epistemological issues associated with the lack of full-text databases that include African digital media, and introduce an alternative workflow that uses open source resources to acquire and analyze online news text data.

Text Mining Colloquium
Thursday, April 9, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Dr. Claude Willan

The cluster of text mining events concludes with a colloquium. Four to six presenters will talk briefly about their work before a general and informal conversation brings presenters together with a moderator and audience members. If you have a text-mining project underway, then we would like to hear from you. Ideally, we are looking for 7-8 minute presentations on works-in-progress that you are eager to share and talk about. Please send a brief description (no more than 150 words) to Dr. Claude Willan by March 29th.