A student-curated digital exhibit featuring materials related to DJ Screw is available online.
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.”
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.
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are invited to apply by September 7.
Paintings and collages have been installed on the 2nd floor of MD Anderson Library near Special Collections, adding to the current exhibit featuring works of Texas-born artist Dorothy Hood (1918-2000).
In collaboration with Public Art of the University of Houston System and the Art Museum of South Texas (AMST), University of Houston Libraries will display Dorothy Hood: The Edge of Being through March 2023, along with additional exhibit locations at UH and University of Houston-Clear Lake. Visitors interested in an immersive look at Hood’s personal archives are encouraged to contact head of Special Collections Christian Kelleher.
Artworks include The Terrible Parade, Black Vessel, Sound From Within, Thorns, Primal Edge, and others.
A student-curated exhibit featuring archival materials related to the Houston GLBT Political Caucus is on display at the MD Anderson Library.
Marking LGBT+ Pride Month 2022, the physical exhibit is augmented by a digital component, and was created by senior history major Kennedy Williams as part of a Research for Aspiring Coogs in the Humanities (REACH) project.
“The [REACH] program gave me experience in archives which will assist me in becoming an archivist in the future,” Williams said. “It proved to me this is what I want to do.”
Williams selected items from the archives of University of Houston Libraries Special Collections’ LGBT History Research Collections, primarily from materials in the Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard Papers, reflecting the influential history of the Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus from its founding in 1975 to the present. (In 2021, the organization’s membership voted to change its name from Houston GLBT Political Caucus to the current Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus).
In working with the archives, Williams learned that curation is an iterative process. “Everything takes several drafts, from how you wish to organize the archival material to how you present it,” she said. “Secondly, I learned to critically think not only about the history but about each individual piece of archival material in order to decide what would be good in the exhibit.”
Williams initially had doubts about participating in the research program, wondering what it would be like and if she’d be able to keep up. Now, her advice to other undergraduates considering research opportunities at UH is to go for it. “Don’t let anything hold you back,” she said. “I ended up enjoying every second.”
The exhibit and the LGBT History Research Collection are supported by an endowment from The Hollyfield Foundation, which provides funding for the acquisition and preservation of primary source materials. The LGBT History Research 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.
A new exhibit at University of Houston Libraries documents the origins and renaissance of Hispanic community theater.
Hispanic Theater in the United States features selections from the Dr. Nicolás Kanellos Hispanic Theater Collection, Arte Público Press, and UH Libraries. Historical photos, original posters, flyers and ephemera, scripts, audio, and video depict the plays, playwrights, actors, troupes, and venues related to US Hispanic theater dating from its early days.
Approximately 150 items in the Hispanic Theater Collection were donated to UH Libraries by Nicolás Kanellos, PhD, Brown Foundation professor of Hispanic Studies at UH and director of Arte Público Press and Recovering the US Hispanic Literary Heritage, in what is the largest known theater collection of its kind. The primary sources were collected over a seminal period in history by Kanellos through personal and scholarly involvement.
The exhibit is on view through fall 2022 at the MD Anderson Library first floor. The collection is currently being processed. Visitors who wish to view the collection may schedule an appointment with Christian Kelleher, head of Special Collections.