A new collection, the Diana Foundation Oral Histories, is now accessible online at the UH Libraries Audio/Video Repository.
Through the Diana Foundation Oral History project, UH Libraries collected interviews with key members and past presidents of The Diana Foundation, America’s oldest continuously-running LGBTQ+ organization. The Diana Foundation is focused on assisting and supporting the needs of the gay community by fundraising on behalf of worthwhile civic, charitable, and educational endeavors. The interviews in this collection record the life experiences of notable Dianas, as well as their many insights on The Diana Foundation in the context of the LGBTQ+ community, the city of Houston, and beyond.
The collection features items from The Diana Foundation Records found in UH Libraries Special Collections.
The University of Houston Libraries Bayou City Digital Asset Management Systems (BCDAMS) team is pleased to announce the full launch of the new UH Digital Collections (UHDC) repository.
UHDC allows users to search rare and unique digitized and born-digital items from UH Libraries collections. With 66 of the Libraries’ 92 digital collections moved to the UHDC and the Audio/Video Repository, the final phase of the UHDC implementation represents a shift away from the previous platform known as the UH Digital Library.
Improvements include navigation, search/browse, and image viewer enhancements; robust options for access and download restrictions; permalinks across access, preservation, and finding aids; and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance for accessibility.
The purpose of the BCDAMS team is to bring a new digital collections experience to all Libraries users by upgrading the previous Digital Library, incorporating digital preservation strategies, and streamlining workflows for digital collection production.
The team stated that “UH Digital Collections supports the UH Strategic Plan goal of nationally competitive research by providing the infrastructure to promote interdisciplinary and inter-institutional research in areas such as energy and sustainability, history, social sciences, and the arts. Digital collections are currently being used in innovative faculty, staff, and student research projects across campus, and we look forward to engaging further with digital humanities and data science researchers through the improvements provided by the new system.”
University of Houston Libraries Special Collections is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Marvin Zindler Papers.
The collection preserves and celebrates the legacy of the distinguished KTRK-TV investigative reporter through photos, correspondence, news clippings, publicity and press release materials, personal notes, sketches, awards, complaint letters, story scripts, reporter notebooks, research files, AV materials, two eye-opening biographies, artifacts (including his baton), and ephemera.
Marvin Harold Zindler (August 10, 1921 – July 29, 2007), the famously colorful Houston TV personality, was both admired and criticized for his grandiose style. A larger-than-life figure who consistently reinvented himself through the years, Zindler has also been a prizefighter, a deputy sheriff, in his family’s clothing business, in politics, and on the radio. His news stories captured the attention of Houstonians for decades, and he was known for solving a wide range of problems on the behalf of the public. Viewers would write to Zindler with various, sometimes odd, concerns, such as the toddler’s talking toy that shocked one Houston mom with profanity. It was his penchant for covering controversial, unusual topics that made him a household name, like the infamous Chicken Ranch saga which garnered national attention; and later, the weekly, offbeat Rat and Roach Report.
Much more than simply a consumer crusader, Zindler was influential in improving the lives of the elderly and those in urgent financial need, and was honored for his charitable work both domestic and internationally.
Visitors to the Marvin Zindler Papers will find an abundance of primary sources that reveal a deep, storied view of his personal and professional life.
“I have been treasuring many varied items in my possession and all the special memories associated with them, but ultimately decided to share Marvin Zindler‘s life-changing impact upon everyone he touched,” said Lori Reingold, Zindler’s long-time producer. “I want Houstonians to remember that Marvin was one of the people who shaped this city, and that he fought for what was right and what he believed in, gave voice to the voiceless, and was fearless in his pursuit of truth and justice.”
Zindler’s son Dan Zindler and partner Lori Freese were inspired by Reingold to bring the reporter’s archives to UH Special Collections. “Ms. Reingold produced Marvin’s stories and now she’s producing his archives and legacy to be properly preserved and shared,” said Dan Zindler. “It was an honor to be his son and an incredible honor to share his memory with everyone.”
The collection is currently being processed. For questions about materials in this collection or to request access, contact Vince Lee.
University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce a gift from opera composer Carlisle Floyd to UH Special Collections.
The former Moores School of Music professor’s gift of the Prince of Players score and accompanying materials coincides with two 2021 Grammy nominations for Best Opera Recording and Best Contemporary Classical Composition. Floyd debuted Prince of Players at Houston Grand Opera in 2016.
Mary Manning, archivist for the Performing and Visual Arts Research Collection, said the materials, including opera piano, vocal, and full scores, original character background, libretto, arias, and programs, will be added to the Carlisle Floyd Manuscript Scores collection donated in 1999. Other scores in the collection include Bilby’s Doll, 1976; Of Mice and Men: An Opera in Three Acts, Libretto and Music, 1968; Wuthering Heights: A Musical Drama in Prologue and Three Acts, 1958; The Martyr, for Chorus, 2 Trumpets, Timpani, and Piano, undated; The Sojourner and Mollie Sinclair, 1963; and Soul of Heaven: Reflections on Music, 1992.
“The Prince of Players archives capture Floyd’s creative process and document the steps involved in making the opera—from early notes recording the birth of the idea to multiple versions of the score (handwritten and printed) to costume sketches and stage designs,” Manning said.
“This generous gift will be invaluable to scholars conducting research on contemporary American Opera and practitioners seeking to hone their craft in opera audio engineering and production,” said Madelyn Shackelford Washington, coordinator of the UH Music Library.
University of Houston Libraries will host a series of Arduino workshops online beginning Thursday, October 29. The Arduino is the most affordable and accessible microcontroller available. It has the ability to accomplish almost all simple electronic projects and is the perfect introduction to programming in C++. These five workshops offer an introduction to Arduino from scratch so you can build your robot, work on your class project, or improve your home – without any programming experience needed.
Arduino Workshop 1 – October 29, 12 noon – 2 p.m.
Arduino Workshop 2 – November 5, 12 noon – 2 p.m.
Arduino Workshop 3 – November 12, 12 noon – 2 p.m.
Arduino Workshop 4 – November 19, 12 noon – 2 p.m.
Arduino Workshop 5 – December 3, 12 noon – 2 p.m.
A digital humanities project featuring a dynamic presentation of ancient Syrian material culture is now available online.
The SYRIOS Project: Studying Urban Relationships and Identity Over Ancient Syria is a digital exhibit focusing on narratives of the Syrian capital city of Antioch-on-the-Orontes. The proof-of-concept release guides users through interactive stories of the region built from coins, texts, and other material culture.
Kristina Neumann, PhD, assistant professor of Roman/digital history, and Peggy Lindner, PhD, assistant professor of computer information systems at University of Houston, are leading a multi-year, interdisciplinary project that began as a study in visualizations from a database of 300,000+ coin finds. The researchers noted the topic drew attention in and outside of academia, and pursued an approach that holds implications for both scholarly and public interest, with the ultimate goal of preserving knowledge of the ancient Middle East through new digital methodologies, and facilitating public engagement with contemporary issues of Syrian identity and heritage.
In its first phase, the SYRIOS exhibit is the culmination of experiments in design, interactivity (such as animated text and parallax scrolling, 3D scans, digital visualizations, and virtual simulations), and usability. “Especially innovative is our sortable digital coin pile and our 3D annotated coin,” Neumann said. “We also go well beyond traditional online archives and catalogs by narrating ancient stories with coins, texts, and other artifacts from Syria.”
Users are able to view new research in the form of thematic narratives based on coin, archaeological, and textual evidence about political, economic, religious, and archaeological histories of Antioch; and explore coin evidence as pieces of art and as objects that move, including a series of Tableau maps presenting archaeological data, an illustrated Omeka catalog of all known types of coins minted at Antioch, and a dataset of coins excavated at Antioch, which users can download to explore their own applications of the material.
Future iterations of the exhibit will feature content and design enhancements, and expansion to include the histories and material culture of other cities within ancient Syria.
This project is made possible by funding from the UH Libraries Sponsored Projects program and by expertise from the Libraries’ Digital Research Services, Liaison Services, Special Collections, and Library Technology Services departments.
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.
“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.”
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.
University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce the receipt of historical archives from TPC Group. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, TPC Group is a leading producer of value-added petrochemical products for chemical, plastics, refining, synthetic rubber and other major industries. It has manufacturing facilities in Houston and Port Neches, Texas, and operates a product terminal in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
The archives, which include publications, photographs, administrative and business records, architectural and technical drawings, films, and press materials, will be preserved and made accessible to the public, as part of the UH Special Collections Energy & Sustainability Research Collection. The Energy & Sustainability Research Collection at the University of Houston Libraries 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 uniquely preserve the documentary history of exploration, innovation, development, and growth in oil and gas, alternative energies, and the environment.
In 2019, TPC Group marked 75 years of operation. Sara Cronin, vice president of communications and public affairs at TPC Group, noted the company’s propitious trajectory since its inception.
“Originally built by the United States Government during World War II as part of the Synthetic Rubber Program, our manufacturing facilities played a significant role during that time in our nation’s history,” Cronin said. “In 1944, the United States Government sought alternatives to the natural rubber supply in Asia that our country could no longer access. Innovative thinkers collaborated and gained strength from one another to develop and manufacture synthetic rubber and needed raw materials, including specification 1,3 butadiene. This noteworthy beginning for what is now TPC Group not only helped the United States win the war but has had a profound impact on how we now live our daily lives.”
Christian Kelleher, head of UH Libraries Special Collections and curator of the Energy & Sustainability Research Collection, said, “The TPC Group Historical Archives make available to UH faculty, students, visiting scholars, and our local community unique, primary source documentation of Houston’s petrochemical industrial history. Researchers in the archives will be able to discover new, historical insights about our region’s significance to American engagement in World War II, how scientific and technological advancements have both motivated and responded to their industry and business contexts, and how society’s many different concepts and ideals of sustainability in our local and global communities have evolved over the company’s 75 years.”
TPC Group was inspired to donate its archives to UH Special Collections as part of its commitment to corporate citizenship, investment and engagement in the Houston and Port Neches communities. The company’s history and culture of partnership, support, and transparency comprise the themes that emerge from the archive.
“Beyond the products TPC Group makes is the commitment to do so in a manner that is protective of our environment, community and nearby neighbors,” Cronin said. “Entrusting the preservation and documentation of the Company’s history with UH Libraries Special Collections will ensure the elements of our Company’s culture underscore how TPC Group’s story will be told, highlighting its role in the petrochemical industry and the value of its products to society for many generations to come.”
“We are very pleased to receive the historical archive of the TPC Group,” said dean of UH Libraries Lisa German. “We appreciate the trust that TPC is placing in UH Libraries to preserve and make their archives accessible to scholars seeking an understanding of the history of innovation and development of the energy industry in Houston and the Port Neches community.”
The collection is currently being processed. For questions about materials in this collection or to request access, contact Christian Kelleher.
University of Houston Libraries provides access to more than 500 databases. O’Reilly Safari Books Online is one of them.
Safari Books Online makes ebooks and video content available on a variety of technology, business, and engineering topics. UH users can access Safari and create a free account. View Resource Centers (quick links to curated content), search topics, and create playlists.
Other newly available resources include:
University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce receipt of the personal papers of noted Houston artist Dorothy Hood and her husband, José María Velasco Maidana from the Art Museum of South Texas (AMST). Located in Corpus Christi and affiliated with Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, AMST advances the awareness, knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the residents and visitors of South Texas. The archives will be cataloged, preserved, digitized, and made available to students, scholars, and the public through UH Special Collections.
Hood (1918 – 2000) was a Texas painter best known for her Modernist works. Velasco Maidana (1899-1989), was a Bolivian composer and filmmaker. Donated materials include personal papers, correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, journals, catalogs, artifacts, audio/video recordings, and ephemera documenting the lives and careers of the two artists. AMST acquired a major collection of Hood’s works in 2001, along with the personal papers of Hood and Velasco Maidana.
Christian Kelleher, head of Special Collections, noted, “UH Libraries is excited to join in the efforts of AMST and other leaders in the arts community to preserve and promote the international legacies of Dorothy Hood and Velasco Maidana. These archives are unique primary source documentation of two remarkable, creative people, and will provide new insights into their works, careers, and lives.”
Sara Morgan, interim director of AMST, reflected on the significance of Hood’s contributions to the arts. “Dorothy Hood was a Texas artist who lived an exploratory life that took her from her birth city of Bryan, Texas, to Houston, Providence, Rhode Island, New York City, Mexico City and eventually back to Texas where she resettled in Houston,” Morgan said. “Her work, much like her life, abandoned conventionality and explored big themes such as space, presence, spirituality, emotion and color. Hood was considered the sole female representative of the artist pack that commanded Houston’s art scene in the 1960s and 1970s. We feel it is fitting that her treasury of papers return to the city that embraced her art and her talent.”
The Dorothy Hood Papers and the José María Velasco Maidana Papers will be cataloged as Collections of the Art Museum of South Texas and the University of Houston Libraries. “AMST is pleased to partner with UH Libraries on the Dorothy Hood Papers,” Morgan said. “This collaboration will provide an opportunity for Hood’s archival materials to be fully examined, leading to a greater understanding of the artist, modernist, teacher and woman over her prolific career. Accessible information will provide expanded research opportunities and will ultimately further the recognition of Hood’s art.”
“University of Houston Libraries is honored to receive the Dorothy Hood Papers and José María Velasco Maidana Papers,” said dean of UH Libraries Lisa German. “Telling Dorothy Hood’s story will be a privilege and we are very grateful to the Art Museum of South Texas, its Board and interim director, and to its former director Joe Schenk for making this possible.”
The McClain Gallery in Houston will host a solo exhibition featuring paintings, drawings and collages of Dorothy Hood from October 12 through December 21, 2019. A selection of documents from the archives will also be on display. The opening reception will be held on October 12 from 2 – 4 p.m.
The collection is currently being processed. For questions about materials in this collection or to request access, contact Christian Kelleher.