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.

Welcome Video Highlights UH Libraries Services

Welcome to University of Houston Libraries. Learn more about our services and resources.

Welcome to UH Libraries.

Welcome to UH Libraries.

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.

A Pledge to Our Students and Community

A pledge from the staff of the William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design, and Art Library to our students and our community

Concrete steps toward equity and social justice in William R. Jenkins Library staffing, collections, services, outreach, and operations

Staffing
Our library employs one librarian, 3-7 student workers, 1 part-time and two full-time assistants who specialize in art and design information resources. We actively recruit our professional staff from the alumni of the academic departments we support, which has typically resulted in an ethnically and racially diverse department. (Three-fourths of our current professional staff are UH alumni.) We recognize that we need to recruit from many parts of our campus population, as well as our city’s art and design community, so that our students benefit from many cultural perspectives and circles of knowledge. We will strategically promote our job openings to ensure a diverse pool of applicants for our open positions.

  • We will continue to promote open student worker positions to the students of the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture and Design and the Katherine G. McGovern College of the Arts. We will also promote job postings directly to student organizations for people of color and groups traditionally under-represented in higher education.

  • We will promote our professional job postings directly to arts organizations for people of color and groups traditionally under-represented in higher education, as well as community organizations dedicated to connecting under-represented groups to employment opportunities, in order to ensure a diverse pool of applicants for these positions.

Collections
The librarian wrote an analysis of the general collection in 2008, which noted a lack of diversity in the collection and developed a plan to increase resources in under-represented subject and geographic areas, in order to create a more balanced set of resources. As a result, the librarian began purchasing comparatively more materials on those identified subjects. In 2019 the librarian also developed a plan for the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room collection. The Franzheim Room is the rare books room located within the William R. Jenkins Architecture, Design, and Art. The plan recognized the lack of racial inclusion in the rare books collection and acknowledged that the collection does not sufficiently reflect the major research interests of our academic departments. The general collection of the Architecture, Design, and Art Library is roughly 100,000 volumes and the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room collection is approximately 1,000 volumes. Given those numbers, as well as the collection budget and the expense of rare books, it is not possible to quickly create a balanced collection. While the number of titles in those much-needed subjects has increased over the past dozen years, the effect has not been significant. The library staff is cognizant of the fact that, for most of our patrons, the library collection is the most fundamental representation of the University of Houston Libraries. It is the physical manifestation of the library’s mission, more so than any other service or staff member. In order to increase progress at a faster pace, therefore, we pledge to implement the following measures.

  • We pledge to spend endowments designated for the library’s general collection on works by and about people of color, as well as activist art and design during Fiscal Years 2020-2022 in order to create a more representative collection.  This will also help us align with the curricula, goals, and faculty interests in the College of the Arts, as well as the College of Architecture and Design.  

  • We will pursue the goals of the Kenneth Franzheim II Rare Books Room Collection Plan (2019), which include increasing the number of books by and on people of color in the rare book collection.  

  • During fiscal years 2020-2022 new purchases for the Franzheim Room will be books by or about people of color or about the visual culture of under-represented regions.  By increasing the holdings in these subjects we will not only support the faculty interests and curricula of our academic units, but will also more closely meet the needs of our many students who select thesis and other research topics for which the collection offers few resources.  

Services
The Architecture, Design, and Art Library’s services and programming include traditional library services, such as research assistance, technology support, and resource procurement. It also offers services related to its foci on art and design. The facility features exhibitions of student artwork. The staff curates digital and in-house exhibits. They host talks on architectural publishing. They organize pop-up libraries in fine arts centers around campus. The staff pledges to ensure equitable service and representation to the populations we serve.

  • We will launch an annual assessment of the inclusivity and equity of our programs and services. Our good intentions are not enough. At the end of each academic year we must publicly assess the balance of ethnic and cultural perspectives of our exhibits, artists, speakers, and programs.

Community engagement
According to the Houston Arts Alliance’s Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 national economic impact study, Houston’s arts and culture industry generates $1.12 billion in annual economic activity in the greater Houston region—supporting 25,817 full-time equivalent jobs and generating $119.3 million in local and state government revenues. The Architecture, Design, and Art Library has opportunities to partner with arts organizations in Houston in order to leverage support for both art and design research on campus as well as artistic expression in the City of Houston. That community support should include all segments of Houston’s population of artists. Houston is and has been home to a thriving community of visual and performing artists who claim ancestry from Africa, Asia, indigenous America, and Latin America. It is our privilege, as the largest public art library in the region, to work with, to celebrate, and to assist that community.

  • We will reach out to community art organizations committed to social justice and equality to learn how we can support and partner with them.

  • We will explore opportunities to facilitate dialogue with academic units and community partners on how information resources support social justice, as well as racial, ethnicity, gender, and identity-based equality.

  • We will leverage our social media presence by creating spotlights for diverse members of our artistic community, including members of our academic departments and student bodies, to show their work and give them a space to talk about their educational influences, the books and resources they recommend, and talk about the importance of art and design research in their endeavors.

Being held accountable
As stated earlier, our good intentions are not enough. As members of a service profession, as educators, and as State of Texas employees, we owe it to our patrons and to our community to account for our actions. We plan, therefore, to distribute an annual report on our progress at the end of each academic year. We will also undergo annual training and self-education. It is our good fortune to work for a library system that provides training and is served by a Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, which provides a monthly reading and discussion group. The University of Houston is also home to a Center for Diversity and Inclusion, a Women and Gender Resource Center, an LGBTQ Resource Center, and a Center for Students with DisABILITIES, all of which offer robust training opportunities.

  • Every summer semester we will undertake an assessment of our collection development, services, outreach, training, staffing, and operations. We will note the diversity of student artists, staff, and exhibits annually to ensure we are presenting multiple perspectives.

  • Our report will include a list of training and other educational efforts undertaken by the library staff.

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.”

Announcing 2020-21 Alternative Textbook Incentive Winners

University of Houston Libraries, in collaboration with the UH Office of the Provost, is pleased to announce the 2020-21 recipient cohort of the UH Alternative Textbook Incentive Program (ATIP).

UH instructors applied for an award ranging from $500 to $2500 that would go toward implementation of an open or alternative textbook in a summer 2020, fall 2020, or spring 2021 course. Awards were granted based on projected cost savings for students; the type of project; and feasibility of the successful implementation of the proposal.

2020 – 2021 ATIP winners are:

Tres Bodet, PSYC 3341: Physiological Psychology

Justin Burris, Carrie Cutler, and Shea Culpepper, ELED 4315: Mathematics in the Elementary School II

Carrie Cutler, Justin Burris, and Shea Culpepper, ELED 4314: Mathematics in the Elementary School I

Agnes DeFranco and Arlene Ramirez, HRMA 4343: Financial Administration for the Hospitality Industry

Shelley Gonzales and Ginger Lucas, SOCW 6306: Social Work Practice Skills

Layci Harrison, ATP 6191/6192/6193: Clinical Education I, II, and III

Rachelle A.C. Joplin, ENGL 1304: First-Year Writing II

Polina Kharmats, POLS 3315: International Organization

Ksenia Krylova, MANA 3335: Introduction to Organizational Behavior and Management

Vassiliy Lubchenko, CHEM 4373: Survey of Physical Chemistry

Luis D. Medina, PSYC 4397: Latino Health and Disparities

Kevin Rowland, MEDI 5035: Musculoskeletal System

Jaspal Subhlok, Daniel Biedeger, Carlos Rincon, and Stephen Huang, COSC 1306: Introduction to Computer Science and Programming

Benjamin Tamber-Rosenau, Donald Foss, Gunes Avci, and Pamela Harlan, PSYC 2301: Introduction to Methods in Psychology

Giulia Toti, COSC 2306: Data Programming

Anna Vershynina, MATH 2331: Linear Algebra

Wei Wang, CHNS 3354: Chinese Culture and Language

Xiaojing Yuan, ELET 3403: Sensors Applications

Sandra Zalman, ARTH 1381: Art and Society: Renaissance to Modern

Now in its third year, ATIP is part of the University’s initiative to improve students’ academic experience by mitigating the high cost of textbooks. Faculty members are incentivized to replace required traditional textbook(s) in their course with adoption, adaptation, or creation of open educational resources (OER), or assembly of freely available or library sponsored resources.

Six of this year’s awarded projects were for adopting OER or library materials, one is for authoring OER, and twelve involve a combination of adopting, adapting, and/or authoring open resources. Projected savings for students in the first year of implementing alternative textbooks in these courses is $426,556.23, benefiting an estimated 3,352 students.

“I’m excited to see the impact that UH instructors continue to have through this program,” said Ariana Santiago, open educational resources coordinator at UH Libraries. “By using or developing alternative textbooks they provide all students with free and immediate access to course materials, make higher education more affordable, and improve student learning.” 

Learn more about open educational resources at UH.

Thanks to the members of the ATIP Review Committee: Amit Amritkar, Linda Davis, Taylor Davis-Van Atta, Daniel Hauptvogel, Aditi Marwaha, and Ariana Santiago.

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.