UH Libraries News

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.

Digital Humanities Social Hour

University of Houston Libraries Digital Research Commons will continue to host its Digital Humanities Social Hour series during the spring 2022 semester.

The UH community is welcome to join the informal chat via Teams each Friday at 12 noon to learn about current digital research and teaching happening at the University and ways to collaborate. Attendees are encouraged to bring questions about digital research in progress and a lunch.

For more information, contact drc@uh.edu.

More to Explore at UH Libraries

With the Spring 2022 semester underway, Coogs are busy leaning into new schedules, new interests, and new goals. UH Libraries locations, including MD Anderson Library, Architecture, Design, and Art Library, Health Sciences Library, and Music Library, are the best places on campus to find books and print media, plus plenty of study space, but did you know that you can check out equipment, browse unique digital collections, or visit a virtual pop-up library?

We've got all the study space at UH Libraries...and much more to explore.

We’ve got all the study space at UH Libraries…and much more to explore.

This semester, explore something new at UH Libraries. Whether you’re on campus or studying remotely, you can:

Borrow a heart
Or a brain, available at Health Sciences Library, along with other anatomical models. Art and design students can check out basic tools, sculpting sets, and brushes. For those musically inclined, we have headphones, cameras, and mics. Also projectors, laptops, a laser cutter station, Raspberry Pi kits, dry erase markers, and much more equipment to borrow — just bring your Cougar Card for check-out or reservation.

Time travel
OK, not really. But our revamped Digital Collections repository is home to an immersive assortment of digitized historical documents, images, video, and audio representing various locales and time periods. You can experience a vintage University of Houston from midcentury, early 20th century architecture of Rome, or DJ Screw’s recording sessions, to name a few.

Find out what your instructor means by “literature review”
Our librarians have compiled course guides and info lit videos that will help you zero in on scholarly resources and knock out that research paper.

See what’s new in collections from afar
Remember the thrill of book fairs? This is like that, only it’s online and free. Architecture, Design, and Art Library hosts virtual pop-up libraries that feature beautiful, engaging books from our collection that are available for check-out (access last semester’s pop-ups here).

Let us know how we can help you have an outstanding Spring 2022 semester. Contact us

New Assistant Head of Acquisitions and Resource Sharing

Maurine Nichols

Maurine Nichols

University of Houston Libraries welcomes Maurine Nichols as the new assistant head of Acquisitions and Resource Sharing.

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

My goal is to help support the teaching, learning, and research needs of the UH community by maximizing the reach of the library’s collections budget and resource sharing initiatives. There are so many different means and opportunities for procuring and sharing library materials, it can be tricky to home in on what combination of methods works best for a particular organization. I look forward to working with my colleagues to focus on aligning the department’s procurement strategies with the University’s and the Libraries’ strategic goals. I am especially interested in translating the library’s acquisitions methods into avenues for promoting diversity in our collections as well as the publishers and distributors we work with.

Please share a bit about your background and interests. How do these inspire and shape your approach as a librarian?

I have experience working in public, academic, special, and academic health sciences libraries—in both public and technical services roles. I think the breadth of my experience gives me a well-rounded approach to my work. It also informs how I problem-solve and think through workflows.

What is your first impression of the University?

Everyone has been so welcoming! I love the energy on campus—the UH community is incredibly vibrant. I have also found it inspiring that a commitment to student success truly seems to be at the heart of the University.

Favorite hobby/cuisine/book/movie/TV show?

On any given weekend, you might find me camping or rock climbing with my two sons, or watching Netflix and eating too much candy.

By on December 10th, 2021 in Announcements, Featured

Open Course Materials in Cougar ROAR

A new community in Cougar Research Open Access Repositories (ROAR) allows University of Houston faculty to deposit and share open educational resources (OER).

Open Course Materials gathers openly licensed course materials generated by instructors at UH and creates long-term access to those materials for UH students, including archived resources that would otherwise only be available in Blackboard, the application for online learning.

The UH Institutional Repository, or Cougar ROAR, provides open online access to the research and scholarship produced at the University. By aggregating content reflecting the scholarly, educational, and administrative output of UH from faculty, students, staff, and campus units, the repository preserves and provides global access to the legacy of UH research and scholarly communication.

OER at UH is a student success initiative sponsored by the Office of the Provost that promotes the creation of teaching and learning resources in the public domain or licensed in such a way that anyone may freely use and re-purpose them. OER refer to any tools or materials used to support learning, including full courses, course materials, modules, textbooks, lesson plans, streaming videos, tests, and other digital resources. UH instructors directly support student success by implementing an open or alternative textbook in their courses, with the purpose of eliminating textbook costs and ensuring UH students have free and immediate access to course materials.

“Cougar ROAR is a great resource for anyone who is developing a new course or enhancing or updating an existing course,” said Arlene Ramirez, instructional assistant professor in the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. “Being able to review materials others have found successful in the classroom is beneficial in the design process. More time can be spent on the methodologies that may be used to teach the materials and less time on developing artifacts to solidifying comprehension of the content. Another consideration is that the material on Cougar ROAR provides a different perspective on a topic, and this is especially helpful when one is immersed in developing a course or material. Using open resource materials also allows for expanding materials found on Cougar ROAR or using only specific portions. The flexibility is a great benefit.”

Instructors who are new to teaching will find Cougar ROAR to be a valuable tool in learning how to develop accessible course material. Sharing knowledge is a large part of what makes Cougar ROAR beneficial for faculty.

“The adage ‘sharing is caring’ is true when considering Cougar ROAR,” Ramirez said. “Developing material that can help others in their courses, or using contributions from others that can help in my courses, reflects how much the University cares about providing the best resources to faculty and the best education to our students. Faculty are proud of what they develop to help our students achieve success and sharing that is a way to not only give back but to also help in the professional development of faculty.”

Instructors are encouraged to explore options for creating OER and for making those resources widely available online. UH faculty who have created OER and want to make it accessible in the Open Course Materials community in Cougar ROAR may contact Ariana Santiago, open educational resources coordinator at UH Libraries, to get started. Requests will be processed in the order in which they are received.

New Platform for UH Digital Collections

Cover of Daily Breakthrough, November 19, 1977. From the Carey C. Shuart Women's Research Collection, and accessible at UH Digital Collections.

Cover of Daily Breakthrough, November 19, 1977. From the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Research Collection, and accessible at UH Digital 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.

How to search UH Digital Collections

Publicity photo of The Sensational Nightingales, midcentury. From the Texas Music Collection, Houston & Texas History Research Collection, and accessible at UH Digital Collections.

Publicity photo of The Sensational Nightingales, midcentury. From the Texas Music Collection, Houston & Texas History Research Collection, and accessible at UH Digital Collections.

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.”

Kelleher Appointed to Emily Scott Evans Endowed Professorship

Christian Kelleher

Christian Kelleher

Christian Kelleher, head of University of Houston Libraries Special Collections, has been awarded the Emily Scott Evans Endowed Library Professorship, effective November 1. The appointment enables UH Libraries to further develop impactful collections that support core University priorities for research, teaching, and learning.

The Emily Scott Evans Endowed Library Professorship was established in 2002 by Ms. Evans’ daughter, Alice Evans Pratt. Emily Scott Evans was a longtime friend of UH Special Collections, and the Evans Professorship was created specifically to support an Endowed Library Professor in the department.

As part of his role, Kelleher also curates the Libraries’ primary source collections in Visual Arts  and Energy and Sustainability. Kelleher came to UH in 2015 from the University of Texas at Austin where he was the archivist and assistant head librarian at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection and managed UT Libraries’ Human Rights Documentation Initiative. He holds a Master of Library and Information Science degree and a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from UT. Previously, Kelleher was an archivist and records manager with History Associates Incorporated in Rockville, MD, a development assistant with literary publisher Graywolf Press in Minneapolis, MN, and a Peace Corps volunteer in the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. He currently serves on the boards of CASETA, the Center for Advancement and Study of Early Texas Art, and of the Petroleum History Institute. His research interests include community archives post-custodial archives practice, and the intersections thereof.

“Christian personifies excellence in scholarship, service, and collaboration,” said Athena Jackson, dean of UH Libraries and Elizabeth D. Rockwell chair. “His leadership propels UH Special Collections forward in its mission to preserve and make accessible unique materials for research, and he continues to expand collections that have generative, profound implications for UH Libraries and the scholarly community.”

Revamped Study Space at UH Music Library

University of Houston Music Library has a sleek new look. Research, relax, refine, and recharge at the transformed study space located in the Moores School of Music.

‘Sharing Stories from 1977’ Launches Digital Archive Preview

Sharing Stories from 1977: Putting the National Women’s Conference on the Map, a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Collaborative Research Grant, highlights a multi-year, multi-state, multi-institutional effort, led by Moores professor of history Nancy Beck Young and associate professor of history Leandra Zarnow, to document and analyze the experience and impact of thousands of delegates and observers of the 1977 National Women’s Conference (NWC). The goal of the project is to create an open source digital archive that spurs quantitative and qualitative scholarship as well as public engagement.

An online preview of this project is now live.

The preview introduces the project in anticipation of a debut of the full site on November 21, 2021. On that date, visitors will have access to research on the Texas delegates and presidential appointed commissioners with the remaining research to roll out quarterly starting in late spring 2022. An initial data set will showcase the dynamism of what Sharing Stories from 1977 will grow to be when the project is completed in 2027. Over 1000 UH students, as well as pilot crowdsourcing partners at colleges and universities in Indiana and California, contributed to the project. 

The site’s November 21 launch will include:

  • Why NWC Matters: featuring a historical timeline and interpretive essays on topics pertaining to the NWC
  • Discover NWC Stories: showcasing biographies and oral histories of NWC participants
  • Mapping the NWC: presenting searchable demographic data on the lives, advocacy work, and careers of NWC participants
  • How to Contribute: featuring resources for NWC participants, students, researchers, archivists, educators, and the general public

“The NEH has recognized Sharing Stories from 1977 as an innovative space for students to do historical research that builds their critical thinking and writing skills while also contributing to our digital public square,” Zarnow said. “Documenting the stories of dynamic and diverse women active in communities across the United States makes clear not only that the 1970s was a high point of civic engagement, but also that the issues advocated for then from child care to LGBT rights continue to matter today.”

The Sharing Stories project received funds from the UH Libraries Digital Research Commons and the Libraries Sponsored Projects program, which offers grants for digital research projects at various stages of development. The DRC cultivates interdisciplinary research and builds communities of practice around digital research methodologies.

Additionally, the Sharing Stories project received funds from the Institute for Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, partnered with UH Special Collections Carey C. Shuart Women’s Research Collection, and is a flagship project of the UH Center for Public History.  

Support the Sharing Stories project.

New Exhibit Features Works and Archives of Dorothy Hood

Artworks and archives of prominent Houston artist Dorothy Hood are on display at University of Houston Libraries Special Collections in an exhibit organized by Public Art of the University of Houston System in collaboration with the Art Museum of South Texas (AMST) and UH Libraries.

Part of the exhibit ‘Dorothy Hood: The Edge of Being’

From the Public Art of UH website: “As an artist, Texas-born Dorothy Hood (1918-2000) was best known for abstract works layered with a variety of materials, motifs and meanings. During her long career, her canvases and works on paper often referenced physical and mental landscapes as well as the connections between inner and outer worlds. Hood’s work was liminal, seamlessly moving between big concepts and the deeply personal.”

Related: AMST Donates Hood-Velasco Maidana Papers to UH Special Collections

Public Art of University of Houston System Celebrates Art of Dorothy Hood, Trendsetting Texas Artist

Visitors interested in an immersive look at Hood’s personal archives are encouraged to contact head of Special Collections Christian Kelleher.