UH Libraries News

Micro-Credential in Digital Humanities: Call for Applications

The Digital Humanities Core (DHC), a partnership between University of Houston Libraries and the Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute, welcomes applications for the summer 2024 Micro-credential in Digital Humanities program. This program allows researchers to apply successful strategies to the planning, implementation, and development of digital humanities projects and funding proposals.

Micro-credential in the Digital Humanities

Micro-credential in the Digital Humanities

This summer’s program encompasses two scaffolded tracks:

  • Badge I: Foundations of DH Project Development (June 3-14, 2024)
  • Badge II: Intermediate DH Project Development (prerequisite: Badge I or equivalent experience) (June 10-14, 2024)

The program is open to all UH faculty, librarians, and doctoral students. Successful completion of one of these badges ensures year-long access to the expertise, infrastructural resources, training, and programming offered by the DHC. The application deadline is May 1.

Application form

For more information, contact dhcf@uh.edu.

Darius Johnson to Give Digital Humanities Online Keynote

University of Houston Libraries and UH Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute are pleased to host an online keynote via Microsoft Teams by Darius Johnson, a graduate student at Goucher College, on Monday, March 25 at 12 noon. Johnson is the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Digital Justice Public History Fellow at Chesapeake Heartland and works at the intersection of digital technologies, public history, and historic preservation. In his talk, Labor of Love: Making Digital Work for Me, Johnson will share his current work in digital humanities and engage in conversation with attendees. Following Johnson’s talk, the Digital Humanities Core graduate research assistant Shine Trabucco will facilitate a Q&A. The event is open to all and registration is required. RSVP

Darius Johnson

Darius Johnson

The UH Digital Humanities Core is a partnership between UH Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute and UH Libraries. The online keynote is part of the 2024 DH@UH Symposium.

Dr. Bryan Carter to Deliver Digital Humanities Keynote

University of Houston Libraries and UH Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute are pleased to welcome Dr. Bryan Carter to campus. On Tuesday, March 5, Carter will deliver the 2024 DH@UH keynote, Reimagining a Collaborative, Sustainable Student-Focused Digital Humanities Initiative, in the Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library at 11 AM. The campus community is invited to attend the keynote as well as a post-talk reception with Carter in the Digital Research Commons, room 266C. RSVP

Reimagining a Collaborative, Sustainable Student-Focused Digital Humanities Initiative

Carter received his PhD at the University of Missouri-Columbia and is currently the Director of the Center for Digital Humanities and an Associate Professor in Africana Studies, at the University of Arizona. He specializes in African American literature of the 20th Century with a primary focus on the Harlem Renaissance. His research also focuses on Digital Humanities/Africana Studies. He has published numerous articles on his doctoral project, Virtual Harlem, an immersive representation of a portion of Harlem, NY as it existed during the 1920s Jazz Age and Harlem Renaissance. Dr. Carter’s research centers on how the use of traditional and advanced interactive and immersive technologies changes the dynamic within the learning space.

The keynote is part of the 2024 DH@UH program, an initiative of the Digital Humanities Core facility, a partnership between UH Libraries and UH Hewlett-Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute. This year’s program includes a student digital research showcase on March 25.

UH Faculty Cohort Completes First DH Micro-Credential Badge

This summer, a group of faculty at University of Houston achieved Badge 1: Foundations of Digital Humanities (DH) Project Development, a component of the inaugural Micro-credential in the DH program. Led by UH Libraries and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI), the micro-credential represents the educational element of the joint Digital Humanities Core (DHC) initiative.

The program was designed to address scholarship priorities at UH by researchers, for researchers.

“The DHC is part of the University’s investment in expanded infrastructure for interdisciplinary research – in particular, for research that addresses timely and complex societal problems,” said Taylor Davis-Van Atta, head of Research Services at UH Libraries. “The curriculum incorporates strategies around project planning and development, understanding data collection and management processes, and issues of labor and funding in a methodical way, while taking into consideration the particular context of a researcher, and recognizing there are different timescales, incentive structures, and disciplinary norms in play.”

Tenure-track or promotion-eligible non-tenure track faculty interested in building and securing funding for a public or digital humanities project completed Badge 1 with a plan and proposal in place.

“As researchers, we know our best strength is our relationship to the research we do,” said Linda García Merchant, PhD, public humanities data librarian. “Faculty have amazing ideas for projects—content development is never an issue. What our micro-credential program does for researchers is scaffold the practice of DH into planning and funding the three phases of project development: discovery, prototyping, and production, giving researchers a manageable approach to DH scholarship.”

“This partnership between the Libraries and the HPE Data Science Institute has been very productive and satisfying and also shows the value of having a core facility in DH,” said Claudia Neuhauser, PhD, interim vice chancellor/vice president for research and director of HPE DSI. “The testimonies of the participants of our summer micro-credential program clearly show the value of this structured program to give our researchers the tools to effectively develop and carry out research projects in the DH.”

For Melody Yunzi Li, PhD, assistant professor in Chinese Studies at UH, the program helped to boost her project, which examines anti-Asian racism during the pandemic in 2021 using Storymap as a technological and educational tool. Being a part of the micro-credential cohort inspired Professor Li to think about DH on a new level, through readings, group discussions, and public lectures on relevant topics.

“I am honored to be part of the first cohort,” Li said. “Linda and her team are very knowledgeable in building the DH projects/program and this is a great start to a fantastic institutional program. It’s important to build a DH infrastructure for the school.”

The micro-credential program in DH fills a critical need for incorporating tech into research and teaching, particularly its structure of continued support throughout the journey.

David Mazella, associate professor in the department of English, immediately applied to the program when he learned it was open, inspired by the prospect of direction and support to move his project forward. It’s a study of authors, genres, and events depicted through English-language texts published in three British Atlantic cities, London, Edinburgh, and Philadelphia, within the target year.

“My project has been in progress for several years, and I’ve used successive teams of undergrads and library experts to help build up the datasets and visuals grounding one peer-reviewed article, with others in progress,” Mazella said. “Building datasets and interpreting data generally requires a PI directing a team, often a team of student researchers, as well as specific expertise (e.g., visualizations, data wrangling, website construction) unlikely to be found in a single individual.”

The micro-credential in DH program is essential to bring scalability and efficiency to the pursuit of DH projects such as this, and subsequently, recognition of high-impact work and funding support. 

“The micro-credential program is important because UH, like most schools, needs to be able to make DH research and teaching, which is importantly collaborative, multidisciplinary and problem-driven, work at a larger and more sustainable scale,” Mazella noted.

Jo McIntosh, a PhD candidate in literature, lauded the program for its collegial structure. “After days two and three of ideation and data management planning, I had a structure and timeline for my integrated literature and DH dissertation, including with whom to meet and what to ask for and share in those meetings,” she said. “That crystallized over the following two days, and in Week 2, I felt both a sense of confidence about the meaningfulness of my dissertation project and confidence that I can apply for external funding.”

McIntosh, whose project involves the first digital-born critical edition of the first known text of its kind written and published by a woman in English, Mary Wroth’s The First Part of the Countess of Montgomery’s Urania, was pleasantly surprised by the wealth of applicable knowledge and continued access to DH guidance she received from Badge 1. “Grants were a magical unknown that I thought I might get a chance to learn about—someday,” she shared. “However, the access to software, grant application learning and support plus the follow-up appointments with Dr. García Merchant are elements of choosing UH to do my doctoral work that I did not anticipate.”

A pilot plan for customized micro-credential in DH programs for classes of graduate students will begin in fall 2023, and classes of undergraduate students will begin in spring 2024.

“The training will prepare students to assume places within project teams and contribute not only to a particular project but to the broader cohorts of scholars who are emerging from this program at all levels,” said Davis-Van Atta. “The DHC will also be introducing new resourcing and programming targeted at infrastructural and project support over the course of this academic year.”

More information about the Micro-credential in Digital Humanities program

Upgrade to UH Institutional Repository

The UH Institutional Repository will be undergoing a routine upgrade from August 14-18, 2023. During this time, works in the repository will still be accessible for viewing and download, but no new content will be added to the repository.

Full functionality, including the ability to add content to the repository, will be restored once the migration has concluded.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the Libraries at cougarroar@uh.edu.

Announcing Micro-credential in Digital Humanities

University of Houston Libraries and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Data Science Institute (HPE DSI) are thrilled to announce the inaugural Micro-credential in the Digital Humanities program, part of the joint Digital Humanities Core (DHC) initiative.

The Digital Humanities Core facility welcomes applications from any tenure-track or promotion-eligible non-tenure track faculty interested in building a public or digital humanities project, and securing funding to launch that project. No prior experience is required but seats are limited. Applications are due on May 22, 2023.

Successful applicants will engage strategies around:

  • Digital project ideation and planning
  • Project, data, and labor management
  • Process development
  • Successful grant proposal strategies

Participants commit to attending workshops June 5 – 16, 2023 held virtually and in person at the Digital Research Commons in MD Anderson Library and the HPE DSI Visualization Theater.

For more details, please contact dhcf@uh.edu.

Preserving Houston’s LGBTQ Broadcast History: The Gulf Coast LGBT Radio and Television Digitization Project

The following post was contributed by Bethany Scott, head of Preservation and Reformatting, and Emily Vinson, preservation coordinator.

In 2020, the Gulf Coast LGBT Radio and Television Digitization Project was launched with the support of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Program. The project’s mission is to digitize, preserve, and grant access to thousands of hours of Houston’s LGBTQ broadcast history, including recordings that had not been publicly available since their initial broadcast.

Thanks to community partnerships, this project has successfully digitized all materials included in the grant, resulting in over 3,500 unique digital files. Among these files are the long-running radio program After Hours, episodes of radio series Wilde ‘n’ Stein and Lesbian & Gay Voices, among other radio programs, and 48 episodes of TV Montrose, a cable newsmagazine documenting life in Houston’s Montrose neighborhood from 1998-1999.

We are excited to announce that all episodes of TV Montrose have been published in the UH Libraries Audio/Video Repository. Within these episodes, researchers will find bygone sites of Montrose, interviews with local political figures such as Mayor Lee P. Brown, Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, then-city councilperson Annise Parker, and information about local arts, health, and social events that affected the LGBTQ community.

Additionally, several years of After Hours are now available on the AV Repository, with more to come. Styled as a late-night “queer variety show,” After Hours features “music, news, chat, risqué antics, gossip, and above all, activism.” The show’s content varies from interviews with LGBTQ musicians to coverage of the March on Washington and frank discussions around gender and identity.

To ensure equitable access to these materials and promote the use of the collection, all digitized materials have been transcribed, with searchable PDFs available through the AV Repository platform. Moving forward, the project team will continue to work on transcription and descriptive work, and they plan to create an online exhibit to contextualize and highlight these historically significant materials.

The Gulf Coast LGBT Radio and Television Digitization Project is an important resource for preserving and sharing the history of Houston’s LGBTQ community. With its extensive collection of digitized materials, the project offers a unique opportunity to learn about the experiences and contributions of LGBTQ individuals and communities in Houston. We encourage everyone to explore the digitized materials and learn more about this important part of Houston’s history.

New Digital Collection: Diana Foundation Oral Histories

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. 

New Digital Collection: Pecan-Shellers’ Strike Documents

A new collection, the Pecan-Shellers’ Strike Documents, is now accessible online at UH Digital Collections.

new digital collection pecan shellers' strike documents

Pecan-Shellers’ Strike Documents from Gov. James V. Allred Papers

Featuring 119 items from the Gov. James V. Allred Papers, found in UH Libraries Special Collections, the Pecan-Shellers’ Strike Documents collection describes labor activism of Hispanic women. As described by the Handbook of Texas, “On January 31, 1938, nearly 12,000 San Antonio pecan shellers, mostly Hispanic women, walked off their jobs.” The strike, led initially by Emma B. Tenayuca, lasted for three months and was marked by hundreds of arrests. “At Governor James Allred’s urging, the Texas Industrial Commission investigated possible violations of civil rights in San Antonio and found the police interference with the right of peaceful assembly to be unjustified.”

The materials in this collection have frequently been used for teaching in English department courses. The digital collection facilitates use of the materials in face-to-face, hybrid, or asynchronous instruction sessions.

Explore the collection with these notable items: 

New Online Exhibit Features DJ Screw Recordings

A student-curated digital exhibit featuring materials related to DJ Screw is available online.

DJ Screw and his record collection

DJ Screw and his record collection

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.”