News Highlights

scan of a nightlife poster from the LGBT collection

UH Libraries Receives NEH Grant

University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce that it has received a $348,751 grant award from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Division of Preservation and Access, Humanities Collections and Reference Resources Program to support the Gulf Coast LGBT Radio and Television Digitization and Access Project. The grant will allow for the creation of detailed archival finding aids, digitization, transcription, description, online publication, and an online exhibit documenting over thirty years of Houston-area radio and television history created for and by local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans communities.

Four series — After Hours, Lesbian & Gay Voices, Wilde ‘n’ Stein, and TV Montrose — are included in the project, totaling over 5,000 hours of content not heard or seen publicly since its initial broadcast decades ago. The recordings are currently inaccessible to researchers, and due to fragile audiovisual tape formats, are at significant risk of loss due to deterioration.

The unique audio and video recordings are drawn from UH Libraries Special Collections and through a partnership with the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender History, Inc. (GCAM).

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scan of a black and white photo of a woman standing next to pots and pans

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.

“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.”

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