source blog: Architecture & Art Library
December 8-22: 8-5 on weekdays; closed weekends
December 23-January 1: Closed
January 2-8: 8-5 on weekdays; closed weekends
As we mentioned previously, the Women’s Resource Center was founded a decade ago in part based on recommendations from the University Commission on Women. Whether sponsoring the “Take Back the Night” march, hosting “Gender Talk,” or producing the annual “Vagina Monologues,” the staff of the Women’s Resource Center works tirelessly to provide education and resources as part of their mission “to advocate, educate, and provide support services for the advancement of gender equity on campus.”
We would like to issue a hearty congratulations to the WRC as they celebrate a decade of success and growth and look forward to the next ten years. We would also like to remind the community at large that we are very pleased to make available for study the Women’s Resource Center Records here at the University of Houston Special Collections. As part of the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archive and Research Collection, the UH Women’s Resource Center Records are joined alongside an always expanding number of collections ready for study. We invite you to join us in celebration and study at your earliest convenience and be sure to visit the Women’s Resource Center website for more information regarding ongoing and upcoming events hosted by the WRC.
Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!
This is just a quick note to remind everyone that the University of Houston Special Collections Reading Room is open today until our usual time of 5pm. However, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, we will be closed Thursday through the remainder of the weekend when we will reopen Monday, December 2nd, at our usual time of 9am.
The University of Houston Special Collections wishes all of our best for you and yours during this Thanksgiving holiday season.
source blog: Architecture & Art Library
The Jenkins Library will be open from 8-5 on Wednesday, November 27th. It will be closed Thursday-Sunday, but will resume normal hours on Monday, December 2nd.
The University of Houston Libraries recently announced the winner of the Library Website Sketch Contest.
Andrea Bohorquez, a junior majoring in sociology, won the grand prize for her drawing of a homepage that demonstrates usability and Cougar pride.
UH students were invited to share their ideas on what the Libraries homepage should look like. A wide variety of creative sketches were received over the two-week contest period. UH Libraries staff chose Bohorquez, winner of a Kindle Fire HD, and four runners-up who received library care packages.
Features from the best of the sketches will be considered in the Libraries’ website redesign process.
“I was inspired to participate in the sketch contest because I wanted to make the library’s services and events easier to locate, and I also wanted to express my ideas,” said Bohorquez. “I use the library frequently to study in the quiet areas which allow for better concentration. I also print class documents and scan on the first floor of the library. I like going to the library because it gives me the peace and quiet I need to study better.”
An eclectic crowd gathered at the University of Houston Libraries for the first-ever Game On, Cougars! event this month.
Over 130 gaming enthusiasts enjoyed an afternoon of friendly competition in board games and video games at the Rockwell Pavilion in the M.D. Anderson Library.
Activities included a Mario Kart tournament, a booth with library pong, and a game library where users checked out picks like Marvel Legendary, Smash Up, Small World, and Dominion.
The Street Fighter IV tournament was the spirited highlight of the event, with 20 contenders and many spectators.
In addition to a wide selection of games, food and over $100 in prizes donated by gaming vendors, UH students and community guests were also treated to game demos by librarians and discussions with local game designers. An unexpected benefit of the event involved the connections made by computer science students and game developers for potential internships in the industry.
The event drew a range of visitors, including alumni, faculty, staff, librarians, prospective students and other walk-ins from the Houston area. Anecdotal feedback was overwhelmingly positive, and boosts the likelihood that this will become a recurring event at UH. Many students were pleasantly surprised that their campus library held such a fun, nonacademic event.
“It was really nice to see students interact with the community,” said Rachel Vacek, head of Web Services and co-chair of the event. “There were people who came with their own games and taught others how to play.”
Vacek, a gaming enthusiast herself, drew support for the event from colleagues who are interested in gaming, as well as UH faculty who teach gaming design. She hopes to develop more campus partnerships for future events at the UH Libraries.
The UH Libraries hosted Game On, Cougars! in conjunction with hundreds of libraries around the globe in celebration of International Games Day @ Your Library, an initiative of the American Library Association.
Two weeks ago Annise Parker was re-elected to a third two-year term as Mayor of Houston marking a final endorsement from her fellow Houstonians. While her initial mayoral victory in 2009 may have focused on the firsts it represented for a major city like Houston, the 2013 election saw issues unrelated to the greater public good pushed to the sidelines of our discourse and debate.
However, Parker’s re-election reminds us that there are other “firsts” as well that the City of Houston has embraced as part of its recent mayoral history.
A glance at the stewards of the city dating back to the Allen Brothers and racing through the twentieth century reveals a great deal of how far we have come in such a short period of time. Mayor Lee Brown served as the first African-American mayor of Houston from 1998-2004, owing part of his own political success and legacy to another first. In 1982 Lee Brown was appointed as the first African-American police chief for the City of Houston by a recently elected Mayor Kathryn “Kathy” Whitmire–the first female mayor of Houston.
Kathy Whitmire graduated with a BBA and Masters in Accounting from the University of Houston and married Jim Whitmire, himself a business and accounting student. Following Jim Whitmire’s death in 1976, she devoted much of her energies to public service, initially as City Controller and then Mayor of Houston from 1982 to 1992. As the first female mayor of Houston, her 1982 election serves as a landmark for a groundswell of change that dramatically altered the landscape of the mayoral office in Houston.
The University of Houston Libraries make available for study a number of materials of interest for those researching this recent mayoral history. In addition to the Annise Parker Papers, the Kathryn J. Whitmire Papers contain documents from her husband Jim Whitmire’s work on the City Council as well as materials from Kathy Whitmire’s time as City Controller and Mayor of Houston. The University of Houston Women’s Studies Living Archives Recordings contain a 1996 interview with Kathy Whitmire on an array of topics. Finally, a reminder that the exhibition of the Carey C. Shuart Women’s Archives continues to showcase artifacts from both the Annise Parker and Kathy Whitmire Papers.
The nature of “firsts” is that they are notable and noted. The hope being that, in time, they become less notable, and less noted, due to these diminishing old differences we have insisted on celebrating for so long. We invite you to explore some of the above online resources or visit Special Collections and celebrate not only our differences, but our similarities found in this newly shared history.
The University Archives are always full of pleasant surprises and the Student Organization Records do not disappoint in this regard. While the “official” history of the University of Houston might be told in part through the President’s Office Records or the UH Photographs Collection, the unique history of diversity on which the University of Houston has grown can be glimpsed through a study of the Student Organization Records.
The word “diversity” gets thrown around quite a bit when discussing the University of Houston. The natural association for one to make is the impressive ethnic diversity found in the student body. However, as the Student Organization Records illustrate, that diversity has never been merely limited to the racial and ethnic composition of campus. A large part of these materials come from fraternities and sororities, a typical staple of student life, and contain a number of photographs, scrapbooks, and negatives. However, when looking at other organizations represented in this collection as a whole, they might be considered anything but typical. Correspondence, brochures, pamphlets, and other publications may be found from the likes of the Sailing Club, the M&M’s (a group comprised of Mature and Married students), or even the Sunday Evening Club (where a group of individuals from the University community who would come together to consider “social and philosophical problems” and present “extremely informal” papers regarding “heartily interdisciplinary” topics).
Materials have been acquired from a variety of sources and date back to the 1930s through the present. If you are interested in discovering another layer of the narrative that is the University of Houston’s history, be sure to give these Student Organization Records a look either via the detailed finding aid or by visiting us when you have the time. We look forward to assisting you with your research.
University of Houston Libraries, in collaboration with area partners in the arts, hosted the Art of Death and Dying Symposium in 2012. Now, the symposium proceedings have been published to an open access journal via the Texas Digital Library.
Over 60 regional, national and international scholars and artists gathered at UH to explore concepts of death, dying and commemoration in literary, visual and performing arts.
“It was a truly unique gathering that featured both established authorities and new voices in their field,” said Catherine Essinger, coordinator of the William R. Jenkins Architecture and Art Library.
UH humanities librarians Essinger, Katie Buehner, Kerry Creelman and Andrea Malone organized the three-day event, partnering with the Blaffer Art Museum, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts, UH department of Hispanic Studies, The Honors College, the National Museum of Funeral History and Preservation Houston.
In addition to paper presentations, the symposium featured unconventional performances that explored the themes of death and dying in the arts, including Dario Robleto’s blend of storytelling, imagery and sound on the connection between creativity and loss; and a voice lecture recital of Brahms’ Vier Ernste Gesange (Four Serious Songs) op. 121 no.3 by Jeremy Blackwood of Southeastern Oklahoma State University.
A collection of thought-provoking papers from the symposium were recently published to the UH institutional repository hosted by the Texas Digital Library. Katie Buehner, coordinator of the UH Music Library, noted that sharing the symposium proceedings online is exciting for the UH Libraries because “it’s a wonderful way to make what happened in those three days available to the public at large.”
“The fact that the UH Libraries has helped to make the proceedings freely available to researchers reflects our libraries’ commitment to furthering research and promoting access to information,” Essinger said. “I am particularly pleased that the proceedings include papers by two members of the UH community – one a respected professor and the other a student pursuing her M.A. in art history.”
Dan Johnson, senior library specialist at the University of Houston Libraries, has been selected as a 2013-2015 Association of Research Libraries (ARL)/Society of American Archivists (SAA) Mosaic Program fellow.
The highly competitive program, jointly sponsored by ARL and SAA, is part of the ARL diversity initiatives which seek to identify and promote emerging leaders from underrepresented groups to advanced positions in archival work in academic research libraries. Fellows are awarded tuition support, practical work experience, mentorship, and professional development.
The two-year fellowship will allow Johnson to complete an MSLS in archival studies and digital image management from the University of North Texas.
Johnson was encouraged to apply for the fellowship by his manager Santi Thompson, metadata and digitization operations coordinator. “This amazing opportunity will allow Dan to learn from and to collaborate with some of the best archivists and librarians in the field,” Thompson said. “He will be well situated to enter into the archives and special collections world after completing the Mosaic Program and to make an immediate impact on the profession. All of us at UH Libraries are so proud of his work and this well-deserved recognition.”
As part of the fellowship, Johnson will also begin an internship in UH Libraries Special Collections in the fall of 2014.
Interestingly, Johnson’s long-time interest in graphic novels led to this point in his career. After stints at an online business research company and in tech support for a state agency, Johnson thought about going back to school for an advanced degree in English, but a visit to a special collection for graphic novels and comics art at Michigan State University changed his mind.
“I always had a big passion for graphic novels,” Johnson said. During the visit to the MSU archives, Johnson was excited to realize that he could pursue a degree in library science and work on expanding a graphic novel collection that would support teaching and research needs.
Over the years, Johnson has incorporated his interest in comics into his academic work. He has researched and written on a range of topics from Neil Gaiman’s Sandman to Robert Crumb.
He noted that secondary educators are increasingly seeing the value and benefit of adding comics to their curriculum.
“We’re starting to see that graphic novels are being used in the classroom,” Johnson said. “Graphic novels are really useful for ESL students because of the visual component that is not language-specific. It’s really good for reluctant readers, who start reading comics and in the process, increase their vocabulary and literacy skills.”
As Johnson completes his MSLS, his internship with UH Libraries Special Collections will help expand his knowledge of original collection processing and reference work.
Mary Manning, university archivist in Special Collections, will advise Johnson’s internship. “As the Mosaic program coordinator, I look forward to identifying projects and working with Dan and Special Collection’s curators to develop an internship learning plan that will guide his experience,” Manning said. “Dan will have the opportunity to organize, preserve, and make available unique archival materials from University of Houston’s Special Collections, and work with curators on projects that will allow him to experience the different aspects of the work that we do.”
Looking to the future, Johnson hopes to expand UH Libraries’ relationships with faculty and researchers incorporating graphic novels in teaching and research, and to build connections with Houston-based artists to share their unique materials with UH.