UH Libraries News http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu Wed, 27 Aug 2014 16:18:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Why can't I access Safari Tech Books? http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/er/2014/08/28/why-cant-i-access-safari-tech-books/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/er/2014/08/28/why-cant-i-access-safari-tech-books/#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 23:15:57 +0000 Jeannie Castro http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/er/?p=531 Safari Tech Books has a 6 simultaneous user limit. If you cannot access your book at this time, please try again later.

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Howard Barnstone's portfolio on display http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/architecture_art/2014/08/27/howard-barnstones-portfolio-on-display/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/architecture_art/2014/08/27/howard-barnstones-portfolio-on-display/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 15:22:02 +0000 Catherine Essinger http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/architecture_art/?p=470 Brainstorming Howard Barnstone, a small exhibit at the Architecture and Art Library, makes a persuasive case for the reexamination of Barnstone’s career, which spanned from the 1950s to the 1980s. Barnstone taught at the University of Houston where he influenced generations of students. The exhibition features original portfolios from the firm Barnstone and Partners that are permanently housed in the library’s Kenneth Franzheim Rare Books Room, as well as books he published: including The Galveston that Was (1966) and The Architecture of John Staub (1979), the first book documenting a Houston architect, copies of which are available in the Architecture and Art Library. The Galveston That Was, illustrated by Henri Cartier-Bresson, helped spur restoration of residential and commercial buildings on the island.  The exhibit was designed by Library Assistant Chelby King.

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Favorite Things: Our Patrons http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/27/favorite-things-our-patrons/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/27/favorite-things-our-patrons/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:13:36 +0000 Matt Richardson http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=4157 REIMS.P0

Book of Hours, Use of Reims (Illuminated Pages), folio 17 recto

Whether it’s a rare book printing found at long last or piece of ephemera found in an archival collection by chance, those who visit the University of Houston Special Collections almost always find something they cannot wait to share with others.  Here we celebrate what makes the University of Houston Special Collections so special–our Favorite Things.

This series is intended to shine a light on some of the most prized things we find here in Special Collections. Sometimes, however, we are reminded that the most special of all aren’t the objects that reside in our stacks, but the people who walk through our doors.

Not long ago I was witness to a special treat in the reading room. Headed out to our foyer desk to greet a patron, I was somewhat surprised when I encountered an elementary school-aged child. While a family member searched the general stacks, this young girl had intrepidly set out in search of older, rarer quarry.

I thought of all the amazing rare books in our collections, and tried to come up with the perfect example to share.  Just before we went into the reading room to begin viewing materials, we were joined by Pat Bozeman, Head of Special Collections. Her mind quickly went to the Book of Hours, Use of Reims as a treat worthy of such a delightful and curious patron.

Watching the young researcher excitedly encounter this book was one of my favorite moments since joining the UH Libraries. It was a pleasure to watch and listen as Pat explained how the book was made and pointed out interesting details to a completely captivated child. And the girl’s reactions were a reminder of the wonder that these fantastic holdings have the power to elicit. There are lots of great things about working in the reading room, but there isn’t much that can top a child’s sincere “wow!”

The experience not only underscored the responsibility we here in Special Collections have for preserving and making accessible our cultural heritage, but was also a reminder of just how darn lucky we are to get to do it.

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Weeks of Welcome: Libraries Open House http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/08/26/weeks-of-welcome-libraries-open-house/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/08/26/weeks-of-welcome-libraries-open-house/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 06:45:03 +0000 Esmeralda Fisher http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/?p=2567 As part of the University of Houston Weeks of Welcome/Campus Prowl – The Road to Success, the UH Libraries invites students to its Open House on Tuesday, September 2.

Join us for the UH Libraries Open House on September 2.

Join us for the UH Libraries Open House on September 2.

From 11:00am to 1:00pm, students are encouraged to visit the MD Anderson Library and learn how to use the Libraries’ programs and services for success in academics and research.

Librarians will be present to answer questions, and students can also play games for a chance to win Libraries give-aways and Jimmy John’s sub cards.

The Libraries Open House is hosted in conjunction with the Campus Prowl – The Road to Success event, featuring even more chances to win prizes like a GoPro Camera, $150 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, and a free Campus Prowl 2014 t-shirt.

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From the Archives: Remembering Foley’s http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/25/from-the-archives-remembering-foleys/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/25/from-the-archives-remembering-foleys/#comments Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:00:40 +0000 Gregory Yerke http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=4148 The summer 2014 digital issue of Houston History features a piece on the history of Foley's in the city of Houston

The summer 2014 digital issue of Houston History features a piece on the history of Foley’s in the city of Houston

The second digital issue of Houston History (Summer 2014) is on the virtual shelves and features  a piece by our own Dr. Tomkins-Walsh, “From the Archives:  Remembering Foley’s,” featuring research and images from the Foley’s Department Store Records.

We have written previously, lamenting the demise of a Foley’s presence, influencing and shaping Houston’s downtown, prior to the ultimate demolition of Kenneth Franzheim‘s bold design.  For her part, Dr. Tomkins-Walsh addresses the demolition of that building in September of 2013 as something of a catalyst on the collective, public memory that wants not for a building, but instead represents more of a nostalgia and longing for an old figurative pillar and community partner long gone.  From its origins as a dry goods store, to an early department store, through the post-war optimism reflected in the construction of Kenneth Franzheim’s icon, to the role it played in the desegregation of Houston, and on into the growth of branch stores that followed the patterns of suburban development, Tomkins-Walsh outlines in detail the symbiotic relationship that Foley’s enjoyed with the community, as well as the rich research potential the meticulous records hold across a number of fields of study.

Foley Bros. on Main St. (1906)

Foley Bros. on Main St. (1906) – available for high resolution download at our digital library

Subscribers of Houston History may read Dr. Tomkins-Walsh’s article and the rest of the latest digital issue online at the magazine’s website.  In addition, a launch party for the summer digital issue is scheduled for Tuesday, August 26th from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at the Houston Texas YMCA (5202 Griggs Rd., Houston, TX 77021).  Interested in learning more about the history of Houston as seen through that huge display window on Main Street?  Plan a visit to the Special Collections Reading Room and take a closer look at the Foley’s Department Store Records.

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Special Collections Welcomes Our New Instructional Support Assistant http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/20/special-collections-welcomes-our-new-instructional-support-assistant/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/20/special-collections-welcomes-our-new-instructional-support-assistant/#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 12:33:04 +0000 Gregory Yerke http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=4137 Lena Melinger, Instructional Support Assistant for UH Special Collections

Lena Melinger, Instructional Support Assistant for UH Special Collections, will assist in preparations for classes using rare books and archival materials in the Special Collections Evans Room.

We are very happy to welcome our new Instructional Support Assistant, Lena Melinger to the team.  Lena joined Special Collections last week and in her new role will work closely with Julie Grob, Coordinator for Instruction, as she provides support in preparing for classes using rare books and archival materials in the Special Collections Evans Room.

Every semester the Evans Room hosts a wide variety of classes, supporting the studies and research of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Houston.  Having previously attended visiting classes in the Evans Room gives Lena a keen insight as she makes preparations for the coming semester.  With the summer preseason nearly behind us and the fall semester quickly approaching, Lena has hit the ground running, currently busying herself preparing materials for Dr. David Mazella’s Introduction to Literary Studies course (scheduled to visit Special Collections in early September to take a closer look at the works of Jonathan Swift).

This fall Lena begins her junior year as a Creative Writing major, studying in the Honors College.  Born and raised in Austin, Lena has lived and studied in Seattle and Houston.  With an expected graduation year of 2015 at the earliest, Lena is still narrowing her plans for the future, hinting that where she lives will no doubt play a role in how she lives.   Are libraries and archives in her future?  Only time will tell.

In the meantime, we’ll do our best trying to influence that career track and ask you to join us in welcoming Lena, as we are so very pleased to have her on board!

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Top 10 Things to Do at UH Libraries http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/08/19/top-10-things-to-do-at-uh-libraries/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/08/19/top-10-things-to-do-at-uh-libraries/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:51:38 +0000 Esmeralda Fisher http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/?p=2542 The Fall 2014 semester is upon us, and the University of Houston Libraries has the resources, services and programs you need for success in academics and research. Our Top 10 Things to Do at UH Libraries is a quick guide to get you started on a great semester.

10. Get research help.
Stuck on a research project? Need writing or presentation advice? Contact your friendly and knowledgeable subject librarian for personalized research help. Subject librarians are the ultimate search engine!

BONUS: Research Guides are your online source for all things research-related. Each guide gives you subject-specific research tools and methods to help you ace your assignment.

9. Study and collaborate.
We have over 117,000 square feet of study space. You’ll find a variety of environments to suit your needs, from study hives to silent zones to tech-ready group work areas. Plus, our extended hours give you more freedom to pop in when you need to.

Regents Reading Room, MD Anderson Library, Second Floor Brown Wing

Regents Reading Room, MD Anderson Library, Second Floor Brown Wing

BONUS: Need to practice a presentation with your team? Reserve a group study room online, or request a key in person at the Service Desk.

8. Power up your productivity.
The MD Anderson Library is home to two large computing facilities located on the first floor, with Windows workstations for research and study needs, and specialized multimedia and data analysis resources on both PC and Mac. Print, copy and scan services are also available.

BONUS: Left your laptop at home? Check out a netbook from the Service Desk for in-library use.

7. Take a break.
In addition to workspace, the Libraries has areas for you to recharge between classes. Visit the Leisure Reading collection, located on the first floor of MD Anderson Library, and relax with a variety of newer titles in fiction and nonfiction. Browse the collection online.

Leisure Reading, MD Anderson Library First Floor

Leisure Reading, MD Anderson Library First Floor

6. Create a multimedia masterpiece.
The Hamill Foundation Multimedia Studio, located in the Learning Commons, features audio recording booths and professional-grade equipment to help you create high-quality productions.

Hamill Foundation Multimedia Studio, MD Anderson Library Learning Commons

Hamill Foundation Multimedia Studio, MD Anderson Library Learning Commons

BONUS: Check out HD video cameras and DSLRs from the Learning Commons.

DOUBLE BONUS: UH students may take photos or record video in the MD Anderson Library for course assignments (individuals cannot be photographed without their permission). Prior approval is required.

5. Learn a new language.
Access the online Mango Languages Learning System, available for free to all UH students, staff and faculty. Choose from over 60 languages, and learn at your own pace.

Learn a new language with online tutorials.

BONUS: Off-campus access to this and other electronic resources, including e-books, databases and audio files, is available with your CougarNet log-in.

4. Search and discover.
Looking for a journal, book, image, report or dissertation? Start with OneSearch, accessible from the Libraries’ home page, and find targeted results from a wide variety of sources.

BONUS: If we don’t have it, Interlibrary Loan lets you borrow materials from another library.

3. Branch out.
UH Libraries comprises not only the MD Anderson Library, but also three branch libraries: the Architecture and Art Library, the Music Library and the Optometry Library. You’ll find more subject experts and specialized collections at these locations.

2. Visit Special Collections.
Open to all, Special Collections organizes, preserves and promotes rare archival items, including books, manuscripts, photographs and other ephemera. Find unique materials in 11 collecting areas, including Performing Arts, Hispanic Collections, University Archives and more, made available for study in the Special Collections Reading Room.

BONUS: Special Collections hosts curated exhibits in the MD Anderson Library, featuring a variety of engaging and enriching subjects.

DOUBLE BONUS: Browse the UH Digital Library for access to rare historical items in digital format curated from Special Collections, the Architecture and Art Library and the Music Library.

1. Attend tech training.
We offer free technology training to all UH students, staff and faculty. Beginning, intermediate and advanced sessions in popular software, like Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, InDesign, iMovie and many more, are held morning, afternoon and evening to fit your busy schedule. Sessions are instructor-led, with practical, personalized lessons.

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Book of the Month: Queechy by Elizabeth Wetherell (or Susan Warner) http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/18/book-of-the-month-queechy-by-elizabeth-wetherell-or-susan-warner/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/18/book-of-the-month-queechy-by-elizabeth-wetherell-or-susan-warner/#comments Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:33:39 +0000 Gregory Yerke http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=4124 In addition to the over 7,000 linear feet of archival collections made available for study at the University of Houston Special Collections, we are also proud to offer over 100,000 rare and antique books for use in our reading room. Each month we will highlight a text from our collections and what makes it so special.

cover of Queechy / by Elizabeth Wetherell (Susan Warner)

cover of Queechy / by Elizabeth Wetherell (Susan Warner)

Book of the Month:  Queechy by Elizabeth Wetherell, as recommended by Julie Grob, Coordinator for Instruction at the University of Houston Special Collections.

Why So Special?  “The pictorial cloth binding with a decoration of flowers that are multicolored,” writes Grob.  “I’m a sucker for over-the-top publishers bindings from the 19th century, and this is one of the more elaborate in our collection.”

Originally published in 1852, Queechy was Susan Warner’s second novel, following her widely-translated debut, The Wide, Wide World (1850), also written under the pen name Elizabeth Wetherell.  That book’s popularity gave Warner the distinction of being one of the most popular authors of a new nation still finding its literary voice.  Our copy of Queechy is a glittering and gilded display that no doubt would have brought color to the cheeks of  Warner’s Puritan forebearers.  Pictorial green cloth stamped in gold, red, blue, yellow and black. Edges gilt.”

detail of page edges

detail of page edges

Location:  Pictures will not do this one justice.  If you would care for a closer look, Queechy is available for study in the University of Houston Special Collections Reading Room, during our normal research hours.  To spend some time with Fleda Ringgan as she crisscrosses the Atlantic, please request PS3155.Q4 1800z.

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New Digital Collection: Early Texas Documents http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/15/new-digital-collection-early-texas-documents/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/15/new-digital-collection-early-texas-documents/#comments Fri, 15 Aug 2014 08:47:22 +0000 Gregory Yerke http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=4101 $200 pay certificate for Alexander Wray Ewing (June 7, 1836), for "my pay in the Army of Texas." Ewing served as surgeon general of the Texas army and, two months prior, had treated Sam Houston at the battle of San Jacinto.

$200 pay certificate for Alexander Wray Ewing (June 7, 1836), for “my pay in the Army of Texas.” Ewing served as surgeon general of the Texas army and, two months prior, had treated Sam Houston at the battle of San Jacinto. — (available for high-resolution download through our Digital Library or for further study via our Early Texas Documents Collection)

The digitization of the Early Texas Documents Collection which has recently been published has been a monumental task several years in the making. With nearly 1,300 items, the documents trace not only the activities of prominent Texans and founders, such as Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin, but give researchers  a glimpse into what life was like for Texans in the early 19th through  transactions involving land, finances,  legal matters, and in some cases chattel and slaves. In addition, military documents chronicle the Battle of San Jacinto between General Sam Houston and Santa Anna’s forces. There are also military scrips that document the pay soldiers received for their time of service within the Texas Army and Navy.

Genealogists may also find the documents of interest as the subjects of their research may have written letters, or their names may appear on financial or legal documents contained within the collection. The collection also contains early examples of currency utilized during the Republic era.  Selections of these currencies have been featured in the exhibit On the Run: Currency, Credit and Capitals of the Republic of Texas this past June at the Texas Capital Visitors Center in Austin. In short, the collection contains something for everyone.

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Remembering Lauren Bacall http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/13/remembering-lauren-bacall/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/13/remembering-lauren-bacall/#comments Wed, 13 Aug 2014 15:57:41 +0000 Gregory Yerke http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=4104 Lauren Bacall, a legend (though she despised the word) and icon of Hollywood’s golden era who taught the world how to whistledied in New York on Tuesday.

Born Betty Joan Perske to working-class immigrants in Brooklyn, her parents divorced when she was six years old.  Her mother, Natlie Perske (maiden name, Weinstein-Bacal) moved to Manhattan and young Betty Joan would go on to usher theaters on Broadway and model dresses on Seventh Avenue before her enigmatic beauty drew inquiries from Hollywood.  She left for the West Coast in 1942, reemerging as Lauren Bacall (“Lauren” at the behest of producer and director Howard Hawks, the additional “L” to assist in pronunciation), catching the silver screens aflame with a mystique and unmistakable, smoldering vocal delivery.

“Betty” to long-time friends and family, but always “Baby” to “Bogie,” she sometimes bristled at the attempts of others to define her in the context of that other iconic actor, her screen foil, and her husband (until his death in 1957), Humphrey Bogart.  “Being a widow,” she once told an interviewer, “is not a profession.”  Bacall and Bogart sparked on and off screen in To Have and Have Not (1944), married in 1945, and would go on to star opposite one another in The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947), and Key Largo (1948).

detail from Larry McMurtry's notes, working with Lauren Bacall and George Stevens, Jr., from the Larry McMurtry Papers

detail from Larry McMurtry’s notes, working with Lauren Bacall and George Stevens, Jr., from the Larry McMurtry Papers

Others will offer up more appropriate insights into the artistry and legacy of Bacall.  Today, however, while obituaries abound generously peppered with the name “Bogart,” as she’d once predicted and lamented long before her passing, an interesting item from the Larry McMurtry Papers provides even more context to the Bacall-Bogart dynamic.  In 1977 McMurtry worked with Bacall and George Stevens, Jr. as part of “The Stars Salute America’s Greatest Movies,” honoring the best 500 films to date.  Bacall was to introduce The African Queen (1951, John Huston), starring her late husband.

McMurtry quotes Bacall on her recollections of the filming of African Queen and Bogart’s co-star, Katharine Hepburn:  “John knew what he wanted.  Bogey and Kate were the only two stars crazy enough to follow him and [producer] Sam Spiegel to Africa… It was the beginning of my friendship with Katie–an important part of my life and it still is.”  Twenty years after Bogart’s death, however, it was clear he still served as a foil.  Reflecting on their conversation, McMurtry writes, “In terms of the introduction, she would like it to be clear that she has a reputation of her own–that she is not simply Bogey’s widow.  Obviously, it will be clear in her presentation that it is not purely coincidental that she is doing the introduction to AFRICAN QUEEN which starred Bogey.”

She must have known, however, that her legacy remains quite her own.  Honored throughout her life by a list that includes the Screen Actors Guild, the Tony Awards, and the Golden Globes, she also received a National Book Award for her autobiography By Myself (1978).  While she does recount those famous loves lost (Frank Sinatra once reportedly proposed to Bacall), she also recounts her rise as a starlet in a very particular heyday for Hollywood, including this interesting tidbit on how she went about acquiring her signature sound at the direction of Hawks:

He wanted me to drive into the hills, find some quiet spot, and read aloud. He felt it most important to keep the voice in a low register. Mine started off low, but what Howard didn’t like and explained to me was, “If you notice, Betty, when a woman gets excited or emotional she tends to raise her voice. Now, there is nothing more unattractive than screeching. I want you to train your voice in such a way that even if you have a scene like that your voice will remain low.” I found a spot on Mulholland Drive and proceeded to read The Robe aloud, keeping my voice lower and louder than normal. If anyone had ever passed by, they would have found me a candidate for the asylum. Who sat on mountaintops in cars reading books aloud to the canyons?

The Larry McMurtry Papers are available for study, along with twenty-one other Contemporary Literature collections, in the University of Houston Special Collections Reading Room.

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Social Science Data Librarian Provides Specialized GIS Support http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/08/11/social-science-data-librarian-provides-specialized-gis-support/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/08/11/social-science-data-librarian-provides-specialized-gis-support/#comments Mon, 11 Aug 2014 12:42:40 +0000 Esmeralda Fisher http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/?p=2535 University of Houston faculty and researchers have a new, central resource for data-related services.

Joshua Been joins the UH Libraries as the new social science data librarian, providing expert support for researchers working with geospatial, numeric and other data.

Joshua Been joins the UH Libraries as the new social science data librarian, providing expert support for researchers working with geospatial, numeric and other data.

Joshua Been joins the UH Libraries as the new social science data librarian in the department of Liaison Services, a position that was created to provide expert support for researchers working with geospatial, numeric and other data.

The University has a pressing need for centralized support in geographic information systems (GIS) data acquisition, analysis and visualization. UH Libraries is pleased to offer high-level research support and data-related services for faculty and students of all disciplines across campus.

Liaison Services is currently assessing the needs of social science departments that are using GIS and data visualization tools and methodologies, specifically, political science, economics and social work. Been will work to create new services and tools based on department feedback and course needs.

“Our data acquisition component puts the Libraries in a strategic position to assist faculty and students of all disciplines,” Been said. “We can help faculty and students get the data they need, clean the data, analyze it and visualize it.” The Libraries’ turnkey data support includes the provision of access to many subscription databases, including referenceUSA, Data-Planet and Social Explorer, to name a few.

Going further, data visualization tools give researchers new and innovative ways to tell stories and illustrations with graphics. Common tools for presenting data are the built-in graphic charts in Excel or SPSS, yet mapping and plotting data allows the researcher to spot trends or other surprising facets that a spreadsheet just can’t match.

“The graphing capabilities of Excel are quite powerful,” Been said. “However, there are so many new tools that are designed to increase our ability to create a visualization that matches our imagination. Some of these tools can create amazing visualizations within minutes of opening the application, while others may require some coding. Basically, it makes data fun.”

New services include open demos and hands-on workshops beginning in Fall 2014, conducted in the MD Anderson Library with customized exercises in GIS and data visualization for students. Additionally, users of the Libraries will have a new research guide detailing GIS and data visualization services, tools and methods. Dedicated office hours will be open for students to receive personalized assistance. 

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See the Exhibit, Read the Book, Watch the Film! http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/06/see-the-exhibit-read-the-book-watch-the-film/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/06/see-the-exhibit-read-the-book-watch-the-film/#comments Wed, 06 Aug 2014 08:39:55 +0000 Julie Grob http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=4075 Many of the books featured in our current exhibition LGBTQI Literature: Celebrated Classics and Contemporary Works have been adapted into acclaimed movies and TV miniseries. From eighties costume drama Brideshead Revisited to this spring’s HBO film The Normal Heart, the stories of people who identify as LGBTQI have made for compelling drama on the big and small screen.

With the dog days of summer upon us, we recommend that you come view the exhibition, stop off for lunch or dinner at Eric’s Restaurant on campus, and then unwind at home with one of the following:

http://youtu.be/_ZtPGYLEzpw

Those who are suffering from Downton Abbey withdrawal might enjoy the British miniseries Brideshead Revisited (1981), the tale of a friendship that develops between two young men at Oxford in the decade following WWI. Based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead… made a star of Jeremy Irons.

http://youtu.be/b0vlCyf3uyA

Desert Hearts (1985), directed by Donna Deitch and based on the novel Desert of the Heart by Jane Rule, is considered a classic of lesbian film. It centers on the realistic romance between divorcing housewife Vivian and casino worker Cay in Reno, Nevada.

http://youtu.be/QvpgNiU018s

Steven Spielberg directed The Color Purple (1985), an adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Alice Walker. In it, main character Celie (played by Whoopi Goldberg) finds her life changed by an affair with the beautiful blues singer Shug.

http://youtu.be/FOzpSSsJbV8

Armistead Maupin’s Tales of the City (1993) was the first of three miniseries based on the writer’s popular books about life in a San Francisco apartment building in the 1970s. It starred a less well-known Laura Linney as the naive new tenant Mary Ann, and Olympia Dukakis as landlady Mrs. Madrigal. Various straight and gay neighbors with their own stories rounded out the characters.

http://youtu.be/jdyEgNy9O8M

The script for the two-part HBO production of Angels in America (2003) was adapted by Tony Kushner from his play about the AIDS epidemic in Reagan’s America. Angels… won 11 Emmy Awards including acting nods for Al Pacino as closeted conservative attorney Roy Cohn, and Jeffrey Wright as the compassionate nurse Belize.

http://youtu.be/jO6UL_bd-OY

Brokeback Mountain (2005) started out as a story by Annie Proulx in her 1999 collection Close Range: Wyoming Stories. The tale of two ranch hands who fall in love was adapted into a full-length screenplay by Larry McMurtry and his writing partner Diana Ossana. The Ang Lee-directed film starred Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger as the star-crossed Western lovers.

http://youtu.be/nD83NZ-7N60

In May 2014, miniseries The Normal Heart debuted on HBO. Based on Larry Kramer’s 1985 play about activism during the early years of the AIDS crisis, it starred Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts, and will be released on DVD later this month.

LGBTQI Literature: Celebrated Classics and Contemporary Works will be on view on the 1st floor of MD Anderson Library through Sept. 26, 2014.

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Paddock Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Council Records http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/04/paddock-greater-houston-convention-visitors-council-records/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/04/paddock-greater-houston-convention-visitors-council-records/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 11:46:06 +0000 Gregory Yerke http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=3901 "Houston is a Great Place to Make Films"

“Houston is a Great Place to Make Films” / from the production of Adam, pictured left to right, Steve Moore of GHCVC, Jo Beth Williams, Daniel J. Travanti, and Melvia Tennant of GHCVC (1983) / photo by Marianita Paddock, Paddock Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Council Records

The University of Houston Special Collections is proud to announce the recent publication of the Paddock Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Council Records finding aid.

These papers of Mildred and Harold Paddock show research potential in relation to their documentation of work conducted by the the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Council, with most materials coming from the time their daughter, Marianita Paddock, worked with the GHCVC.  The first series in this collection deals specifically with these types of materials, containing correspondence, speeches, press releases, and other promotional publications.  Particularly interesting is a look into Houston’s late twentieth century development as a  destination for large and small screen productions via the sub-series “Film in Houston,” containing press releases, industry journals, production schedules, and photographs capturing behind-the-scenes glimpses of productions, the city, and the iconic locales used in filming (predominantly from the 1980s).  Among the films documented in the records are Middle Age Crazy (starring Bruce Dern), Adam (based on the true story of Adam Walsh’s kidnapping), and Murder at the World Series (which counted the Astrodome among its filming locations).

Filming Murder at the World Series (1976) / photo by George Wilkins, Paddock Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Council Records

Filming Murder at the World Series (1976) / photo by George Wilkins, Paddock Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Council Records

The second series in this collection contains memorabilia related to the city of Houston and the state of Texas at-large, including bulletins, mailers, programs, and tickets collected by the Paddocks predominantly from the mid to late twentieth century.  Of particular interest, and included among these materials, is a recording of the moon landing from 1969.

These materials, further expanding our larger Houston & Texas History Collection, are available for study in the Special Collections Reading Room during our normal summer hours.  We look forward to seeing you and assisting you in your research!

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UH Libraries Announces Microgrant Winners http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/08/04/uh-libraries-announces-microgrant-winners/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/08/04/uh-libraries-announces-microgrant-winners/#comments Mon, 04 Aug 2014 10:00:31 +0000 Esmeralda Fisher http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/?p=2528

UH Libraries announces the 2014-2015 Microgrant Program winners.

The University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014-2015 Microgrant Program.

The program, now in its 6th year, was created to foster new and innovative ideas in support of the Libraries’ Strategic Directions and the University’s Tier One Initiatives. Librarians and library staff submitted fresh, experimental concepts for novel services and programs which would benefit teaching, learning and research objectives of the UH community.

The UH Libraries Microgrant Program winners for 2014-2015 are:

Project title: Houston Art Libraries Collaboration
Chelby King (project lead), Chris Conway, Catherine Essinger, Donovan Parker

In conjunction with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Hirsch Library and The Menil Collection Library, the Architecture and Art Library will host an open house at each location for School of Art faculty, graduate students, and museum researchers. Attendees will be introduced to services, collections and primary resources unique to that library. Each open house will include a tour of the host facility, a meet-and-greet reception, and a booklet with summary information about each library for students.

This event series builds upon a partnership agreement signed by MFAH and UH in 2012 to encourage collaboration between arts researchers at both institutions. It aims to support research needs of graduate students; provide opportunities for collaboration, networking, and the generation of ideas; and strengthen institutional partnerships.

Project title: Research in the Real World Lecture Series
Donovan Parker (project lead), Chris Conway, Catherine Essinger, Chelby King

A series of lectures created for UH students in the School of Art will be held each semester. Lectures will consist of panel discussions with art and design professionals. Topics will include research methodology specific to art and design careers, and the information resources of which students should be aware. This project supports student success and strengthens institutional partnerships.

Project title: African American Read-In
Rachel Vacek (project lead), Julie Grob, Andrea Malone, Jesse Sharpe

Since 1989, the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English has sponsored the National African American Read-In. UH Libraries will host a Read-In for which students, staff and faculty can sign up to read self-selected book passages, articles, poetry, speeches, and other works written by African Americans. The Libraries will identify unique materials from Special Collections and the stacks to inspire those in search of reading material. This project supports the Libraries’ goals of providing innovative programming and pursuing transformative partnerships.

Project title: Bundt Cake for Charity
Rachel Vacek (project lead), Kelsey Brett, Lee Hilyer, Alex Simons

November 15th is both National Bundt Cake Day and National Philanthropy Day. The Libraries will host a bundt cake sale with proceeds going to a philanthropic organization. With each cake/slice sold, Bundt Cake for Charity aims to bring awareness of the Libraries’ services and programs to a wider audience.

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Agnes Arnold Hall http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/01/agnes-arnold-hall/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/08/01/agnes-arnold-hall/#comments Fri, 01 Aug 2014 09:45:45 +0000 Dr. Stephen James http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=4036 Let’s follow recent posts about Kenneth Bentsen’s Philip G. Hoffman Hall (PGH), with a look at his Agnes Arnold Hall (1968) next door.  Like PGH, Agnes Arnold is a good modern design and its success has much to do with Bentsen’s use of contrast.  An important principle of architectural design, the contrast between thick and thin, heavy and light, solid and transparent enlivens a building’s form.

Kenneth E. Bentsen, Agnes Arnold Hall, University of Houston (1968), south elevation (Photo Eric E. Johnson, by permission)

At Agnes Arnold the vertical lines of the towers contrast with the horizontal lines of the stacked classroom levels. The texture and color of the brown brick towers contrasts with the smooth white spandrels and railings. The solid brick contrasts with the transparent glass. Agnes Arnold Hall is also effective because of its layered façade, which is much more sculptural than Bentsen’s very reserved PGH design. Here the architect achieves this sculptural effect by placing the corridors on the edge of the building and opening them to the outside. The surface is cut away and you can see deep within the building.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater, detail, Bear Run, PA (1936)

Frank Lloyd Wright, Fallingwater, Bear Run, PA (1936), detail. Photo J.P. Otto, all rights reserved.

You see these same formal principles at work in another successful modern design where contrasting lines, colors, and textures animate the façade of Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous house, “Fallingwater.”

Agnes Arnold Hall is entered from a bridge over the basement courtyard.

Agnes Arnold Hall is entered from a bridge over the basement courtyard. Kenneth E. Bentsen Architectural Papers

Architects are encouraged to design in three dimensions, not just two. They are intrigued by the idea of space that flows through the building vertically as well as horizontally. You see this in the three-level lobby of Agnes Arnold, where the ground floor is open not just to the level above but to the level below as well. In addition, the building is entered from the south over a dramatic bridge that spans the open courtyard at the basement level. From the street the building appears to rise from an open pit.

The Kenneth E. Bentsen Architectural Papers are housed in the library’s Special Collections department and are currently being processed. Pictures of Agnes Arnold Hall and other campus buildings are available in the University of Houston Buildings Collection of the UH Digital Library.

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Favorite Things: Flaxman Loving Cup http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/29/favorite-things-flaxman-loving-cup/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/29/favorite-things-flaxman-loving-cup/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 14:26:20 +0000 Gregory Yerke http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=4014 Thomas Flaxman's loving cup, from the Alvin Romansky Papers (1914)

Thomas Flaxman’s loving cup, from the Alvin Romansky Papers (1914)

Whether it’s a rare book printing found at long last or piece of ephemera found in an archival collection by chance, those who visit the University of Houston Special Collections almost always find something they cannot wait to share with others.  Here we celebrate what makes the University of Houston Special Collections so special–our Favorite Things.

Today Julie Grob, Coordinator for Instruction, offers us one of her favorites.

I nominate the silver loving cup from the Alvin Romansky Papers, which currently sits in the reading room. It was donated to his uncle Thomas Flaxman, who was the general manager of No-Tsu-Oh (Houston’s version of Mardi Gras). The inscription on the loving cup also mentions Deep Water and the year 1914, which is a reference to the development of Houston’s port.

In addition to being significant to the history of the city, the loving cup is elegant and silver.

closeup, showing the detail on the loving cup, inscription reads:  Presented By / Directors of No-tsu-oh Ass'n / To / Thomas Flaxman / V.P. & Genl. Mgr. / Deep Water Jubilee / Nineteen Fourteen

closeup, showing the detail on the loving cup, a faint inscription reads: Presented By / Directors of No-tsu-oh Ass’n / To / Thomas Flaxman / V.P. & Genl. Mgr. / Deep Water Jubilee / Nineteen Fourteen

This loving cup is on display alongside a number of other photographs and artifacts from our collections, and available for viewing during our normal reading room hours.  Or, those interested in learning more about Alvin Romansky and the critical role he played alongside others to grow and support the contemporary arts in Houston, should be sure to spend some time with the Alvin Romansky Papers.

Thanks for letting us share and, of course, if you have your own “favorite thing” about the University of Houston Special Collections, we’d love to hear about it!

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Leaders in the Libraries: Rachel Vacek http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/07/29/leaders-in-the-libraries-rachel-vacek/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/07/29/leaders-in-the-libraries-rachel-vacek/#comments Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:33:47 +0000 Esmeralda Fisher http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/?p=2519 vacek

Rachel Vacek has begun her term as president of LITA.

Rachel Vacek, head of Web Services at University of Houston Libraries, recently began a new term as president of the Library Information Technology Association (LITA), part of a three-year commitment as vice-president, president, and past president.

LITA is one of 11 divisions of the American Library Association (ALA), with approximately 3,000 members representing academic, public, school and special libraries, as well as vendors and information professionals interested in library technologies.

Below, Vacek shares her plans as LITA president for the term July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, and her thoughts on librarian leadership.


What are your responsibilities as LITA president?

The LITA president is the chief spokesperson for the association and works closely with both LITA’s executive director and the board of directors in identifying and promoting information technology issues that are of interest to the association in all kinds of libraries, both nationally and internationally.

The president leads the board and executive committee meetings, and works closely with the 20-plus committees that serve the association, such as membership development, education, web coordinating, program planning, publishing, and financial advisory, to name a few.

The president also coordinates with the appointed representatives to groups and associations outside LITA, keeps the board informed, and is a proponent for advocacy of library technology issues. The president, in conjunction with the board, also determines the strategic direction for the association and is able to create task forces as needed to put initiatives in motion.

What are your goals for your presidential year?

Accomplishing impactful goals within a one-year period can be a daunting task. It becomes essential to coordinate efforts with the president-elect and past president to keep the forward momentum going. I am focusing on member experience and financial stability.

As someone who has worked in the systems and web librarianship field for years, the concept of user experience has always had special meaning for me. The ability to look at a person’s behaviors, attitudes, and emotions about being a member of LITA is especially important when examining and improving member experience.

When answering the question, “Why join LITA?” I have to evaluate the hard benefits like educational and conference discounts or being able to participate in leadership roles, as well as the softer benefits like opportunities to expand one’s network. I believe that people join LITA because they want to learn something new, help their colleagues, grow their network, and advocate for librarians working with technology.

I will work with many of LITA’s committees, primarily Membership, Education, and Publications, to:

  • Involve enthusiastic, active members who have embraced LITA’s mission and values in making new members feel welcome.
  • Recognize more frequently the outstanding contributions of LITA members.
  • Emphasize that a major benefit of joining LITA is about expanding one’s network and circle of influence, and having fun in the process!
  • Consider the goals of current and potential members. I think the best way to engage LITA members is to help them participate in meaningful and relevant activities that will further their goals and those of the profession.
  • Offer more virtual events and mentoring opportunities that help potential or new members learn more about LITA and establish connections and lifelong friendships. Being able to make these connections virtually is essential, since conference travel can sometimes be financially challenging.

The other goal I mentioned was financial stability. The LITA Financial Strategies Task Force presented a report to the board last year that is packed with timely, practical, and creative solutions for helping to address crucial challenges that all ALA divisions are facing. LITA also recently established a Financial Advisory Committee, and I believe that their work, in conjunction with the efforts of other LITA committees, are crucial to ensuring that LITA remains viable and relevant for years to come.

What are LITA’s goals?

In accordance with ALA’s goals of information policy, professional development, and advocacy, LITA’s four broad goals are:

  • To foster collaboration and networking among LITA members.
  • To offer education, publications, and events that inspire and enable members to improve technology integration within their libraries.
  • To advocate for meaningful legislation, policies, and standards that positively impact the current and future capabilities of libraries that promote equitable access to information and technology.
  • To improve LITA’s infrastructure in order to serve, educate, and create community for its members.

How will your role as LITA president benefit the UH Libraries and campus?

National recognition is one of the University’s priorities, and one of the Libraries’ strategic directions. Being the president of a national association is both a huge responsibility and an incredibly rewarding experience. With that comes an increase in press, interviews, and open doors, all of which are opportunities to highlight the UH Libraries and UH as outstanding organizations doing amazing things.

Also, because I have established an incredible network both within LITA and now with the leaders of the other divisions, I am able to help my colleagues make connections with others in the profession. I’ve become quite familiar with ALA’s structure and look forward to offering advice on getting involved, connecting colleagues with relevant skills and interests to appropriate groups, and being a sounding board for ideas.

What have you learned about yourself through this experience?

I’ve grown a tremendous amount in just the past year since becoming LITA’s vice-president. I realized that my previous experiences in chairing the UH Libraries’ Strategic Directions Steering Committee, being Chair of the Librarians, and leading numerous other committees, coupled with being a department head, have all prepared me for this endeavor. The experience of leading a board of directors, strategic and budgetary planning, collaborating with other divisions, and driving the organization’s vision is also preparing me for the next stage in my library career.

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UH Libraries Welcomes New Music Library Coordinator http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/07/28/uh-libraries-welcomes-new-music-library-coordinator/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/blog/2014/07/28/uh-libraries-welcomes-new-music-library-coordinator/#comments Mon, 28 Jul 2014 12:42:16 +0000 Esmeralda Fisher http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/?p=2522

Stephanie Lewin-Lane is the new coordinator of the UH Music Library and liaison to Theatre and Dance.

As one of the University of Houston’s hidden gems, the Music Library serves students and faculty of the Moores School of Music. A new Coordinator of the Music Library recently joined the team to lead programs, services, and collections in support of performing arts curricula and research, and to serve as liaison to Theatre and Dance.

Stephanie Lewin-Lane brings substantial experience in the performing arts to the role, and an enthusiasm for music that she seeks to impart to students.

“Music has always been a major part of my life,” the vocalist said. As a music scholar and performer, Lewin-Lane has an advanced repertoire of knowledge that spans renaissance to rockabilly. Her extensive performance résumé includes opera, jazz, and improvisational theater. She directed a madrigal group with the Bristol Renaissance Faire for 12 years and has formed several other performing groups. She also taught voice lessons, and was part of a rockabilly and hot jazz band in her hometown of Milwaukee, WI. She is as familiar with baroque music as she is with contemporary Hip-Hop.

Immersed in the world of performance, Lewin-Lane decided to augment her knowledge of performing arts by going back to school. She earned a Master of Library and Information Studies and a Master of Music in History and Literature.

Lewin-Lane’s research interests focus on ethnomusicology, specifically, women in rockabilly, American pop music of the 1920s to 1950s, Tin Pan Alley, the music of Shakespeare’s play, and music copyright and intellectual property. Her master’s thesis explored the influence of two performers, LaVern Baker, an R&B singer of the 50s and 60s, and Janis Martin, nicknamed the Female Elvis.

Lewin-Lane sees connections between pop and classical music, which she views as a “great gateway to help students feel comfortable with the idea of studying music in a scholarly way.” Finding those parallels between the two genres makes it more accessible.

Lewin-Lane recently taught a class on conducting research with theater resources. She looks forward to leading more workshops on information literacy specific to the performing arts, exploring topics such as avoiding plagiarism and writing a bibliography.

Her door is always open for students with questions. “What’s most exciting about being a librarian is working with people and helping them,” she said. She believes that students who build support structures by finding librarians and advisors who can mentor them will have the most successful academic careers.

She devotes time to being involved in the music and performing arts community, and wants to share that enthusiasm and appreciation with students. “The great thing about music is that it transcends so many things,” she said.

The Music Library is home to an excellent voice and opera collection. Students have access to a substantial score selection, CDs, DVDs, books and streaming music. Find more music resources online, and visit Stephanie Lewin-Lane at the Music Library on the second floor of the Moores School of Music building. Summer hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm.

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Lucian T. Hood Architectural Papers http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/25/lucian-t-hood-architectural-papers/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/25/lucian-t-hood-architectural-papers/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:54:00 +0000 Dr. Stephen James http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=3978 HOOD.P104

Lucian Hood, House on Sandy Cove Drive, Houston,1961, Digital Collection

The Lucian T. Hood Architectural Papers have joined the UH Library’s Digital Library collections.  Lucian Hood (1916 – 2001) was an important Houston architect who made his reputation as a house designer for the rich and famous. During the 1970s and 1980s he had one of the largest and best-known residential design practices in the city.

Hood earned his architecture degree from the University of Houston in 1952. He studied under such prominent architects as Donald Barthelme, Sr. and Howard Barnstone. Among his classmates were Burdette Keeland, Jr. (UH 1950) and Kenneth E. Bentsen (UH 1952), both of whom went on to distinguished architectural careers. The Barthelme, Keeland, and Bentsen papers are among the important Architecture and Planning collections held by the library’s Special Collections Department.

HOOD.P75

Lucian Hood, Memorial Creole Apartments, Houston, 1966, Digital Collection

Early in his career Hood designed both commercial and residential buildings but by the late 1960s had switched to residential architecture exclusively. His work is well represented in the affluent River Oaks, Memorial, and Tanglewood neighborhoods of Houston. His houses were usually traditional in style and were notable for his attention to the many traditional details that brought the designs to life.

The Lucian T. Hood Architectural Papers are the largest of Special Collections’ Architecture and Planning collections. Covering the four decades from 1961 to 2001, the collection encompasses approximately 900 projects. Unfortunately, most of Hood’s early work from the 1950s was lost before the library acquired the materials.

Lucian Hood, second floor plan of residence, Houston, 1983, Lucian T. Hood Architectural Collection

Special Collections often receives requests for copies of the Hood drawings—usually from patrons who own a Lucian Hood-designed house and want copies of the architect’s original plans. The department welcomes the chance to make the Hood drawings accessible online, but because of the enormous size of the collection, only a small part has been digitized. The Digital Library has the projects from the 1960s, but more may be added in the future. Until then, patrons seeking copies from the Lucian T. Hood Architectural Papers should contact the Special Collections Department for assistance.

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Photographs from the Leonor Villegas de Magnón Papers http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/23/photographs-from-the-leonor-villegas-de-magnon-papers/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/23/photographs-from-the-leonor-villegas-de-magnon-papers/#comments Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:39:10 +0000 Gregory Yerke http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=3991 Leonor Villegas de Magnón and Aracelito Garcia with flag of La Cruz Blanca (Leonor Villegas de Magnón Papers, 1914)

Leonor Villegas de Magnón and Aracelito Garcia with flag of La Cruz Blanca (Leonor Villegas de Magnón Papers, 1914)

Another on the list of recently published digital collections–Photographs from the Leonor Villegas de Magnón Papers.

Previously, we have written about the larger Leonor Villegas de Magnón Papers and how pleased we are that our partnership with Arte Público has made available for study the papers of such a trailblazing, radical Latina.  The recent publication of this digital collection, featuring select photographs, will provide prospective researchers a new window into a figure much obscured from our predominant Texana narrative.

Born in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico in 1876, Leonor Villegas de Magnón would lead a life that, for a woman of her time, place, and disposition, found her pushing headlong into a fierce, at times unfriendly current of history in the American Southwest.  Educated in San Antonio and Austin, Texas, Magnón would take up permanent residence in Laredo and is remembered today as an educator, journalist, activist, and the founder of La Cruz Blanca (The White Cross) during the Mexican Revolution in 1913 (following in the tradition of other voluntary relief organizations being established to nurse the wounded of war).  Her remarkable life is documented in her autobiography, La Rebelde (the Lady Rebel).

Included in this new digital collection are portraits, landscapes, and photographs showcasing her work in the Mexican Revolution as well as candid photographs featuring her family and friends.  Notable figures like Porfirio Díaz, Jovita Idar, and Pancho Villa, can be found throughout the collection.

We hope you enjoy this new digital collection of photographs and invite you to visit the Special Collections Reading Room should you wish to further explore the Leonor Villegas de Magnón Papers.

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University of Houston Integration Records http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/21/university-of-houston-integration-records/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/21/university-of-houston-integration-records/#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:54:22 +0000 Gregory Yerke http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=3955 "I would'nt think of attending an all White school there.  Please pardon me." (detail of a letter from Merdis L.B. Holyfield to UH President, from the University of Houston Integration Records)

“I would’nt think of attending an all White school there. Please pardon me.” (detail of a letter from Merdis L.B. Holyfield to UH President, 1958, from the University of Houston Integration Records)

A number of new digital collections have been rolling out over at our Digital Library and if you blink, it’s been tough to keep up.  Over the coming days we will publish some highlights, showcasing these new and exciting primary sources now made available to researchers, free from the constraints of reading room hours or the patron’s locale.

One collection new and of note?  Check out the University of Houston Integration Records.

The University of Houston is rightly proud of its gender and ethnic diversity.  Often touted as one of the most ethnically diverse research universities in the nation, Cougars come in all colors and creeds.  The integration of the University’s athletics programs under coaches Guy V. Lewis and Bill Yeoman changed the face of collegiate athletics in the South and is thoroughly documented in Katherine Lopez’s Cougars of Any Color.  The image of Lynn Eusan’s beaming smile in 1968, as she became the first black homecoming queen at a predominantly white university in the South, still looms large in our history and marked another step in UH’s legacy of integrated and equal.

However, this diversity and legacy did not happen by accident or overnight.

The University of Houston Integration Records document the early days of hand-wringing and  tiptoeing around an issue that still confounded so much of the nation and, unresolved, threatened to tear communities apart.  While violent opposition to integration plumbed new depths for history, particularly throughout the South, what resulted at UH were steady, incremental, and quiet steps, spearheaded by University Presidents Clanton C. Williams, A.D. Bruce, and Phillip G. Hoffman.  Working with community leaders, University Administration would eventually oversee an admissions process that resulted in twenty black students being enrolled at UH in the spring of 1963.

By 1964, football and basketball illustrated the importance of intercollegiate athletics, as Elvin Hayes and Don Chaney were dominating the hardwood for Coach Guy V. Lewis and Warren McVea was gearing up to revolutionize the game in Coach Yeoman’s veer offense (all while enduring merciless and ugly epithets from fans of programs in the Deep South).  The nation had been put on notice.  A university, in the South and striving to become colorblind, was not only surviving but thriving by serving all the sons and daughters of Houston, and ultimately scholars the world over.  In doing so, they have left us an inheritance of a virtual global village doing remarkable work on Cullen Boulevard.

Included in these University of Houston Integration Records are documents from the 1940s through the 1960s, with an emphasis on the ’50s and ’60s.  Correspondence and internal memoranda from University Administration, as well as documents and letters related to the applications of prospective black students (both domestic and international) highlight the poignancy of the collection.  The sheer absurdity of segregation laws and practices in the United States hits home as one reads President Williams’ flailing attempt in 1958 at an explanation to a Ghanaian student regarding the particulars of his denial of admission:

"I regret very much to state that there has been a misunderstanding on your part." (detail of letter from UH President Clanton W. Williams to prospective student, E.K. Aboagye, 1958, from the University of Houston Integration Records)

“I regret very much to state that there has been a misunderstanding on your part.” (detail of letter from UH President Clanton W. Williams to prospective student, E.K. Aboagye, 1958, from the University of Houston Integration Records)

I regret very much to state that there has been a misunderstanding on your part.

The University of Houston has not yet reached a decision as to when it will admit Negro students.  As of this date I must advise you, therefore, not to plan to enter this institution in 1959.

I strongly suggest to you that your desires might be realized should you apply to an institution which does not have the integration problem unresolved.  I presume that you are in contact with the American diplomatic authorities in Accra.

Needless to say, the University of Houston has come a long way since then, now embracing its diversity as a core value and strength.

Selections in the University of Houston Integration Records are pulled from the President’s Office Records in our University Archives.  Original documents may be viewed in the Special Collections Reading Room during our normal research hours or on the Digital Library at your leisure.

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Guest Post: A Pithy Reflection of Spec Coll, Riots, and Gratitude (with a splash of humor) http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/18/guest-post-a-pithy-reflection-of-spec-coll-riots-and-gratitude-with-a-splash-of-humor/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/18/guest-post-a-pithy-reflection-of-spec-coll-riots-and-gratitude-with-a-splash-of-humor/#comments Fri, 18 Jul 2014 16:03:16 +0000 Julie Grob http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=3958 Today we have a goodbye post from Bryan Bishop ’14, the department’s first Instruction Support Student Worker. During his year in the position, he prepared rare materials for class visits, maintained the Evans Room (our classroom and function space), input student learning assessment data, digitized materials requested by patrons, and created descriptive metadata for a collection of World War II photographs.

A graduate of the UH Honors College in History and Political Science, Bryan is heading to Fonville Middle School in H.I.S.D. to teach U.S. History for the 2014-15 school year. He has also been accepted into the John W. Draper Master’s Program in Humanities and Social Thought at NYU with a deferred start date. All of us will miss Bryan’s intellectual curiousity, “can do” attitude, and sense of humor. Heeeeeere’s Bryan!

Student worker Bryan Bishop working in the stacks

Student worker Bryan Bishop working in the stacks

When I happened upon the Instruction Support position available in Special Collections last August, I had no idea what “instruction support” was, or that it would be the best job I ever had. As an older student worker I had had a few jobs prior to arriving at UH. But those jobs levied tremendous pressure, rarely yielding pleasure. This job was different. All that would be asked of me was to show up ready to work, complete thoroughly what was asked of me, and display passion for my projects, most of which involved research relating to my studies and interests: humanities and social sciences. Strange as it may sound, in 20 years of working this was the first time I was unconditionally happy.

Performing tasks around the department was a riot. True, I too have never associated riots with libraries. If anything, life surrounding a library is the complete opposite, serene. So how was working in Special Collections a riot? It was a riot in the sense of how I felt while and after performing my duties; that everything I did was significant for our university community and a team I hold in the highest regard—my co-workers, my friends. This, admittedly, is a peculiar illustration; however, I find that the more idiosyncratic a description is, the more unique, and in this case, special, the experience was.

I could utilize more space than the Interwebs have allotted to express my gratitude vis-à-vis the projects on which I was allowed to work. Ergo, I must devote my closing thoughts to my peers and managers in the department.

Okay, done.

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See the 2014 Student Art Exhibit online http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/architecture_art/2014/07/17/see-the-2014-student-art-exhibit-online/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/architecture_art/2014/07/17/see-the-2014-student-art-exhibit-online/#comments Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:59:15 +0000 Catherine Essinger http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/architecture_art/?p=467 The 2014 Student Art in the Library is now available in the UH Digital Library!

 Every spring the University of Houston Libraries hosts a juried exhibit of student artwork.  This competitive event is open to students of all classifications and majors.  A blind jury of arts professionals from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Menil Collection, Blaffer Museum, UH School of Art faculty, and Houston art galleries selects the work that will be included each year.  The exhibit is on display in the M.D. Anderson Library during the spring semester.  The 2014 selections have been added to the Student Art Exhibit collection, which includes artwork and ephemera from all but the first two mounted exhibits.

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See the architectural drawings of one of Houston's greatest Modernists http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/architecture_art/2014/07/16/see-the-architectural-drawings-of-one-of-houstons-greatest-modernists/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/architecture_art/2014/07/16/see-the-architectural-drawings-of-one-of-houstons-greatest-modernists/#comments Wed, 16 Jul 2014 10:41:39 +0000 Catherine Essinger http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/architecture_art/?p=465 The Lucian T. Hood Architectural Drawings are now available in the UH Digital Library.   Through his early drawings, this digital collection captures architect Lucian Hood’s eye for detail and exemplifies his artistry and graphic skills. These drawings, done before architects were aided by AutoCAD and other drafting software, embody the craftsmanship and sense of detail from a bygone era. In all, the collection contains 116 drawings done by hand in pencil. The drawings include floor plans, interior and exterior elevations, foundations, and plots.

Many of the drawings are from Hood’s early work on residential homes, which are representative of the architectural trends and influences of the early 1960s. These homes, located throughout the Houston neighborhoods of River Oaks, Tanglewood, and Memorial, are highly sought after in the marketplace, and owners are often interested in the original drawings in order to restore the homes to their original specifications.

Hood was a 1952 graduate of the University of Houston who studied under Donald Barthelme. He was one of Houston’s early Modernist architects and his work was in great demand for more than 40 years, from the 1950s through the 1990s.

The original materials are available in UH Libraries’ Special Collections in the Lucian T. Hood Architectural Collection.

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Book of the Month: The Great Gatsby (illustrated by Michael Graves) http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/11/book-of-the-month-the-great-gatsby-illustrated-by-michael-graves/ http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/2014/07/11/book-of-the-month-the-great-gatsby-illustrated-by-michael-graves/#comments Fri, 11 Jul 2014 16:59:27 +0000 Gregory Yerke http://weblogs.lib.uh.edu/speccol/?p=3930 In addition to the over 7,000 linear feet of archival collections made available for study at the University of Houston Special Collections, we are also proud to offer over 100,000 rare and antique books for use in our reading room.  Each month we will highlight a text from our collections.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, featuring artwork by Michael Graves

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, featuring artwork by Michael Graves

Book of the Month:  The Great Gatsby by Francis Scott Fitzgerald; illustrated by Michael Graves (San Francisco : Arion Press, 1984)

Why So Special?:  Required reading for just about every high school student as they come of age, Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s magnum opus is as American as Francis Scott Key’s offering.  Routinely re-imagined every few decades on our collective silver screens to reflect our contemporary hopes and fears, Gatsby is often hailed as the novel on the subject of the American Dream, as amorphous an idea as that remains, full of all of our longing, anguish, confusion, desire, and “romantic readiness.” From Francis Cugat’s cover (commissioned and completed in the impatient haste of Scribners, seven months before the novel would even be ready–those eyes floating in the night, hinting at the enveloping darkness amid the carnival and light), to the sheer audacity and imagination of one James Gatz (convinced he cannot only reinvent himself of his own design, but he can will time to his bidding should he simply desire it enough), and on through the final words of the narrative, crystallizing our longing for and obsession with the illusory and the intangible (“So we beat on, boats against the current…”), The Great Gatsby has remained uniquely American.

Sometimes deceptively so.

For some it remains a pseudo-documentary of what Fitzgerald christened as “The Jazz Age,” The Roaring Twenties, “the most expensive orgy in history,” an American decade that found no proper suitor throughout her flirtations, and decided to stay on for the remainder of the century.  To others it is a love story that sees desire run amok as it flies too close to a blazing white sun.  Still others would present it as a cornerstone for the so-called “New York City novel,” an homage and tragic love story for Our New Paris; a story of The City that does not simply resign itself to the towering icons and alleyways of Manhattan, but also peers back behind the kitchen curtain windows of Long Island, revealing a complex web work of symbiotic and predatory class relations.

But Nick Carraway, our faithful and reliable narrator, would insist it has nothing to do with the New World’s metropolitan jewel, after all.  He reflects on his “middle-west,” against the backdrop of that fateful summer of 1922:

That’s my middle-west–not the wheat or the prairies or the lost Swede towns but the thrilling, returning trains of my youth and the street lamps and sleigh bells in the frosty dark and the shadows of holly wreaths thrown by lighted windows on the snow. . . I see now that this has been a story of the West, after all–Tom and Gatsby, Daisy and Jordan and I, were all Westerners, and perhaps we possessed some deficiency in common which made us subtly unadaptable to Eastern life.

If the story of the American Dream is not rooted in the narrative of the so-called New World in the last handful of centuries leading up to that frenetic decade, full of all their blood and loss, then from where else does it originate?  As if to underscore the point, it finally occurs to Nick while flailing about for his lost Eden at the tale’s conclusion, preparing to flee the corruption of the east, bound for his old, familiar home, he sprawls out on the Long Island beach and broods “on the old unknown world”:

And as the moon rose higher the inessential houses began to melt away until gradually I became aware of the old island here that flowered once for Dutch sailors’ eyes–a fresh, green breast of the new world.  Its vanished trees, the trees that had made way for Gatsby’s house, had once pandered in whispers to the last and greatest of all human dreams; for a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder.

And so it has remained for all of us, as we come of age in the New World, chasing the siren songs of phantasmal green lights hovering on our horizons.

inside detail of The Great Gatsby

inside detail of The Great Gatsby

This Arion Press imprint is limited to 400 copies and features the artwork of Michael Graves, of the New York Five fame, on the binding and throughout Fitzgerald’s prose.  The text hops and springs over and around the illustrations of Graves, not unlike that running Buchanan lawn, “jumping over sun-dials and brick walks and burning gardens.”  This particular volume also includes the signature of Graves below the colophon.  Types used are Goudy Light and Piehler Capitals and the paper is French mould-made Rives, with a deckle edge.

Location:  Available for study in the University of Houston Special Collections Reading Room (sorry, no beach reading with this one), Monday through Friday 9am-5pm.  Bibliophiles or the simply curious should request call number PS3511.I9 G7 1984.

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Weeks of Welcome: Libraries Open House

categories: Announcements

As part of the University of Houston Weeks of Welcome/Campus Prowl – The Road to Success, the UH Libraries invites students to its Open House on Tuesday, September 2.

Join us for the UH Libraries Open House on September 2.

Join us for the UH Libraries Open House on September 2.

From 11:00am to 1:00pm, students are encouraged to visit the MD Anderson Library and learn how to use the Libraries’ programs and services for success in academics and research.

Librarians will be present to answer questions, and students can also play games for a chance to win Libraries give-aways and Jimmy John’s sub cards.

The Libraries Open House is hosted in conjunction with the Campus Prowl – The Road to Success event, featuring even more chances to win prizes like a GoPro Camera, $150 Barnes & Noble Gift Card, and a free Campus Prowl 2014 t-shirt.

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Top 10 Things to Do at UH Libraries

categories: Announcements

The Fall 2014 semester is upon us, and the University of Houston Libraries has the resources, services and programs you need for success in academics and research. Our Top 10 Things to Do at UH Libraries is a quick guide to get you started on a great semester.

10. Get research help.
Stuck on a research project? Need writing or presentation advice? Contact your friendly and knowledgeable subject librarian for personalized research help. Subject librarians are the ultimate search engine!

BONUS: Research Guides are your online source for all things research-related. Each guide gives you subject-specific research tools and methods to help you ace your assignment.

9. Study and collaborate.
We have over 117,000 square feet of study space. You’ll find a variety of environments to suit your needs, from study hives to silent zones to tech-ready group work areas. Plus, our extended hours give you more freedom to pop in when you need to.

Regents Reading Room, MD Anderson Library, Second Floor Brown Wing

Regents Reading Room, MD Anderson Library, Second Floor Brown Wing

BONUS: Need to practice a presentation with your team? Reserve a group study room online, or request a key in person at the Service Desk.

8. Power up your productivity.
The MD Anderson Library is home to two large computing facilities located on the first floor, with Windows workstations for research and study needs, and specialized multimedia and data analysis resources on both PC and Mac. Print, copy and scan services are also available.

BONUS: Left your laptop at home? Check out a netbook from the Service Desk for in-library use.

7. Take a break.
In addition to workspace, the Libraries has areas for you to recharge between classes. Visit the Leisure Reading collection, located on the first floor of MD Anderson Library, and relax with a variety of newer titles in fiction and nonfiction. Browse the collection online.

Leisure Reading, MD Anderson Library First Floor

Leisure Reading, MD Anderson Library First Floor

6. Create a multimedia masterpiece.
The Hamill Foundation Multimedia Studio, located in the Learning Commons, features audio recording booths and professional-grade equipment to help you create high-quality productions.

Hamill Foundation Multimedia Studio, MD Anderson Library Learning Commons

Hamill Foundation Multimedia Studio, MD Anderson Library Learning Commons

BONUS: Check out HD video cameras and DSLRs from the Learning Commons.

DOUBLE BONUS: UH students may take photos or record video in the MD Anderson Library for course assignments (individuals cannot be photographed without their permission). Prior approval is required.

5. Learn a new language.
Access the online Mango Languages Learning System, available for free to all UH students, staff and faculty. Choose from over 60 languages, and learn at your own pace.

Learn a new language with online tutorials.

BONUS: Off-campus access to this and other electronic resources, including e-books, databases and audio files, is available with your CougarNet log-in.

4. Search and discover.
Looking for a journal, book, image, report or dissertation? Start with OneSearch, accessible from the Libraries’ home page, and find targeted results from a wide variety of sources.

BONUS: If we don’t have it, Interlibrary Loan lets you borrow materials from another library.

3. Branch out.
UH Libraries comprises not only the MD Anderson Library, but also three branch libraries: the Architecture and Art Library, the Music Library and the Optometry Library. You’ll find more subject experts and specialized collections at these locations.

2. Visit Special Collections.
Open to all, Special Collections organizes, preserves and promotes rare archival items, including books, manuscripts, photographs and other ephemera. Find unique materials in 11 collecting areas, including Performing Arts, Hispanic Collections, University Archives and more, made available for study in the Special Collections Reading Room.

BONUS: Special Collections hosts curated exhibits in the MD Anderson Library, featuring a variety of engaging and enriching subjects.

DOUBLE BONUS: Browse the UH Digital Library for access to rare historical items in digital format curated from Special Collections, the Architecture and Art Library and the Music Library.

1. Attend tech training.
We offer free technology training to all UH students, staff and faculty. Beginning, intermediate and advanced sessions in popular software, like Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, InDesign, iMovie and many more, are held morning, afternoon and evening to fit your busy schedule. Sessions are instructor-led, with practical, personalized lessons.

Social Science Data Librarian Provides Specialized GIS Support

categories: Announcements

University of Houston faculty and researchers have a new, central resource for data-related services.

Joshua Been joins the UH Libraries as the new social science data librarian, providing expert support for researchers working with geospatial, numeric and other data.

Joshua Been joins the UH Libraries as the new social science data librarian, providing expert support for researchers working with geospatial, numeric and other data.

Joshua Been joins the UH Libraries as the new social science data librarian in the department of Liaison Services, a position that was created to provide expert support for researchers working with geospatial, numeric and other data.

The University has a pressing need for centralized support in geographic information systems (GIS) data acquisition, analysis and visualization. UH Libraries is pleased to offer high-level research support and data-related services for faculty and students of all disciplines across campus.

Liaison Services is currently assessing the needs of social science departments that are using GIS and data visualization tools and methodologies, specifically, political science, economics and social work. Been will work to create new services and tools based on department feedback and course needs.

“Our data acquisition component puts the Libraries in a strategic position to assist faculty and students of all disciplines,” Been said. “We can help faculty and students get the data they need, clean the data, analyze it and visualize it.” The Libraries’ turnkey data support includes the provision of access to many subscription databases, including referenceUSA, Data-Planet and Social Explorer, to name a few.

Going further, data visualization tools give researchers new and innovative ways to tell stories and illustrations with graphics. Common tools for presenting data are the built-in graphic charts in Excel or SPSS, yet mapping and plotting data allows the researcher to spot trends or other surprising facets that a spreadsheet just can’t match.

“The graphing capabilities of Excel are quite powerful,” Been said. “However, there are so many new tools that are designed to increase our ability to create a visualization that matches our imagination. Some of these tools can create amazing visualizations within minutes of opening the application, while others may require some coding. Basically, it makes data fun.”

New services include open demos and hands-on workshops beginning in Fall 2014, conducted in the MD Anderson Library with customized exercises in GIS and data visualization for students. Additionally, users of the Libraries will have a new research guide detailing GIS and data visualization services, tools and methods. Dedicated office hours will be open for students to receive personalized assistance. 

UH Libraries Announces Microgrant Winners

categories: Announcements

UH Libraries announces the 2014-2015 Microgrant Program winners.

The University of Houston Libraries is pleased to announce the winners of the 2014-2015 Microgrant Program.

The program, now in its 6th year, was created to foster new and innovative ideas in support of the Libraries’ Strategic Directions and the University’s Tier One Initiatives. Librarians and library staff submitted fresh, experimental concepts for novel services and programs which would benefit teaching, learning and research objectives of the UH community.

The UH Libraries Microgrant Program winners for 2014-2015 are:

Project title: Houston Art Libraries Collaboration
Chelby King (project lead), Chris Conway, Catherine Essinger, Donovan Parker

In conjunction with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Hirsch Library and The Menil Collection Library, the Architecture and Art Library will host an open house at each location for School of Art faculty, graduate students, and museum researchers. Attendees will be introduced to services, collections and primary resources unique to that library. Each open house will include a tour of the host facility, a meet-and-greet reception, and a booklet with summary information about each library for students.

This event series builds upon a partnership agreement signed by MFAH and UH in 2012 to encourage collaboration between arts researchers at both institutions. It aims to support research needs of graduate students; provide opportunities for collaboration, networking, and the generation of ideas; and strengthen institutional partnerships.

Project title: Research in the Real World Lecture Series
Donovan Parker (project lead), Chris Conway, Catherine Essinger, Chelby King

A series of lectures created for UH students in the School of Art will be held each semester. Lectures will consist of panel discussions with art and design professionals. Topics will include research methodology specific to art and design careers, and the information resources of which students should be aware. This project supports student success and strengthens institutional partnerships.

Project title: African American Read-In
Rachel Vacek (project lead), Julie Grob, Andrea Malone, Jesse Sharpe

Since 1989, the Black Caucus of the National Council of Teachers of English has sponsored the National African American Read-In. UH Libraries will host a Read-In for which students, staff and faculty can sign up to read self-selected book passages, articles, poetry, speeches, and other works written by African Americans. The Libraries will identify unique materials from Special Collections and the stacks to inspire those in search of reading material. This project supports the Libraries’ goals of providing innovative programming and pursuing transformative partnerships.

Project title: Bundt Cake for Charity
Rachel Vacek (project lead), Kelsey Brett, Lee Hilyer, Alex Simons

November 15th is both National Bundt Cake Day and National Philanthropy Day. The Libraries will host a bundt cake sale with proceeds going to a philanthropic organization. With each cake/slice sold, Bundt Cake for Charity aims to bring awareness of the Libraries’ services and programs to a wider audience.

Leaders in the Libraries: Rachel Vacek

categories: Announcements

vacek

Rachel Vacek has begun her term as president of LITA.

Rachel Vacek, head of Web Services at University of Houston Libraries, recently began a new term as president of the Library Information Technology Association (LITA), part of a three-year commitment as vice-president, president, and past president.

LITA is one of 11 divisions of the American Library Association (ALA), with approximately 3,000 members representing academic, public, school and special libraries, as well as vendors and information professionals interested in library technologies.

Below, Vacek shares her plans as LITA president for the term July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, and her thoughts on librarian leadership.


What are your responsibilities as LITA president?

The LITA president is the chief spokesperson for the association and works closely with both LITA’s executive director and the board of directors in identifying and promoting information technology issues that are of interest to the association in all kinds of libraries, both nationally and internationally.

The president leads the board and executive committee meetings, and works closely with the 20-plus committees that serve the association, such as membership development, education, web coordinating, program planning, publishing, and financial advisory, to name a few.

The president also coordinates with the appointed representatives to groups and associations outside LITA, keeps the board informed, and is a proponent for advocacy of library technology issues. The president, in conjunction with the board, also determines the strategic direction for the association and is able to create task forces as needed to put initiatives in motion.

What are your goals for your presidential year?

Accomplishing impactful goals within a one-year period can be a daunting task. It becomes essential to coordinate efforts with the president-elect and past president to keep the forward momentum going. I am focusing on member experience and financial stability.

As someone who has worked in the systems and web librarianship field for years, the concept of user experience has always had special meaning for me. The ability to look at a person’s behaviors, attitudes, and emotions about being a member of LITA is especially important when examining and improving member experience.

When answering the question, “Why join LITA?” I have to evaluate the hard benefits like educational and conference discounts or being able to participate in leadership roles, as well as the softer benefits like opportunities to expand one’s network. I believe that people join LITA because they want to learn something new, help their colleagues, grow their network, and advocate for librarians working with technology.

I will work with many of LITA’s committees, primarily Membership, Education, and Publications, to:

  • Involve enthusiastic, active members who have embraced LITA’s mission and values in making new members feel welcome.
  • Recognize more frequently the outstanding contributions of LITA members.
  • Emphasize that a major benefit of joining LITA is about expanding one’s network and circle of influence, and having fun in the process!
  • Consider the goals of current and potential members. I think the best way to engage LITA members is to help them participate in meaningful and relevant activities that will further their goals and those of the profession.
  • Offer more virtual events and mentoring opportunities that help potential or new members learn more about LITA and establish connections and lifelong friendships. Being able to make these connections virtually is essential, since conference travel can sometimes be financially challenging.

The other goal I mentioned was financial stability. The LITA Financial Strategies Task Force presented a report to the board last year that is packed with timely, practical, and creative solutions for helping to address crucial challenges that all ALA divisions are facing. LITA also recently established a Financial Advisory Committee, and I believe that their work, in conjunction with the efforts of other LITA committees, are crucial to ensuring that LITA remains viable and relevant for years to come.

What are LITA’s goals?

In accordance with ALA’s goals of information policy, professional development, and advocacy, LITA’s four broad goals are:

  • To foster collaboration and networking among LITA members.
  • To offer education, publications, and events that inspire and enable members to improve technology integration within their libraries.
  • To advocate for meaningful legislation, policies, and standards that positively impact the current and future capabilities of libraries that promote equitable access to information and technology.
  • To improve LITA’s infrastructure in order to serve, educate, and create community for its members.

How will your role as LITA president benefit the UH Libraries and campus?

National recognition is one of the University’s priorities, and one of the Libraries’ strategic directions. Being the president of a national association is both a huge responsibility and an incredibly rewarding experience. With that comes an increase in press, interviews, and open doors, all of which are opportunities to highlight the UH Libraries and UH as outstanding organizations doing amazing things.

Also, because I have established an incredible network both within LITA and now with the leaders of the other divisions, I am able to help my colleagues make connections with others in the profession. I’ve become quite familiar with ALA’s structure and look forward to offering advice on getting involved, connecting colleagues with relevant skills and interests to appropriate groups, and being a sounding board for ideas.

What have you learned about yourself through this experience?

I’ve grown a tremendous amount in just the past year since becoming LITA’s vice-president. I realized that my previous experiences in chairing the UH Libraries’ Strategic Directions Steering Committee, being Chair of the Librarians, and leading numerous other committees, coupled with being a department head, have all prepared me for this endeavor. The experience of leading a board of directors, strategic and budgetary planning, collaborating with other divisions, and driving the organization’s vision is also preparing me for the next stage in my library career.

UH Libraries Welcomes New Music Library Coordinator

categories: Announcements

Stephanie Lewin-Lane is the new coordinator of the UH Music Library and liaison to Theatre and Dance.

As one of the University of Houston’s hidden gems, the Music Library serves students and faculty of the Moores School of Music. A new Coordinator of the Music Library recently joined the team to lead programs, services, and collections in support of performing arts curricula and research, and to serve as liaison to Theatre and Dance.

Stephanie Lewin-Lane brings substantial experience in the performing arts to the role, and an enthusiasm for music that she seeks to impart to students.

“Music has always been a major part of my life,” the vocalist said. As a music scholar and performer, Lewin-Lane has an advanced repertoire of knowledge that spans renaissance to rockabilly. Her extensive performance résumé includes opera, jazz, and improvisational theater. She directed a madrigal group with the Bristol Renaissance Faire for 12 years and has formed several other performing groups. She also taught voice lessons, and was part of a rockabilly and hot jazz band in her hometown of Milwaukee, WI. She is as familiar with baroque music as she is with contemporary Hip-Hop.

Immersed in the world of performance, Lewin-Lane decided to augment her knowledge of performing arts by going back to school. She earned a Master of Library and Information Studies and a Master of Music in History and Literature.

Lewin-Lane’s research interests focus on ethnomusicology, specifically, women in rockabilly, American pop music of the 1920s to 1950s, Tin Pan Alley, the music of Shakespeare’s play, and music copyright and intellectual property. Her master’s thesis explored the influence of two performers, LaVern Baker, an R&B singer of the 50s and 60s, and Janis Martin, nicknamed the Female Elvis.

Lewin-Lane sees connections between pop and classical music, which she views as a “great gateway to help students feel comfortable with the idea of studying music in a scholarly way.” Finding those parallels between the two genres makes it more accessible.

Lewin-Lane recently taught a class on conducting research with theater resources. She looks forward to leading more workshops on information literacy specific to the performing arts, exploring topics such as avoiding plagiarism and writing a bibliography.

Her door is always open for students with questions. “What’s most exciting about being a librarian is working with people and helping them,” she said. She believes that students who build support structures by finding librarians and advisors who can mentor them will have the most successful academic careers.

She devotes time to being involved in the music and performing arts community, and wants to share that enthusiasm and appreciation with students. “The great thing about music is that it transcends so many things,” she said.

The Music Library is home to an excellent voice and opera collection. Students have access to a substantial score selection, CDs, DVDs, books and streaming music. Find more music resources online, and visit Stephanie Lewin-Lane at the Music Library on the second floor of the Moores School of Music building. Summer hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00am – 5:00pm.

Architecture and Art Library closed 8:30-10:30 on Friday, June 13th

categories: Announcements

The library will be closed so that staff members can attend college-wide training.

 

Evolution of LGBTQI Literature on Display at UH Libraries

categories: Announcements

A new exhibit at the University of Houston Libraries underscores the evolving themes of LGBTQI literature from the late nineteenth century to present day.

LGBTQI Literature: Celebrated Classics and Contemporary Works features works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama from UH Libraries Special Collections that were written by, and are focused on, people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or intersex.

Exhibit selections are drawn from the Norma J. Lee Collection, the Edward Lukasek Gay Studies Collection, and the Library of Cynthia Macdonald.

VIDEO: Interview with Edward Lukasek on exhibit highlights.

“The books in this exhibit changed society and touched people’s lives,” said Julie Grob, coordinator of digital projects and instruction, and curator of the exhibit. “Many of them were groundbreaking, considered so shocking when first published that their authors or publishers were put on trial. Others played a role in expanding the new political and sexual freedoms of the seventies, and many express the diverse experiences of sexual preference, gender, race, ethnicity, and gender expression in contemporary society.”

Classic titles from the pre-Stonewall era include a second edition of Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, and Orlando by Virginia Woolf. The 1970s gay liberation and women’s liberation movements are represented by works such as Dancer from the Dance by Andrew Holleran and Rubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown. Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, and the poetry of Mark Doty and Thom Gunn, depict the AIDS crisis. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides and Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel represent modern voices in LGBTQI literature.

The exhibit runs from June 20 (to coincide with Houston Pride Week) through September 26, 2014 in the MD Anderson Library. For more information, contact Julie Grob, curator, at 713.743.9744.

UH Special Collections Archivists Selected for SSA Leadership Roles

categories: Announcements

Two archivists with the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections were appointed to leadership positions at the Society of Southwest Archivists (SSA) recent Annual Meeting.

Two archivists with the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections were appointed to leadership positions at the Society of Southwest Archivists (SSA) recent Annual Meeting.

University Archivist Mary Manning was chosen as SSA president-elect for a three-year term. She currently serves as vice president and chair of the Annual Meeting Program Committee.

Hispanic Collections Archivist Lisa Cruces was appointed as editor of the quarterly newsletter, The Southwestern Archivist. Cruces will also be chairing the Publications Committee, and collaborating with liaisons and archivists throughout the southwest to raise awareness of diversity initiatives, ongoing projects and archival collections.

SSA is a professional organization serving 530 archivists, special collections librarians, preservationists, conservators, and records managers in the member states of Arizona, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Texas.

“The organization has grown significantly in the past few years,” Manning said. “One of our major goals over the next few years is working to better serve underrepresented archivists and affiliated professionals.”

In Memoriam: Rosemary Summers McBride

categories: Announcements

Rosemary Summers McBride

Rosemary Summers McBride, a 1942 University of Houston alumna and supporter of UH Libraries Special Collections, passed away in April.

Her appreciation for her alma mater involved continuing interest and participation in university programs. In 2001, she created The Rosemary Summers McBride Endowment, to which she contributed generously.

Head of Special Collections Pat Bozeman says, “Rosemary McBride not only was monetarily generous to Special Collections, but she took exceptional interest in its goals and programs, befriending a number of the staff over the years. I considered her a close friend and miss her very much. Her indomitable spirit will always be with me.”

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