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New Databases at UH Libraries

source blog: UH Libraries News

The following databases are now available from the University of Houston Libraries:

Alt-HealthWatch
A full-text database of periodicals, peer-reviewed journals, academic and professional publications, magazines, consumer newsletters and newspapers, research reports, and association newsletters focused on contemporary, alternative and integrated approaches to health care and wellness.

American Indian Histories and Cultures
A wide-ranging digital resource presenting a unique insight into interactions between American Indians and Europeans from their earliest contact, continuing through the turbulence of the American Civil War, the on-going repercussions of government legislation, right up to the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century. This resource contains material from the Newberry Library’s extensive Edward E. Ayer Collection.

American West
Original manuscripts, maps, ephemeral material, and rare printed sources from the Graff Collection about the American West, including tales of frontier life, Native Americans, vigilantes, and outlaws, and the growth of urban centers and environmental impact of westward expansion and of life in the borderlands.

Global Commodities
This resource brings together manuscript, printed and visual primary source materials for the study of global commodities in world history. The commodities featured in this resource have been transported, exchanged and consumed around the world for hundreds of years. They helped transform societies, global trading operations, habits of consumption and social practices.

Health Source, Consumer Edition
Provides consumer oriented information on many health topics including the medical sciences, food sciences and nutrition, childcare, adult health, behavioral health, cardiology, drug and medication information, pediatric health, senior health, women’s health, and sports medicine.

Literary Reference Center
This full-text database provides a spectrum of information on authors and their works across literary disciplines and time frames to give scholars, professors, and researchers a foundation of literary reference works to meet their research needs.

Natural and Alternative Treatments
Natural & Alternative Treatments contains detailed information on almost 200 different conditions and the conventional and natural treatments used to treat them, over 300 herbs and supplements, plus drug-herb and drug-supplement interactions for more than 90 drug categories.

Project Euclid: Mathematics and Statistics Online
Project Euclid is a joint effort by Cornell University Library and Duke University Press; this not-for-profit online publishing service provides access to journals, monographs, and conference proceedings in the fields of theoretical and applied mathematics and statistics.

ProQuest Congressional Publications
Provides users with access to a comprehensive collection of historic and current congressional information.

For database assistance, visit Electronic Resources Help.

Fall 2014 Grad Student Mixer

source blog: UH Libraries News

University of Houston graduate students are invited to the Fall 2014 Graduate Student Mixer, hosted by UH Libraries.

UH graduate students are invited to the Grad Student Mixer on October 7.

UH graduate students are invited to the Grad Student Mixer on October 7.

The event serves as an opportunity for graduate students to network with one another, and allows them to meet subject librarians in a fun and relaxed atmosphere.

Date: Tuesday, October 7
Time: 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Location: Rockwell Pavilion, second floor of MD Anderson Library

NOTE: Must be 21 to consume alcohol. IDs will be checked at the door.

UH Libraries Welcomes Resource Description Coordinator

source blog: UH Libraries News

The University of Houston Libraries provides a vast array of resources that supplement teaching, learning, and research. Resources, including both physical and electronic materials, are cataloged and described using standards and processes that optimize accessibility to users.

Hayley Moreno joins the UH Libraries as the new resource description coordinator, managing cataloging workflow to make materials more accessible.

Hayley Moreno joins the UH Libraries as the new resource description coordinator, managing cataloging workflow to make materials more accessible.

UH Libraries recently welcomed Hayley Moreno as its new Resource Description Coordinator. In this role, Moreno will manage cataloging workflow for increased efficiency and collaboration with Metadata and Digitization Services. Her goal is to make UH Libraries’ materials more accessible, using the standard and schema, Resource Description and Access (RDA).

Cataloging is the comprehensive creation of bibliographic data that enables library users to find the resources they seek; whether it’s a book, database, journal or non-print media. Contemporary cataloging requires an ever-evolving skill set among librarians which reflects new trends and standards. For instance, the term resource description refers to a newer protocol for the formulation of bibliographic data.

As such, Moreno sees an interesting future for resource description. “The schemas that we use are changing,” she said. “We’re moving towards linked data, which requires librarians to use web technologies like URIs, HTTP and RDF.”

Moreno noted that the reason for the shift in the ways libraries perform resource description is because some information is still not widely accessible. “Resources in a library’s catalog may not be retrievable when using web search engines,” Moreno said. “Traditional bibliographic description limits discoverability of library resources on the web.”

Traditional bibliographic schema used in cataloging is phasing out as more libraries adopt new schemas that find relevant information on the web by connecting data structures and placing previously hidden resources into the hands (and screens) of users.

Libraries and institutions that incorporate new coding protocols will strengthen their ability to connect with one another’s data structures and provide more access to materials, giving library users results similar to what they experience with search engine results.

“Changing the way we describe things – creating structured data, and generating relationships from it – that’s the framework behind the idea of finding a resource from anywhere on the web,” Moreno said.

National Hispanic American Heritage Month 2014

source blog: Special Collections Blog

petition from the Barefoot Monks to Philip V, King of Spain (from the Mexico Documents Collection)

petition from the Barefoot Monks to Philip V, King of Spain (1739, from the Mexico Documents Collection)

Today marks the kickoff of National Hispanic American Heritage Month 2014.

From September 15 through October 15, we celebrate the history, culture, and contributions of Americans whose ancestry derives from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.  The month, in actuality a 30-day period spanning two months, owes its unorthodox time frame to its origins (originally a week-long observation started under President Lyndon B. Johnson, it was expanded to a month under President Ronald Reagan) and to historical convenience (the first days coincide with the independence celebrations of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile and the final days encompass Columbus Day or Día de la Raza).  During this time, the Library of Congress in partnership with a number of archives, repositories, and various organizations sponsor exhibits and collections dedicated to telling the story of Hispanic American history.

Here at the University of Houston Special Collections, we celebrate the opportunity to be part of that collective voice as we make available for study our Hispanic Collections.  Rich with research potential and always in-demand from scholars, highlights from the collections include the Alonso S. Perales Papers (diplomat, civil-rights lawyer, and one of the founders of LULAC), the Leonor Villegas de Magnón Papers (educator and founder of La Cruz Blanca), and the Mexico Documents Collection (holding manuscript materials dating as far back as 1570).  A collection that should increase in its value to researchers over the years are the sizable Arte Público Press Records (the oldest and largest Latino publishing house in the U.S., based here at the University of Houston) and materials related to their award-winning work with the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project.

Leonor and ladies of Cruz Blanca 1st brigade

Leonor and ladies of Cruz Blanca 1st brigade (Leonor Villegas de Magnón Papers and also available in our Digital Library)

Over the next month we will take a closer look at the impact of these collections on scholarship related to Hispanic American history.  We encourage you, in your own observations over the next month and all year long, to visit UH Special Collections and experience the archives holding that rich history.

Life With Books: Collecting, Reading, and Teaching LGBTQI Literature

source blog: Special Collections Blog

Life with Books: Collecting, Reading, and Teaching LGBTQI Lierature — Tuesday, September 16th at 4pm — Evans Room, Special Collections, MD Anderson Library 2nd Floor

Life with Books: Collecting, Reading, and Teaching LGBTQI Lierature — Tuesday, September 16th at 4pm — Evans Room, Special Collections, MD Anderson Library 2nd Floor

On Tuesday, September 16th at 4:00 p.m., the University of Houston Special Collections will host an event sponsored by the University of Houston Libraries and the University of Houston LGBT Resource Center.  “Life With Books:  Collecting, Reading, and Teaching LGBTQI Literature” will feature talks from book collector Edward Lukasek, the generous donor of the Edward Lukasek Book Collection, and Dr. Natalie Houston of the UH English Department and Co-Director for the Periodical Poetry Index.

“Life With Books…” will take place in the Evans Room of Special Collections on the second floor of the M.D. Anderson Library and will be followed by a reception.  Intended to serve as a complement to “LGBTQI Literature: Celebrated Classics and Contemporary Works,” currently on exhibition on the first floor of the M.D. Anderson Library, this panel discussion was scheduled for the last weeks of the exhibit’s run to allow increased opportunities for students to attend.  Students of all disciplines, interested in the history and study of LGBTQI literature, are encouraged to attend this unique opportunity to meet and hear from our distinguished panelists.  For more information, see the attached poster and we look forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday!

Celebrating 15 Years of Poetry and Prose at UH

source blog: UH Libraries News

The 2014-2015 season of Poetry and Prose: Creative Writers at the University of Houston kicks off on September 17.

University of Houston students, faculty, staff and the community are invited to the 2014-2015 season of Poetry and Prose: Creative Writers at the University of Houston.

The series, now in its 15th year, kicks off on September 17 and will feature new MFA and PhD students in the UH Creative Writing Program.

Erika Brown, Will Burns, Samuel Dinger, Jonathan Meyer, Luisa Muradyan and Georgia Pearle are scheduled to read selected works of poetry and fiction.

All readings are held in the Honors College Commons in the MD Anderson Library and begin at 5:30 p.m. Readings are free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided.

The next reading is scheduled for October 15, featuring faculty poets.

Select Photos of the Cruiser Houston Collection Now Available in the Digital Library

source blog: Special Collections Blog

Naming campaign, Western Union storefront

Naming campaign, Western Union storefront (1927) / from the USS Houston (CA-30) Photographs / (sign in window reads, “if you want a new cruiser named ‘U.S.S. Houston’ telegraph your congressman or the Secretary of the Navy”)

The recent publication of the USS Houston (CA-30) Photographs, adding to the growing Military History Collections at our Digital Library, marks another major milestone and means even more research potential for remote scholars unable to visit our rich USS Houston physical archives and materials.

Pulled from the photographs of the Cruiser Houston Collection, this new digital collection highlights the history of the heavy cruiser and her crew–the survivors, prisoners of war, and those who gave all.  The flagship of the Asiatic Fleet during World War II, the Houston fought in the Battle of the Java Sea and to her bitter end at the Battle of Sunda Strait, sinking just after midnight as February turned into March, 1942.  Highlights in the collection date back to the naming campaign that gave her our city’s name, include documentation of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s affinity for the Houston as his vessel of choice for sea voyages and deep sea diversions during his presidency, show haunting scenes from those infamous POW camps, and testify to the resolve of 1,000 “Houston Volunteers” who answered the call sent out by the sinking of the Houston.

Evacuation of POWs, Rat Buri, Thailand ([1945])

Evacuation of POWs, Rat Buri, Thailand [1945] / from the USS Houston (CA-30) Photographs

If these recently published photographs barely scratch your research itch, be sure to also visit the Lt. Robert B. Fulton USS Houston Letters, the William Slough USS Houston Letters, and the USS Houston Blue Bonnet Newsletters, also available for study in our Digital Library.  Or, better yet, visit the permanent exhibition of the USS Houston on the second floor of the M.D. Anderson Library and continue your research with a closer look at the larger USS Houston & Military History Collections in the Special Collections Reading Room.

Agnes Arnold Hall: Influences

source blog: Special Collections Blog

Kenneth E. Bentsen, Agnes Arnold Hall (1968), south elevation

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

In a recent post I analyzed the formal aspects of Agnes Arnold Hall.  Like other buildings, it is a product of its time. Looking closely, we can see that Kenneth Bentsen interpreted some new ideas about composition and building layout that emerged in the early 1960s.

Agnes Arnold Hall owes more than a little to a well-known building at the University of Pennsylvania, the Richards Medical Research Building (1961) by Louis Kahn. The Richards was one of the most influential designs of the 1960s. Why? Prior to this, modern architects often expressed the building as a perfect geometric shape—usually a box and often a glass box. The usual practice was to place support services such as restrooms and stairwells in the center with the human occupants on the outside near the windows.

Louis I. Kahn, Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania (Photo, Richard Anderson)

Louis I. Kahn, Richards Medical Research Building, University of Pennsylvania (Photo Richard Anderson by permission)

Kahn’s big breakthrough was to pull the support services out of the central core and place them on the outer edge of the building. There the services, housed in tall brick towers, became an important part of the building’s overall design (no more box!). Likewise, in Bentsen’s building the corridors, stairwells, and elevators are on the outside where they contribute to the design.

Agnes Arnold Hall also shows the influence of Paul Rudolph, another important architect of the period.  He helped popularize the style known as “Brutalism,” with its monumental concrete buildings. Best-known was his Yale University Art & Architecture Building (1963).

Paul Rudolph, Yale Art & Architecture Building (Photo Sage Ross, Common License)

Paul Rudolph, Yale Art & Architecture Building (Photo Sage Ross, CC BY-SA 2.5)

Rudolph’s buildings were extremely complex. Occupants negotiated frequent level changes, as every floor seemed to be a mezzanine to another floor. The Yale A&A was said to have 37 different levels on 9 floors. And like Kahn’s building, some of the towers on the outside held stairs, elevators, and restrooms.

Yale Art & Architecture Building, section view (The Paul Rudolph Archive, Library of Congress)

Yale Art & Architecture Building, section view (The Paul Rudolph Archive, Library of Congress)

In a small way you see some of this spatial complexity at Agnes Arnold Hall. Escalators (now stairs) thread their way through a four-story lobby area that is open to the outside. The lobby flows into an open courtyard at the basement level, and visitors enter the building over a bridge that spans this courtyard. But Rudolph’s influence is also apparent in the way the concrete is finished. Most of Bentsen’s building is faced in brick, but at the basement level the concrete retaining walls of the courtyard have what is called a “corduroy” finish. This was Rudolph’s trademark (look closely at the Yale building).  After the concrete walls were poured and the forms removed, the workers attacked the surface with a jackhammer. Instant texture.

The Kenneth E Bentsen Architectural Papers, housed at the University of Houston Special Collections, are currently being processed.

UH1UP Challenge: Libraries Tech Training

source blog: UH Libraries News

Get the free Scavify app and join the UH1UP Challenge to win prizes!

To help University of Houston students get the most out of their academic experience, the UH Libraries has partnered with the UH Social Media team on the UH1UP Challenge scavenger hunt.

The UH1UP Challenge is a game designed to help UH students locate and learn about on-campus resources for academic and professional success, and to score prizes along the way.

To play, students need the free Scavify app, available for iPhone or Android. Starting September 8, students can access the app which lists a set of tasks to complete by November 14. More information on how to play can be found at the UH1UP page.

One of the tasks focuses on free technology training offered at UH Libraries. Beginning, intermediate and advanced sessions in popular software, like Excel, PowerPoint, Photoshop, InDesign, iMovie and many more, are held morning, afternoon and evening in the MD Anderson Library Learning Commons. Sessions are instructor-led, with practical, personalized lessons.

To complete this task, students are encouraged to find the technology training session of their choice, register, attend and pick up a Libraries prize. At the end of the training session, students can snap a selfie with the instructor, and the task is complete.

All players who complete all UH1UP tasks will qualify for a chance to win a grand prize. Grand prizes include a MacBook Air and five iPad Minis.

Why can’t I access Safari Tech Books?

source blog: Electronic Resources Help

Safari Tech Books has a 6 simultaneous user limit. If you cannot access your book at this time, please try again later.