UH Libraries News

UH Special Collections Contributes WWI Images

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections has collaborated with Gulf Coast Reads on its Remembering Through Archives initiative.

Food supply efforts letter from Minnie Fisher Cunningham to fellow members of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association. From University of Houston Special Collections.

Food supply efforts letter from Minnie Fisher Cunningham to fellow members of the Texas Equal Suffrage Association. From University of Houston Special Collections.

The curated online World War I exhibit features images shared by member area repositories of the Archivists of the Houston Area (AHA), including original materials housed in UH Special Collections and available for online access in the UH Digital Library.

Each year, Gulf Coast Reads chooses a title to promote for its regional reading and listening initiative. This year’s selection is Remember Ben Clayton by Stephen Harrigan, winner of the James Fenimore Cooper Prize for Best American Historical Fiction. World War I is a central subject in the story, which inspired the online exhibit.

Images from UH Special Collections include Camp Logan maps and suffrage letters of Minnie Fisher Cunningham. Visitors to the online exhibit may browse by collection.

October is American Archives Month, in which archival repositories aim to increase public awareness of the importance of preserving historical items and making them accessible.

“The significance of Archives Month has always been about collaboration and the power of archives when they work together in bringing awareness to collections and services,” said Vince Lee, UH Special Collections archivist and vice president of AHA. “This online exhibit on WWI, which we are proud to be a part of, shows the power that each archive brings in documenting an historic event. We each have strengths and collecting areas which, leveraged together, tell a complete story.”

Posted on September 23rd, 2014 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off
Alley Theatre Exhibit Spotlights Nina Vance

A new exhibit at the University of Houston Libraries illuminates the life of visionary Alley Theatre founder Nina Vance, and provides a contextual history of the theatre’s rise to prominence.

In 1947, Vance mailed 214 penny postcards bearing the question, “Do you want a new theater for Houston?” Soon, the Alley Theatre was born.

Nina Vance | Photo from the Nina Vance Alley Theatre Papers, UH Special Collections

Nina Vance | Photo from the Nina Vance Alley Theatre Papers, UH Special Collections

From the exhibit:

From its modest beginnings in a dance studio on Main Street, to a converted fan factory on Berry Avenue, to a state-of-the-art building downtown, the road to becoming the nationally recognized theatre it is today was paved with talent, generosity, and hard work. The woman behind it all remained the same, Nina Vance. As the theatre’s founder and artistic director for more than thirty years, Vance was a guiding force for the theatre and worked tirelessly to see it become a Houston institution.

The exhibit features programs, photographs, articles, correspondence, and other memorabilia from the UH Special Collections Nina Vance Alley Theatre Papers.

Visitors are invited to view Nina Vance and the Alley Theatre: A Life’s Work at the MD Anderson Library starting October 25, 2014 through May 8, 2015. The exhibit opens concurrently with the 100th anniversary of Vance’s birth.

For more information, contact Catherine Essinger 713-743-2337, and Stacey Lavender, 713-743-9605.

Posted on September 19th, 2014 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements, Special Event or Display | Comments Off
New Databases at UH Libraries

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.

Posted on September 17th, 2014 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under New Resource | Comments Off
Fall 2014 Grad Student Mixer

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.

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off
UH Libraries Welcomes Resource Description Coordinator

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.

Posted on September 16th, 2014 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off
Celebrating 15 Years of Poetry and Prose at UH

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.

Posted on September 10th, 2014 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off
*UPDATE* UH1UP Challenge

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.

*UPDATED* To complete this task in the UH1UP Challenge, please go to any University of Houston library, and take a photo of your favorite section of the library.

 See all libraries here: http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections

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.

Posted on September 4th, 2014 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off
Weeks of Welcome: Libraries Open House

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.

Posted on August 26th, 2014 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off
Top 10 Things to Do at UH Libraries

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.

Posted on August 19th, 2014 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off
Social Science Data Librarian Provides Specialized GIS Support

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. 

Posted on August 11th, 2014 by Esmeralda Fisher and filed under Announcements | Comments Off