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Winter Break Hours

Department News

Special Collections will close at 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 22 and will reopen at 9 a.m. on Monday, January 2. We hope you enjoy your holidays and winter break, and that you have a happy new year!

KUHT Christmas Tree

From the KUHT Highlights digital collection

University Archives Photographs Part of New Digital Collection

Digitization, University Archives

A new collection of University Archives photographs has been published in the UH Digital Library. The University of Houston Campus Life digital collection highlights campus scenes from throughout the history of the university. The photos show a diverse range of activities and events, including gatherings of various organizations, special events, sports competitions, and classroom activities.

The photographs in this digital collection come from the UH Photographs Collection, which contains hundreds of photographs documenting the history of the University of Houston. Other digital collections featuring these photographs include the University of Houston Buildings and People collections.


Watch the slide show or
click the image to see more photographs
from the UH Campus Life collection.
[slideshow id=2]

New Finding Aids Available Online

Carey C. Shuart Women's Archive and Research Collection, Finding Aids, Houston & Texas History

Finding aids for the Toby Myers Papers and the Claude Elliot Texana Collection have recently been published in Archon.

Called the “Mother of the Texas Battered Women’s Movement”, Toby Myers is an advocate, speaker and licensed social worker who has dedicated her life to the fight against domestic violence. These papers document her life as a worker in the movement through correspondence, photographs, and other printed materials.

Claude Elliot was a historian, university professor, and collector of Texas history material. The Claude Elliot Texana Collection contains a variety of materials relating to the history of Texas. These include materials from prior to 1836 up through the 1960s. Among the items found in the collection are land and legal documents, the journals of early Texans, music and poetry, and speeches given by Texas legislators.

Perales Exhibit and Conference Site and Videos Now Available

Department News, Events, Exhibits, Hispanic Collections

Special Collections and the UH Libraries Web Services Department have been working together to put together a exhibit web page about the upcoming physical exhibit and conference, In Defense of My People: Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals. This online exhibit page also contains videos featuring Perales’ children and University of Houston scholars discussing Perales’ life and the materials.

Alonso Perales (1898-1960) was a civil rights lawyer and diplomat. From the 1920s until his death, Perales remained a prominent political leader, particularly as a defender of Mexican-American civil rights. Special Collections holds his papers, which document his life and works.

The exhibit, which will run from December 21 through March 1, will explore Perales’ early life and family, his political life and diplomatic service, and his lifelong crusade against discrimination against Mexican Americans. The conference on January 13 will feature scholarly presentations covering a variety of topics related to Perales and his work.

All four videos can be viewed from the web page or via this YouTube playlist, and more information about the Alonso S. Perales Papers can be found in the finding aid.

Guest Post: Intern Applies Insights to Houston Hip Hop

Exhibits, Guest Posts, Houston Hip Hop

Janai Smith, today’s guest writer, was the first Special Collections intern in a new partnership with African American Studies. Throughout the Fall semester she worked on the exhibit DJ Screw and the Rise of Houston Hip Hop as well as contributing to other projects related to Houston Hip Hop. Janai will graduate from the University of Houston in 2012. 

For the past four months I have spent at least one day a week in the Special Collections department of the library. It has been an experience to say the least.  This internship is not a mere paper pushing job, as some may assume, but a chance to be a part of the process of collecting and disseminating the beauty of history and all it has to offer.  In the world of online searches and “remote controlled research”, the importance of the tangible parts of history often get overlooked and sometimes lost.

African American Studies intern Janai Smith spent the fall semester working on the upcoming exhibit, DJ Screw and the Rise of Houston Hip Hop.

One may read this and say to themselves that I am being “dramatic” or even just nostalgic but the truth is that DJ Screw was a major contributor to the hip hop culture of Houston, Texas. Historically, the contributions of African Americans to the “American” culture have been minimized to increases in crime rates, dangerous drug usage fads (i.e. sipping syrup), and other negative aspects that have been unfoundedly correlated with the hip hop culture. But this internship has allowed me to examine the hip hop culture, not only from the stand point of a fan but from an academic view.

As a psychology major I have learned that what appears on the outside is not necessarily a reflection of what is being felt on the inside and that a person’s life is affected by environment as much as it is by innate factors. Through this internship I have gotten a chance to get a more in-depth view of the lives of people who have influenced my life and the lives of my friends through their musical and lyrical expressions and will continue to do so for years to come; not just the commercialized part of their life that was formatted to be on display but also some of the private aspects that made them human.

This has been an enjoyable experience working with the staff of Special Collections as well as being able to be a contributing party to the preservation of a piece of my own culture and in a way being a part of the telling of my culture’s story.