Category Archives: Research

Be a Fellow

Calling all scholars! The Harry Ransom Center has opened their annual Fellowship application period for 2012-13.

Who wouldn’t want to get their paws dirty digging through the personal papers of such luminary writers as Graham Greene, Anne Sexton, Norman Mailer and David Foster Wallace? Or wile away the time wading through ephemera from Gone With The Wind, Spellbound, The Third Man or any number of other David O. Selznick productions? Or just bask in contemplative imagery from the massive Gernsheim photography archive? With more than 50 fellowships available annually, there’s no reason not to apply.

And the Libraries’ 9 million+ volumes and vast digital resources and special collections are here to support your work…as if you needed more motivation to follow the link below.

More information.

Libraries Program Feeds Mind and Body

The University of Texas Libraries is launching a lunchtime lecture series featuring research presentations by faculty from across the university.

“Research + Pizza” will begin its monthly run at noon on Friday, September 2, in the University Federal Credit Union Student Learning Commons with speaker Dr. Raj Raghunathan – UT Marketing professor and blogger for Psychology Today – speaking about willpower, success and happiness, as the semester gets underway and students navigate their transition to college life.

The program will take place monthly with faculty presenting informal talks about their research followed by questions and discussion.

Pizza is generously provided – while it lasts – to attendees by sponsor Austin’s Pizza.

Presentations at “Research + Pizza” will be recorded for podcast and are free and open to the public.

For more information, visit the Research + Pizza website.

 

PRIMO Recognition for LIS

Last week staff in Library Instruction Services heard the good news that two more of their instructional efforts were accepted into the PRIMO Database, the Association of College & Research Libraries’ Instruction Section’s peer-reviewed collection of instructional materials.   The purpose of PRIMO is to foster  sharing of high quality digital resources to support academic librarians’ as they teach users how to find and evaluate information.

PRIMO now includes a total of four projects designed by Library Instruction Services:

How to Generate Keywords

This tool helps students turn their research question into a successful database search.  Students often struggle with this first piece of the research process but good keyword selection is vital to bringing back relevant and useful resources.

Tip Jar

Tip Jar posts, which have been featured on this blog before, use comics and video to introduce undergraduates to research strategies, resources and library services.  They are shared through the News For Undergraduates blog,  incorporated into course-specific research guides, and used during chat reference transactions.

All About Plagiarism

This interactive tutorial helps students avoid unintentional plagiarism.  Students learn what constitutes plagiarism, why it matters, and strategies for avoiding plagiarism such as quoting, paraphrasing and note-taking.  The tutorial is assigned by faculty across campus who can upload a related quiz to their Blackboard course site. Libraries staff were also featured in a PRIMO Site of the Month interview discussing the tutorial’s design.

Understanding Citations Tutorial

This interactive tutorial helps students do research and avoid plagiarism by explaining the elements of a citation.  At the end of the tutorial, students are able to discern between different types of citations (a journal article versus a book, for example) and recognize the elements of a citation so that they can build a proper citation for their own bibliography.

These resources are available through the Libraries website 24/7 for students who need help even when the Libraries aren’t open.  They allow us to provide point of need instruction whatever the time of day and support us as we work with students on their research projects.

Catherine Hamer is the Associate Director for User Services at the University of Texas Libraries.

The Future Predicted in 1936

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I think Binkley could be on to something….

“The present generation should not be surprised at the conclusion of a technological revolution that has as its seed [sic] of a cultural revolution. Such may indeed be true in this instance. The cultural revival of the monopoly of the metropolis and the democratization and deprofessionalization of scholarship are on the horizon which seems to lie ahead. And these things themselves accord with other elements of our social and economic prospects, notably the possible decline in the centralization of population in cities and the development of a new leisure in the hands of a well-educated people. The same technical innovations that promise to give aid to the research worker in his cubicle may also lead the whole population toward participation in a new cultural design.”

The Libraries have two copies of his Manual on methods of reproducing research materials, both available for recall from the Library Storage Facility.

(via boingboing.net)

All’s Fair for Research Week

Next week, anyone needing to see the value of research at the university need only to step foot on campus.

Beginning on Monday, April 11, and continuing through Friday, April 15, the hard work of students gets a bit more visibility as part of Research Week 2011, this year’s installment of the annual campus-wide celebration of undergraduate research and creative activity featuring a combination of existing programs plus events and activities, and highlighting the many research opportunities available to students.

As a part of our central role on campus to provide the informational foundation for research at the university, the Libraries will host our third annual All Libraries Fair on the Plaza at the Perry-Castañeda Library on Wednesday, April 13, from 11:30am-1:30pm. Representatives from each of the ten campus branch libraries will be on hand with games, activities and information related to the Libraries and their resources.

There will be juggling, contests, prizes and cotton candy, so come join the fun, learn a little and see the significance of research at your university.

(Special thanks to Mayank Aranke – Biochemistry, Social Work – who appears at 1:36 in the following video and makes a case for your libraries.)

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“The Past is Never Dead.”

Here’s some great news from our colleagues across campus.

The History Department has just launched an informative, interactive history web site. Not Even Past provides current historical writing for a popular audience. For history buffs who want reading recommendations and short, interesting, digestible stories every day, the website offers text, audio, and video histories on subjects that span the globe. The site is designed for anyone who is interested in history, from an avid reader of history to a history film aficionado.

The content and “picks” are written by the department’s 60-person faculty with additional input from the graduate students. Notevenpast.org is rich with book and film recommendations, video interviews, podcasts, online commentary, and even virtual classes (free) every semester.

The History Department’s new site is one-of-a-kind – no other university or institution offers a similar resource. Not Even Past will be identified with the individuals in the History Department at UT, giving readers a personalized experience of great history writing as well as promoting the strengths of the department and the University of Texas. Not Even Past also differs from other History department sites in its stylish visual design and its cutting-edge user-friendly functionality.

And just in case you want to follow up on the current reading recommendations from Not Even Past, they’re all part of the collections at PCL (and currently available).

American slavery, American freedom : the ordeal of colonial Virginia / Edmund S. Morgan.

Disowning slavery : gradual emancipation and “race” in New England, 1780-1860 / Joanne Pope Melish.

Narrative of the life of Frederick Douglass, an American slave / written by himself with related documents ; edited with an introduction by David W. Blight.

International Human Rights Day, Our Role (Updated)

It’s International Human Rights Day, and in the spirit of it, the Libraries can share news of its part in the opening of a new resource for the study of human rights.

Thanks in large part to the generous philanthropy of the Bridgeway Foundation in Houston, the Libraries established the Human Rights Documentation Initiative (HRDI) in 2008, its initial charge to preserve digitally the records of human rights abuses in the Rwandan Genocide.

Though HRDI’s mission has expanded in scope since that time – it has since established projects with the Free Burma Rangers and the Texas After Violence Project, and is currently negotiating new plans in Latin America – the project to collect, preserve and make accessible the Rwandan records has continued with itinerant staff constantly moving between Austin and Kigali, the site of the Kigali Memorial Centre where the fragile and sometimes anachronistic materials were being held.

Today, the project reaches a milestone with the inauguration of the Genocide Archive of Rwanda, a new and comprehensive repository for information related to the genocide. The physical archive housed on-site at the at the Kigali Genocide Memorial facility in Kigali will contain the original audiovisual, documentary and photographic materials in a secure, controlled environment. The digital archive will eventually contain copies of all audiovisual recordings and scans of all known documents and photographs will be accessible to researchers through a cross-referenced system that allows key word searches, first on-site and ultimately online. The Kigali Genocide Memorial will maintain network infrastructure, servers, and digitization and storage equipment for the digital archive, and a copy will also reside with the University of Texas Libraries.

Find more information about the project and the Libraries’ participation here.

You can see a featured interview video from the Archive here.

HRDI Archivist T-Kay Sangwand sat down for a reporter from National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition to talk about our role in the project. You can hear the interview and view some images from the Archive here.

Surviving the Crunch

The days get shorter in more ways than you can imagine this time of the year, especially around the university campus as the final push of the semester evinces itself in the form of projects, papers and tests.

The Libraries does its part to help minimize the stress with a program meant to promote those resources and services that make the tasks at hand a tad less imposing.

This year’s Crunch Time outreach initiative highlighted library services and resources for students at The University of Texas at Austin between the hours of 11am-3pm on November 9, 10 &11. The program purpose is to promote the availability of in-person, drop-by assistance, subject librarian consultations, and the UT Libraries Ask a Librarian IM and email services.

During Crunch Time students are provided with Ask a Librarian contact cards attached to mini-Nestle Crunch bars, a series of time saving handouts and increased staffing at service points.  A brief survey to determine awareness of service options is made available from UT Libraries computer workstations across the campus, and students who participate are entered in a prize drawing.

First introduced by the Reference and Information Services department at UT’s Perry-Castaneda Library in 2008, Crunch Time has become an annual event and three additional UT Libraries locations participated this year, increasing its reach.

Statistics indicate that students took advantage of the program and more of them were connected with the information they wanted, at point of need, as a result. Of the three locations reporting, there were 536 queries, with a large number of those (199) occurring on Wednesday, November 10, at the Perry-Castañeda (105) and Fine Arts (94) Libraries. There were also 193 participants in the services web survey.

Jenifer Flaxbart is Head of Reference & Information Services for the University of Texas Libraries.

See more images from Crunch Time programs here.

Architecture and Planning Exhibit Celebrates Mexico 2010

In recognition of the dual celebration of the bicentennial of Mexico’s Independence and centenary of the Mexican Revolution – both occurring in 2010 – the Architecture and Planning Library at The University of Texas at Austin is hosting “Maya Architecture: Selections from the George F. and Geraldine Andrews Collection.”

The exhibition highlights materials from an exhaustive and fully documented visual record of architecture of the lowland Maya area that is part of the Library’s collection.

In the late 1950s, University of Oregon architecture professor George Andrews and his wife Geraldine visited the Yucatán for the first time, and for the next forty years they devoted their professional lives to the study and documentation of Maya architecture.

The couple’s extended research produced a remarkable collection that includes an architectural data bank representing 850 buildings at 240 archaeological sites in the lowland Maya area.

The Andrews Collection was donated to the university by the couple in 2000.

The exhibition captures a small portion of George and Geraldine Andrews’ effort to document and reconstruct the art and architecture of the ancient lowland Maya. Samples from the collection reveal aspects of Andrews’ scholarship, collecting and creative talents by featuring a selection of buildings, monuments, graffiti and the resulting work conducted in the archives.

Meghan Rubenstein, an art history Ph.D. student, assisted Donna Coates and Beth Dodd of the Alexander Architectural Archive in the curation of the Andrews exhibition.

The exhibit will be on display in the Architecture and Planning Library reading room in Battle Hall through September 2010.

For a first hand perspective on the production of the exhibit, head over to the Architecture & Planning Library’s blog, APLHighlights.

Benson First Organization to Win Noted Award

Benson_logoThe Benson Latin American Collection just received notification that they have become the first institutional recipient of the Medalla 1808, an award presented on behalf of Mexico City to persons – and now institutions – for significant contributions to the study and development of Mexican history and culture.

The Benson joins a crowd of such renowned writers and historians as Carlos Fuentes, José Emilio Pacheco and Carlos Monsivais, and being amongst those names is surely a humbling experience.

Congratulations to the Benson for this much deserved acknowledgment.

More information can be found here.