As archivists, one of our tasks is reference, not just in-person in the reading room but via email. Over the last several years, we’ve been working with Alison Bashford. She did archival research in the various Huxley collections pre-Covid. While she was finalizing her manuscript, An Intimate History of Evolution: The Story of the Huxley Family, we, more specifically our former processing archivist Gabby Parker, assisted with scanning and reference checking. Amanda Focke assisted in permissions for images for the Huxley papers.
Although this work sometimes flies under the radar, Alison Bashford was kind enough to thank Amanda and Gabby in the acknowledgements. In addition, the gift book Bashford sent will be added to the Huxley rare book collection.
We’re happy that our work could in a small way contribute to greater scholarship.
The Woodson staff will be participating in a regional conference this week and will be taking a reading room break next while working on collection management. Our reading room and reference services will resume on May 31st.
We’re currently working with a group of students from the University of Michigan’s library sciences program, who have developed a user experience survey about our website. In case user experience seems like a new phrase, it’s a way of understanding how different types of users experience a task, for example.
The survey will take about five minutes of your time and is a way for us to learn how to improve our site.
At the Woodson, we are all excited that we now have an amazing digital archivist, Chris Banuelos. For years, we have cobbled together digital preservation workflows and balanced this work with our other responsibilities. Now, Chris will be laser focused on improving our digital preservation work, preparing us for future born-digital donations.
Chris, originally from California, spent years working at the University of Kansas as their audio/visual preservation specialist. He originally graduated from NYU with a Master’s in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation. Coincidentally, Chris did his internship with us in the summer of 2012.
We’re delighted that he has joined our team and look forward to the changes ahead.
We are entering our final weeks of shifting a portion of our collection (roughly 2000 boxes) from Iron Mountain to the LSC. We have been receiving 200 box deliveries on Tuesdays during the month of September. We have closed down our reading room on Tuesdays and Wednesday to deal with the largess.
If you come in during September, please forgive our box overflow issues. We are trying our best.
We’ll be happy to get through this big move at the end of the month.
August has begun and it will soon be time to welcome everyone (faculty and students) back to campus. They will be now be greeted with new exhibits. Here’s a look at some of them.
Crowdsourcing transcription of historical documents – Location: 1st floor main hallway
This exhibit reveals a new software that we have been using to help small groups and/or the general public transcribe/translate historical documents. If you’ve got time on your hands and want to transcribe William Marsh Rice’s ledgers, we’d love to have your assistance. Click through the gallery to see how you can participate.
Remembering “Doc C” through his collection – Location: 1st floor exhibit case near front entrance
This exhibit, assembled by Doc C Copy Cataloguer, Lauren DuBois, shares highlights that she has discovered while working through his book collection.
Stewart Alexander Collection: Books and original recordings of trance and physical mediumship – Location: 1st floor exhibit cases outside of Woodson
These two exhibit cases showcase items from the newly acquired Stewart Alexander collection, which makes up part of the Archives of the Impossible.
Beauty from Above: Book Covers from the Anderson Collection on the History of Aeronautics – Location: 1st floor inside Woodson
In case anyone needs a dose of pretty, this exhibit simply puts a spotlight on some of the beautiful books in the Anderson collection.
We rely upon the Library Service Center [LSC] to store the majority of our collections. A few years back it filled up. As we waited for a new module to be added to the building, we sent around 2000 boxes to Iron Mountain [IM]. Yesterday, the former IM boxes found their new home in the new module in the LSC.
Now, begins our multi-step process of moving all 2000 boxes from IM to the LSC. It involves:
permanently withdrawing the boxes from IM
checking the boxes and ripping off the IM barcodes — every time IM retrieves a box, they stick a new barcode on it.
scanning our Fondren Library barcodes
requesting Technical Services staff to switch the location of the box in the system
sending the boxes to the LSC
updating our finding aids and other internal tracking with the new location information
Given the amount boxes, this task will take us a few months, hopefully ending sometime in the fall. If you happen to come into the Woodson during this time, you’ll see that we have a lot of boxes. Please forgive our clutter.
We would like to thank all of the library staff at the LSC, in Technical Services, and in IT that are helping us with this big move.
For those living locally, we’d like to invite you to a showing of For the Sake of the Song: The Story of Anderson Fair. The event will include a short reception with mini-empanadas, the film, a performance by Vince Bell, and a Q&A with the director Bruce Bryant.
It’ll be a great night celebrating a segment of Houston’s music history. We hope to see you there.
A large team has been working hard to create both an interactive and historical map of Rice called instituteRice. For example, you can look at Lovett Hall from a variety of angles and at different points in time. If you love exploring, Rice history, and just poking around, this is the map for you. While the Woodson did not make this map, our archival materials pop up everywhere on it.