“We’re on the move!”: Library relocates archive and history materials

St. Paul Hospital on Harry Hines Blvd., babies in incubators being moved into new building (1963)

Like the St. Paul nurses in the photo above, Library staff will soon be moving some precious cargo of our own! The UT Southwestern History of Medicine and Archives Collections are in the process of being shifted to different locations. The archives’ records are currently stored in multiple library locations. This move will result in most of the UT Southwestern Archives being consolidated into one storage space, which will provide easier records processing and reference services. (Quick archival education side note: “Processing” is the arrangement, description, and housing of archival materials for storage and use by patrons.) Additionally, a local area is being renovated for other materials.

In preparation for the move, Library staff have been re-housing archives materials into acid-free folders and placing these folders in acid-free boxes. It is general practice in archives to house unbound documents in acid-free, lignin-free, buffered file folders, which are then stored in chemically-stable document storage boxes. These improvements are important steps toward ensuring a better preservation environment for the thousands of records that document the institutional history of UT Southwestern.

During the move, reference services for the archives will be temporarily placed on hold. While our physical archives are moving, don’t forget about the access you have to the archives via various online resources.

  • Our UT Southwestern Image Archives collection has over 700 photos documenting the history of UT Southwestern and 300 photos detailing Dallas’ medical history.
  • The UT Southwestern Institutional Repository is an amazing source of information for accessing some Medical Student Research Forum posters and other student publications, historical UT Southwestern documents, Grand Rounds materials, and much more!

Other activities requiring the archives may also be suspended or delayed; we will keep you updated via social media and through the Library News blog. Stay tuned, however, for we will be holding an archives grand “re”-opening for UT Southwestern faculty, researchers, students, and staff once the move is completed.

Questions? Contact the archives at archives@utsouthwestern.edu.

“National Clean Off Your Desk Day” + “National Clean Out Your Inbox Week” + records management = fun!

Credit: Highsmith, Carol M.,

Credit: Highsmith, Carol M., “Cluttered desk at the historic Harrison Brothers Hardware Store, Huntsville, Alabama,” Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, Washington, D.C. 20540, http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/highsm.16835

I know what you’re thinking…how could the combination of cleaning off your desk, cleaning out your inbox, and managing records be fun? Well, I’m here to tell you!

Spring cleaning is not just for straightening up your house – it can be for the office, too! And it doesn’t have to be done in the spring! The month of January is a busy month where “spring” cleaning of your office records are concerned.

January 9, 2017, is National Clean Off Your Desk Day, and January 23-27, 2017, is National Clean Out Your Inbox Week. Now, you may think these days are solely about being able to see the surface of your desk again and not having thousands of emails bulking up your Outlook account. However, they also provide a wonderful opportunity for records management and archives professionals to talk about the importance of managing records and archives.

What is “records management”? The Society of American Archivists defines it in its glossary as “the systematic and administrative control of records throughout their life cycle to ensure efficiency and economy in their creation, use, handling, control, maintenance, and disposition.” All records have a life cycle that ends with either the record’s destruction or the record’s transfer to an institutional archives.

Records management can be overwhelming. Thankfully, UT Southwestern’s Materials Management Department, who manage administrative records retention on campus, has some helpful resources to which we can refer. The Open Drawer newsletter provides essential information about how to manage your UT Southwestern administrative records, including email. The June 2015 issue is especially relevant to this month’s “National Clean Off Your Desk Day”, as it provides useful hints on how to analyze the records you have to help you dispose of them and organize them into a filing system that allows you to efficiently and effectively locate records. As the newsletter notes: “Regularly decluttering unnecessary papers will pay off in time savings the next time you are searching for a document.”

April 2015’s Open Drawer speaks right to “National Clean Out Your Inbox Week” as the entire issue is dedicated to email management. UT Southwestern employees will also find that reviewing the resources linked from the Records Retention webpage on the Intranet and the Records Retention Schedule will be helpful in guiding them to make decision about the records they have created and how long they need to be retained.

Regarding email management, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission’s The Texas Record blog has several posts UT Southwestern employees may find informative at the following link: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/slrm/blog/tag/email/. One post of especial relevance to “National Clean Out Your Inbox Week” is the FAQ on how to set up an email filing system. And no blog post discussing records management would be complete without a records management comic:


Credit: Lappin, James, “Automated Records Management,” Thinking Records blog, https://thinkingrecords.co.uk/2013/09/24/automated-records-management/

So what does all this talk about managing the records on your physical and virtual desktop have to do with archives, you ask? Isn’t this just records management, plain and simple? Well, that is the magic of records management – it is uniquely tied to the goals of archives management! An effective records management program results in an effective archives management program because you have ensured that records of temporary value are disposed of when their designated retention period ends while records of permanent, historical value to the university are preserved and maintained so that they may be accessed far into the future. This is why records retention schedules are so important and abiding by them cannot be stressed enough: they are the roadmap that ensures that temporary records are destroyed when needed while permanent records are transferred and preserved in the archives. Ensuring that the records of long-term, historical value are maintained in an institution’s archives is a necessary component to that institution being able to tell its story to future generations.

Need more help getting advice about clearing your desk off? For records management related questions, you can find contact information on the Intranet’s Records Retention page. Curious to learn more about UT Southwestern’s archives? Email us at archives@southwestern.edu.

May 20 Rare Book Room Open House: Women in Medicine

PLEASE NOTE: The previous title had incorrectly stated the event as May 29.

From patient to practitioner, the compelling history of women in medicine includes Metrodora, Fanny Burney, Mary Eliza Mahoney, Ruth Sanders, and more. Stop by the Health Sciences Digital Library & Learning Center’s Rare Book Room (E3.314D) on Friday, May 20, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for “Women in Medicine“. Books, letters, photographs, and other materials in the library’s special collections featuring women in medicine will be on display, and Library staff will be available to show relevant highlights in the digital collections. For more information, email archives@utsouthwestern.edu.


April 29 Rare Book Room Open House: Spotlight on Tuberculosis


On Friday, April 29, 2016, stop by the Health Sciences Digital Library & Learning Center’s Rare Book Room (E3.314D) from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for “Spotlight on Tuberculosis”. Learn more about books, reports, journals, artifacts, stamps, and other materials in the library’s special collections that illuminate the history of tuberculosis in medicine. Additional resources will highlight connections to the disease in literature, music, and art.

The Library offers a monthly series of open house events to the UT Southwestern community that feature different topics of interest from the special and digital collections. If you want more information about this event or others in the monthly series, please contact archives@utsouthwestern.edu.

Images courtesy of Images from the History of Medicine (IHM), a collection of digitized images from the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) Prints and Photographs collection.

January Open House Event at the South Campus (main) Library: "Medical Eponyms"


The Health Sciences Digital Library & Learning Center will offer a monthly series of open house events to the UT Southwestern community that feature different topics of interest from the Library’s special and digital collections. The first event entitled “Who Named It?: Medical Eponyms in the Collections” will be held in the Rare Book Room (E3.314D) from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 12.

Medical eponyms offer a fascinating window into medical history. They can also be contentious, controversial, or inaccurate. Despite these drawbacks, medical eponyms are sometimes catchy, easy to remember, and can prove remarkably enduring, long outliving their namesakes. Not all are biographical. Alice in Wonderland syndrome (AIWS), Mozart ear, and Henry V sign are a few from literature and music.

Drop by the open house event on January 12 and explore the connections between medical eponyms and their namesakes. Items by or about Baron Guillaume Dupuytren, Moriz Kaposi, William Osler, and many more will be on display from the special collections. Staff will also be available to also show relevant highlights in the digital collections.

Need more information about this particular event or others in this monthly series? Contact archives@utsouthwestern.edu.


Tips for preparing your next academic poster

NOTE: As of July 20, 2017, this article has been modified from the original content due to new logo regulations impacting which vendors are currently licensed to print posters with an official UT Southwestern logo on them. Please consult UT Southwestern Purchasing for a list of current approved vendors.

posterAcademic posters are an important component to communicating and sharing your research with others. Jane Scott, Design and Promotion Specialist at the Health Sciences Digital Library and Learning Center, has been providing free design consultations and training for the last five years. Here are her five tips:

  1. Plan for the future. Look at all of the possible conferences/meetings/symposiums you will be attending and determine your poster size based on the conference with the most stringent requirements. It will save you a lot of time and money.
  2. Break it up. Break your poster components into text, tables, and high-resolution images first before you lay it out. It is harder to adjust and edit in a larger poster file. It also allows you to use your tables and content in other publishing areas in their original vector format. Once your content is solid, open a new document and immediately change the page layout to your poster size (i.e. 36” x 48”). Then, copy and paste the text and tables in.
  3. No website logos or super dark color schemes. UT Southwestern Office of Communications provides campus logos large enough for your academic poster printing needs. Go to the Brand Standards section on the utsouthwestern.net internal website (on-campus access only). EPS files may look blurry in PowerPoint, but they print beautifully. Smaller PNG files are best for online presentations. Secondly, colors tend to print darker than they look on screen. It is very tempting to want to use deep purples and blue gradients. Unfortunately, most show up as black. A forest green on poster paper is more of a heather green on screen. Getting a proof for $10 can be very helpful in avoiding costly typo mistakes and making sure the colors you want are the colors you are actually getting.
  4. Ask for help! You are probably not a graphic designer. So, get assistance from a designer to make sure that your academic poster is as professional and polished as your research. Schedule a free training session before you start or as a final proof before you send it off to the printer. We’re here to help you succeed.
  5. Print it! There are a few options we recommend for getting you poster printed depending on your timeline, needs. Certain departments provide printing services for their departments. Two campus recommendations are:
        • Four Seasons Decorations – Closest off-campus logo approved vendor to campus. E-mail your poster and all requests for information to posters@fsdonline.com or call 214-742-6635.
        • UTSW Print Shop – On-campus print services prints posters. Email Printing.Services@utsouthwestern.edu or call 214-648-6193 for scheduling information.
        • UTSW Simmons Cancer Center prints posters on paper and canvas, and campus IDR billing is available. Contact Kathy Holloway for scheduling, availability, and pricing.

"Prepare, Present, Promote/Preserve": supporting your academic poster from start to finish


Great! You’ve been approved to present a poster at a conference, forum, or other event. Your Library can help you every step of the way.

Did you know the Library provides design assistance for academic posters? Jane Scott, the Library’s Design and Promotion Specialist, is available to help you! To schedule a free individual consultation or group class, go to the Library’s Personal/Group Training Request page and select “Designing Your Best Academic Poster” in the list of topics.

Need to practice for your presentation? Reserve the Library’s Presentation Practice Room (Room E2.408) on the Main Floor of the South Campus Library. Practice your synopsis and talking points or invite your peers for some group feedback.  A dry erase sign-up board is available for advance reservation requests on a weekly basis.

What do you do with that poster after the event is over? Well, instead of rolling it up to store on a shelf or attaching a large file to an email when someone asks for a copy, consider this alternative—deposit the digital version into the Poster Center collection in the UT Southwestern Institutional Repository, which will provide the following benefits to students, researchers, faculty, or other staff at UT Southwestern:

  • Wider access to scholarly output beyond journal articles with your university affiliation
  • Easy citation or referral of an item through a permanent identifier and online link
  • Additional discoverability and preservation options through metadata and archives processes
  • The deposit of multiple files, if needed (e.g., abstract, working design, completed poster, session handout, and more)

You can deposit the poster directly, have someone deposit it on your behalf, or transfer the file to Library staff for deposit. Access to the item can also be restricted until after a specific conference, forum, or other event is completed.

Learn more about the Institutional Repository by visiting the frequently-asked-questions content found in the “Institutional Repository Basics” collection. To get started, contact Cameron Kainerstorfer, Manager, Digital Collections.


All print books & journals arrive at Joint Library Facility

DSC_0471The Library has just completed the huge task of moving print books and journals to the Joint Library Facility (JLF) in College Station, Texas.

The print items are officially changed to read “JLF” in the Library’s catalog, and JLF staff has placed top priority in processing our collection over other participating institutions. Processing is anticipated to be complete by Fall 2014.

In the interim, Interlibrary Loan (ILLiad) may assist you in obtaining any of our resources from another institution at standard ILL rates until the JLF completes its processing of the collection. Once the processing is complete, only journal articles will require standard ILL rates; books will be provided at no cost.

Book and journal relocation update

DSC_0023On Monday, August 19, 2013, the Library initiated an extensive project to relocate the print book and journal collections to the University of Texas System/Texas A&M Joint Library Facility (JLF), which is located in College Station.  Our collection is recognized as the most comprehensive medical collection in Texas, and it will become the core of a shared resource that will be used by students and faculty throughout the state, including the new UT System medical schools in Austin and South Texas.

The Library staff has been working on the relocation project, and we anticipate meeting the following deadlines to clear materials from the Middle and Top floors of the Library:

  • February 14, 2014 – Final book and journal inventory lists sent to JLF
  • February 28, 2014 – Inventory of books and journals complete.
  • April 1-15, 2014 – Library Design Systems Inc. pack and load books and journals
  • April 16, 2014 – Middle and Top floors cleared of books and journals
  • April 16-30, 2014 – Middle and Top floors cleared of shelving and other unnecessary items

The relocated collection will be available electronically or through interlibrary loan; there will be no charge to request UTSW Library books located at the JLF. The Library’s collection of electronic books and journals will remain available through its website, library.utsouthwestern.edu.

The Library will retain a small print collection of titles held on reserve, as well as rare, unique, and archival materials, which may be used in the Library.

There will be increased noise and activity to the Middle and Top Floors during the next few months as we prepare the books and journals. Temporary Top and Middle floor access closure notifications should also be expected at this time.

The vacated space on the Library’s Middle and Top floors will be utilized for new educational initiatives.

Interlibrary Loan fee increase and new pick-up/drop off locations announced

ILLiad After Hours DropboxInterlibrary Loan (ILL) pick-ups and drop-offs will now be made in the Library Administrative Office on the Middle Floor between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. A convenient after-hours ILL drop-off box is located on the Main Floor.

Effective April 1, 2014, ILL and Document Delivery charges will increase to $5.00 for affiliated faculty and staff.  Note that ILL requests for UTSW books that are stored at the Joint Library Facility in College Station will be free.