What do archivists do? Find out October 5th with #AskAnArchivist Day on Twitter!

cathy-miller-75Post written by Digital Archivist, Cathy Miller, MAS, CA

What comes to mind when you hear the word “archives”? If your first thoughts were “dust, old stuff, attics, or basements”, then this is an exciting opportunity to introduce to you what archives are and what archivists do. Contrary to movie depictions, being an archivist is not about stealing the Declaration of Independence and going on a treasure hunt. Make no mistake: treasures can be found in an archive; however, the roadmap to said treasures is not written in invisible ink on the back of an important historical document!

The first question that may come to your mind is, “what is an archive?” Archives are records created by a person, family, or organization (either public or private) that document the conduct of their affairs and are preserved for both the enduring value of the information they contain and the evidence they provide of the functions and responsibilities of their creator. In laymen’s terms, archives are those records which have been deemed to be of historically valuable importance and are duly preserved.

So, now that we know archives maintain historically valuable records, the question is, “what about UT Southwestern’s archives?” The UT Southwestern archives collect, preserve, and make accessible historical materials documenting UT Southwestern and its predecessor institutions, the university hospitals, careers of notable campus individuals, and Parkland Memorial Hospital. Highlights from our archives include Dr. Alfred G. Gilman’s collection and the Parkland Hospital Collection.

The question remains: “what do I do as the digital archivist here on campus?” Well, it’s my job to appraise, select, describe, preserve, and provide access to historically valuable records about UT Southwestern. And as you may note from my job title, archives aren’t just for old paper records. Archivists have been working on the issues inherent in acquiring, preserving, and providing access to born-digital records for at least 30 years.

Curious to learn more about the UT Southwestern archives and about the work that archivists do? Get your questions ready for #AskAnArchivist day on October 5! I’ll be available at UT Southwestern Library’s Twitter handle (@utswlibrary) to answer your questions. Have you been wondering how to manage your digital files? Worried about digital obsolescence? Curious about digital preservation? Questioning how to preserve your grandmother’s scrapbook? Puzzling over creating appropriate file naming conventions? These are all topics I am excited to talk about with you, and I would love to hear questions from you!

Getting started with HathiTrust

HathiTrustlogoUT Southwestern is now the newest participant in the partnership between HathiTrust and The University of Texas System. HathiTrust is a large-scale collaborative repository of digital content from research libraries. In addition to millions of books, HathiTrust content includes many government publications, journal titles in a wide range of areas, theses and dissertations, conference materials, statistics, and more.

Members can create or edit public or private collections within HathiTrust. Collection permalinks make these useful additions to education or research. Members are also able to download a wide variety of items in “full view”, which allows a user to read content offline or take notes via printing or direct PDF annotation and markup.

Creating or editing collections and downloading complete items in “full view” requires a member login. To log into HathiTrust, select “University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center” from the list of partner institutions, and use your UT Southwestern username and password.

Be aware that items with “Limited (search only)” view are not available to UT Southwestern users through HathiTrust. They may be available through other library resources. Check the catalog for alternate availability and, if needed, order through Interlibrary Loan.

It is not required to log into HathiTrust to search or read “full view” content online; it is only required in order to create/edit a collection or download a complete “full view” item.

To locate items that are available as “full view” in HathiTrust:

  • Check the “full view only” box on the home page of HathiTrust before beginning a search.
  • In advanced catalog search, check the “full view only” box.
  • Within search results, there are two tabs; select the “Only full view tab as needed”.

HathiTrust provides many options for browsing and finding content quickly. A page view, thumbnail view, a page scrollbar, and a search box make it easy to go through content within an item. A mobile view is also available when using a mobile device—no app is required for HathiTrust.

Need help getting started with HathiTrust? Check the help area within HathiTrust, or contact the Library Archives with further questions.

June 24 “Places and Spaces” Rare Book Room Open House Event announced

RBRJuneStop by the Health Sciences Digital Library & Learning Center’s Rare Book Room (E3.314D) from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, June 24 for “Places and Spaces.” Books, architectural renderings, photographs, and other materials in the library’s special collections revealing places and spaces 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.

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.

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April 29 Rare Book Room Open House: Spotlight on Tuberculosis

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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.

Surgical Instruments are the focus of the March 29 Rare Book Room Open House

IMG_3073On Tuesday, March 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 “Surgical Instruments–From Army Pattern Chisel to Xyster“. Learn more about books, journals, and other materials in the Library’s special collections that highlight surgical instruments from the 18th century to the present. Several medical artifacts will also be on display, including surgical kits in wooden velvet-lined boxes, pocket kits, and more.

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.

Discovering Darwin at the February 26 Rare Book Room Open House

RBRFebHow did a medical school dropout end up contributing so much to science? Find out at “Discovering Darwin”, an open house event sponsored by the Health Sciences Digital Library & Learning Center. The event will be held on Friday, February 26, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Library’s Rare Book Room (E3.314D). Books, letters, and other materials in the library’s special collections that connect to Charles Darwin (1809-1882) will be on display from the special collections, and Library staff will be available to show relevant highlights in the digital collections. For more information, email archives@utsouthwestern.edu.

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

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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.

 

New NLM Poster Exhibit focuses on medical contributions of African Americans during the American Civil War

promo imageMany histories have been written about medical care during the American Civil War, but the participation and contributions of African Americans as nurses, surgeons, and hospital workers has often been overlooked.

The National Library of Medicine’s traveling poster and online exhibit entitled Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries: African Americans in Civil War Medicine looks at the men and women who served as medical providers and how their service challenged the prescribed notions of race and gender and pushed the boundaries of the role of African Americans in America.

Through historical images and period documents, the exhibit explores the life and experiences of surgeons Alexander T. Augusta and Anderson R. Abbott, as well as nurses Susie King Taylor and Ann Stokes, as they provided medical care to soldiers and civilians while participating in the fight for freedom. “Binding Wounds, Pushing Boundaries opens the door to this rarely studied part of history and brings a voice to those that have remained silent for nearly 150 years,” says Curator Jill L. Newmark.

This exhibit will be on display at the UT Southwestern Health Sciences Digital Library & Learning Center’s South Campus location (E2) from December 22, 2015, through January 30, 2016. It was developed and produced by the National Library of Medicine with research assistance from The Historical Society of Washington, D.C.

New exhibit features dried plant specimens from Southern Greek National History Museum Herbarium

herbarium sampleThe latest South Campus Library exhibit features a rare collection of plant specimens from the Herbarium Goulandrium in Goulandris Natural History Museum, which is located in Kifissia, Greece. Founded in 1964 by Angelos and Niki Goulandris, the museum’s original focus was on Greek flora. The herbarium, which currently includes the data of over 70,000 specimens, initially included the collection of Konstantinos Goulimis with 24,000 samples he donated to the museum. The museum later expanded to cover the fields of zoology, paleontology, and geology.

Some of the information that may appear in the specimen labels:

  • Scientific plant name
  • Detailed location
  • Habitat
  • Altitude
  • Plant habit
  • Plant description
  • Determiner of the scientific name or identification (det.)
  • Collector of the specimen (leg.)
  • Date of specimen collection

More about the Goulandris Natural History Museum is available online at http://www.gnhm.gr/en/ .