Author Archives: Rebecca

Decolonizing the Archive: Chicana por mi Raza and the Challenge of Digital Humanities, March 9 @University of Houston

Event Date: 
Monday, March 9, 2015 – 10:00am12:30pm
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, MD Anderson Library, University of Houston


10:00am – Talk by Maria Cotera, University of Michigan
Decolonizing the Archive: Chicana por mi Raza and the Challenge of Digital Humanities

Focusing on the Chicana por mi Raza digital archive, a collection of oral histories and documents from women who were active in social movements during the 1960s and 1970s, this lecture explores the possibilities and challenges that are opened up by the “digital turn” in Humanities scholarship.

Cotera argues that digital archiving projects like Chicana por mi Raza challenge conventional notions of humanistic research and reformat the archive in critical ways by shifting it from a repository to an active site for the co-creation of feminist knowledge. Re-reading the archive as a site of encuentro (encounter) and exchange, Cotera explores how contemporary feminist scholars can teach and learn about the past in ways that recover lost histories and incite new, and unexpected, connections.

Maria Cotera, PhD is an associate professor who holds a joint appointment in theDepartment of Women’s Studies and the Program in American Culture at the Universityof Michigan. She served as the director for the University of Michigan’s Latina/o Studies Program from 2008 to 2011. Cotera’s first book, Native Speakers: Ella Deloria, Zora Neale Hurston, Jovita González, and the Poetics of Culture, received the Gloria Anzaldúa 2009 book prize from the National Women’s Studies Association.

Cotera’s two current research initiatives include Chicana por mi Raza, a national digital humanities project that seeks to create an online interactive archive documenting Chicana Feminist praxis from 1960-1990; and El Museo del Norte, a partnership with Southwest Detroit arts and culture organizations to create a museum without walls that documents Latino history in the Midwest.

11:30am – Panel discussion
Pushing Back: Chicana, Latina, Hispanic Women Preserving Our Narratives

Panel participants will discuss the politics and implications of digitizing the archive, as well as the opportunities increased access provides.

  • Lisa Cruces joined the University of Houston Libraries as the first Hispanic Collections Archivist in 2014. Prior to this position, Cruces was a fellow with the Hesburgh Libraries at the University of Notre Dame. Along with stewarding and growing UH’s Hispanic Collections, Cruces promotes the use of archival materials in undergraduate education and an increase in community inclusivity. Her professional interests and research focus on collecting, preserving and creating access to English and Spanish language Hispanic archival collections.
  • Patricia Hernandez is a visual artist, arts educator, archivist and native Texan.She holds a BA in Art and Art History and a BFA in Painting from Rice University. She received her MFA in Painting from the University of Houston in 2000. In 2011, she began managing the DiverseWorks pilot project, Creating A Living Legacy (CALL), helping Houston artists collect and organize the records of their creative practice. She is the founder of StudioOne Archive Resource, a new service organization whose mission is to work with members of the Houston arts community to preserve their stories.
  • Carolina Villaroel, PhD is the Director of Research for University of Houston’s Arte Público Press, the nation’s largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by US Latina and Latino authors. Villaroel, along with Dr. Nicolás Kanellos, leads the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, a national program that locates, identifies, preserves and makes accessible the literary contributions of US Hispanics from colonial times through 1960.

Both events are free and open to the public. Sponsored by the University of Houston’s Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, Center for Mexican American Studies, Department of English, Department of History, and Digital Humanities Initiative, along with the Houston Arts Alliance, MECA, and Humanities Texas.



Revised Head of Special Collections, UH Libraries posting

The University of Houston Libraries are seeking a progressive and forward thinking leader prepared to articulate a vision and direction for a growing special collections and archives that supports the University’s objectives of advancing research, improving student success, and increasing national recognition.  The Libraries’ Special Collections enhances the traditional strengths of a rare books and archives department with a growing number of contemporary collections that reflect the vitality and diversity of the City of Houston.  The position provides direction and oversight to a group of 6 librarians, 4 regular staff members, and 2 post-doctoral staff members curating archival collections and rare books.  The Head oversees the ongoing development of archival collections, work with academic departments, preparation of collections for digitization, and a full calendar of exhibits.  There is frequent contact with established donors and potential donors for acquisitions of unique collections, as well as fundraising and management of departmental endowments.  The Head of Special Collections serves as a member of the Library Management Council, the Public Services Council, and the Digital Collections Management Committee.  The position reports to the Associate Dean for Public Services.  The position is available February 2, 2015.

Appointment to an endowed professorship is possible for a candidate with an exceptional record of scholarly productivity and professional engagement.

For more information visit:

Genealogical Research Seminar, Saturday, February 28

Holocaust Museum Houston is pleased to announce its collaboration with Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research in bringing Houston a genealogical research seminar. Embarking on a family history research project is a great way to pass down our stories and those of our ancestors’ lives. Sue Kaufman, manager of Houston Public Library’s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research, will present basic steps for getting started on your family history journey with a special emphasis on Jewish genealogical research.  Amanda McKenzie, assistant librarian at Holocaust Museum Houston, will give an introduction to Jewish genealogical tools that will assist researching Holocaust survivors and victims. Join the Museum and the library to learn about the resources available for your search. The program is brought to the public by HMH’s Friends of the Library affinity group.

Admission, which includes entry to the Museum, is $12 for nonmember adults, $8 for seniors and active-duty military, and free for HMH members and students. Seating is limited, and advance registration is requested.

Visit to RSVP online.

CALL TO ACTION: House Appropriations Committee Hearing Set for State Library & Archives

The next hearing on the Texas State Library and Archive’s Commission’s budget for the 2015-2017 biennium will take place next week on Monday, February 16. This is a hearing of the House Finance Committee. I don’t have an agenda for the meeting yet, so I don’t have any clue what order the agencies will present in.

Budget hearings are an interesting process. Often, advocates find themselves listening through hours of testimony, as there is no guaranteed time for agency presentations or public testimony.  Changes in scheduling are common. That being said, it is incredibly important to have advocates who are committed. Nothing is more powerful than persuasive testimony!

If the hearing is broadcast, the link will be available on the day at Expect hours and HOURS of poor audio and video.

The current TSLAC Legislative Appropriation Request is available at There is a synopsis available from the Texas Library Association at You should note that though many of the requests for new funding (exceptional items) are directed toward the State Archives, the Texas Library Association is focused on two that will benefit libraries statewide. That is why your support for the archival priorities is essential!

TSLAC, like all agencies, was directed to prepare an option for a 10% budget cut. Note that while the library services division would feel the greatest impact in terms of dollars, other divisions will feel the impacts in loss of staff. If a 10% across-the-board cut is made, 7.0 FTEs in archives plus 1 FTE in State and Local Records Management would be eliminated.

If your representative serves on the Appropriations Committee, I urge you to contact him or her to express your support:

Representative Trent Ashby; Trent.Ashby@house.state.tx.; 512-463-0508

Representative Cecil Bell;; 512-463-0650

Representative Greg Bonnen;; 512-463-0729

Representative Cindy Burkett;; 512-463-0464

Representative Giovanni Capriglione;; 512-463-0690

Representative Sarah Davis;; 512-463-0389

Representative Dawnna Dukes;; 512-463-0506

Representative Helen Giddings;; 512-463-0953

Representative Larry Gonzales;; 512-463-0670

Representative Donna Howard;; 512-463-0631

Representative Bryan Hughes;; 512-463-0271

Representative Linda Koop;; 512-463-0454

Representative Oscar Longoria;; 512-463-0645

Representative Marisa Marquez;; 512-463-0638

Representative Ruth Jones McClendon;; 512-463-0708

Representative Borris Miles;; 512-463-0518

Representative Rick Miller;; 512-463-0710

Representative Sergio Munoz;; 512-463-0704

Representative John Otto;; 512-463-0570

Representative Dade Phelan;; 512-463-0706

Representative Four Price;; 512-463-0470

Representative John Raney;; 512-463-0698

Representative Justin Rodriguez;; 512-463-0669

Representative J.D. Sheffield;; 512-463-0628

Representative Sylvester Turner;; 512-463-0554

Representative Gary VanDeaver;; 512-463-0576

Representative Armando Walle;; 512-463-0490

If you don’t know who your representative is, you can go to and enter your address to find out! Even if your representative isn’t on the Appropriations Committee, it is important to communicate with them about the importance of TSLAC, especially as the budget process moves forward.


The equivalent in the Senate is the Senate Finance Committee; their hearing was last week. You can still communicate with them to express your support for archives, though. Here’s the list of members:


District 1: Senator Kevin Eltife; 512-463-0101;

District 3: Senator Robert Nichols; 512-463-0103;

District 5: Senator Charles Schwertner; 512-463-0105;

District 7: Senator Paul Bettencourt; 512-463-0107;

District 9: Senator Kelly Hancock; 512-463-0109;

District 11: Senator Larry Taylor; 512-463-0111;

District 12: Senator Jane Nelson; 512-463-0112;

District 14: Senator Kirk Watson; 512-463-0114;

District 15: Senator John Whitmire; 512-463-0115;

District 17: Senator Joan Huffman; 512-463-0117;

District 18: Senator Lois Kolkhorst; 512-463-0118;

District 19: Senator Carlos Uresti; 512-463-0119;

District 20: Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa; 512-463-0120;

District 23: Senator Royce West; 512-463-0123;

District 31: Senator Kel Seliger ; 512-463-0131;;
Some tips for contacting your senator or representative:


If you are calling the office, ask to speak to the staff person working on Appropriations or Finance. When you get that person, introduce yourself, tell them you are a constituent, and tell them you are calling to ask for the Representative or Senator’s support of funding for the state archives. Mention that the TSLAC Appropriations Committee hearing is set for Monday Feb. 16, and you want to speak to them concerning the importance of funding the agency’s exceptional items requests. Be specific about which exceptional items you support and explain how they will benefit you and other constituents. Ask if s/he has any questions and thank them. It’s that easy!


TLA has an Advocacy Primer available at that provides a lot of useful guidance.

Job posting: Archivist I (Architectural Archives) – Houston Metropolitan Research Center

The Houston Metropolitan Research Center (HMRC) and the Houston Public Library are seeking a customer service oriented Archivist I to lead and direct HMRC’s efforts in researching, acquiring, cataloging, digitizing, and preserving material for the Architectural Archives. HMRC’s Architectural Archives is comprised of drawings and papers for over 9,000 projects representing over 250 architects, engineers, and related firms. The archive includes drawings executed by architects primarily in the Houston and surrounding areas. The date range for these materials spans from 1893 to 1995 and the types of structures vary from buildings of one story to skyscrapers and modest homes to opulent mansions, as well as parks and landscaping plans, the Astrodome, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Major series of records from architectural firms include those of Maurice J. Sullivan, Alfred C. Finn, Harvin C. Moore, MacKie & Kamrath, and Hare & Hare. Additional responsibilities include:

  • Providing specialized reference services and research assistance to the general public in-person and electronically.
  • Assisting with HMRC’s programming and community outreach by serving as a community liaison, developing programs, attending community meetings, curating exhibits, and representing the library and HMRC at public events related to architecture and Houston and Texas history.
  • Participating with the manager and assistant manager in unit strategic planning to meet changing services and customer needs including the supervision of interns and volunteers assisting with the Architectural Archives.


Please visit to learn more and submit an application.

Documenting the history of The Meridian Highway across Texas, February 18

Individuals and organizations are encouraged to attend a public outreach meeting to share information and visual items related to the Meridian Highway for use in a public project. Texas Historical Commission (THC) staff and representatives of the preservation planning firm Hardy-Heck-Moore, Inc. (HHM) will introduce the project and involve community members through discussion, question-and-answer session, and displays of maps and historical Meridian images. Please bring historical photos, postcards, maps, and other Meridian-related items to the meeting. With your consent, HHM staff will scan or photograph materials to be included in the project. The meeting is open to the public and will be held Wednesday, February 18, 5:30-7:00 p.m. For more information visit:

WHO: Hosted by Preservation Houston, Hardy-Heck-Moore, Inc., and THC staff. The public is invited.

WHAT: Meridian Highway Public Outreach Meeting

WHEN: Wednesday, February 18, 5:30-7:00 p.m.

WHERE: The Parador
2021 Binz Street
Houston, Texas 77004

BACKGROUND: The THC is undertaking a two-year study to document the history of the Meridian Highway. The THC has awarded the contract to complete the study to Hardy-Heck-Moore, Inc., an Austin-based historic preservation planning and management firm. The project will result in a written history of the Texas section of the Meridian Highway, and a survey of the Texas Meridian route, including associated historic resources: auto repair garages, gas stations, diners, tourist camps, auto courts, motels, road markers, paving, and traffic signs. This effort is funded by the Texas Legislature and the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) through the Transportation Enhancement Program. For more information, contact the THC’s History Programs Division at 512.463.5853 or visit

Free Webinar on Project Management

Project Management 101: Planning Your Project

Two-part webinar

February 5 and 19, 2015  (1 hour each afternoon)

11 am PST / 2 pm EST

Produced by the Coalition to Advance Learning in Archives, Libraries, and Museums

Join your colleagues from archives, libraries and museums for a two-part, interactive learning webinar that will introduce the fundamentals of project management: planning a project. All of our fields struggle with unstable budgets and dynamic technology, so learning to think and act in terms of projects is critical—it can be the difference between turning an idea into a successful, resourced initiative or not. Led by representatives from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the webinars will focus on the key elements of a project plan: the idea, the audiences, funding options, a work plan, an evaluation, and more. We will also discuss how to critically examine your project ideas, asking, Is it fundable? Valuable? Sustainable? And if not, what could you do differently? While learning these fundamentals, you will also benefit from the insights and experiences shared by your fellow participants from across archives, library, and museum institutions.

February 5     Key Elements of a Project Plan (1 hour)

This session will describe how careful planning leads to more successful projects.. We will cover how to develop an idea, define your audience, look at funding options, do an environmental scan, assess your resource capacity and needs, and develop a project scope and schedule for implementation. Attendees will be invited to use the two weeks between webinars to outline a project idea based on these key principles. Submitted project plans will be reviewed by webinar moderators with individual feedback provided for each submission.

February 19   Evaluating Your Project Plan (1 hour)

In this highly interactive second session, we will use sample project ideas and case studies to look at how we can assess the strength of a project plan before it is implemented. We will also discuss other project management resources and where to learn more about the topic.

How Will I Benefit?

After participating in this two-part webinar, attendees will be better able to:

  • Why project management is a critical skill
  • What it takes to turn an idea into a fundable project
  • Where to learn more about project management
  • How to evaluate staff and institutional capacities to manage a project

Who Should Attend

This topic is relevant to all organizational roles: you may be currently managing or soon will be managing a project, or you may be a contributor to a current or future project.

Presenters and Moderators

  • Robert Horton, Associate deputy director, IMLS
  • Sarah Fuller, Program specialist, IMLS

Register Now

Registration Info

About the Coalition to Advance Learning in Archives, Libraries and Museums

This is the inaugural project from the Coalition to Advance Learning in Archives, Libraries and Museums, which is supported by grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The purpose of the Coalition is to work in deliberate coordination across organizational boundaries to devise and strengthen sustainable continuing education and professional development (CE/PD) programs that will transform the library, archives, and museum workforce in ways that lead to measurable impact on our nation’s communities. Look online for a complete list of Coalition members.