Saturday, June 12, 2010

Researchers in Action

(Fellows looking through UTSA Library's Sterling Houston Papers)

Yesterday, reference librarian Tara Schmidt and rare books librarian Juli McLoone provided our Fellows with a special introduction to the UTSA Library. Schmidt explained the ins and outs of the library’s many databases that would assist in research, and McLoone prepared a hands-on activity utilizing materials from the university’s special collections.

In particular, the Fellows investigated the Sterling Houston Papers. Houston was a talented artist who “had a thirty-year career in professional theater as an actor, musician and writer in San Antonio, New York and San Francisco.” The flyers, personal letters and cards, images, and email correspondence contained in the boxes gave us a glimpse of Houston’s impressive career, his wide-ranging connections to artists across the country, and his interactions with friends and family. (Fellows looking through UTSA Library's Sterling Houston Papers)

I spent most of my time during our session in special collections observing a group of the Fellows looking through folders from the boxes and discussing their findings. It was really something watching these researchers in action, growing more and more excited as they made “discoveries” and made connections.

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