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Celebrating the Life

New learning spaces, multimedia technologies added

AUSTIN, Texas (January 17, 2006) - Since 1979 the Fine Arts Library has served as the source for information on music, the visual arts, theatre and dance for the University of Texas and local communities. It now has a new look and is providing new services thanks to a collaborative initiative between the University of Texas Libraries and the College of Fine Arts.

The transformation of the main level began a year ago with an assessment of the needs of the Library's users. According to Laura Schwartz, Fine Arts Head Librarian, the renovation, the first in 26 years, is just Phase I, "We are engaged in an ongoing dialogue with our users about what they want and need. The Fine Arts Library is all about learning and creating and growing - we provide the tools to make those things happen."

Located in the Doty Fine Arts Building across 23rd Street from the D.K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, the renovated Fine Arts Library's main level is conceived as a collaborative learning and creative environment with moveable furniture, chairs with tablet arms for laptops, and an additional group study room. Elegant metro shades now filter the sun. The inspirational views of surrounding live oaks, Memorial Stadium and the Tower remain.

The new hardware and software for learning and creating include:

  • 12 multimedia workstations. These Mac and PC stations have software for image manipulation, video editing and sound editing.
  • viewing stations for videos, DVDs, or laserdiscs.
  • 24 Internet-accessible stations (requiring a UT EID), offer access to hundreds of licensed online full-text databases, millions of pages of online scholarly journal articles, and more than 70,000 ebooks. The stations are also equipped with Microsoft Office.
  • 40 laptops, digital cameras and CD players are available for checkout and for hands-on classes.
  • viewing/listening rooms with a variety of media equipment for group study.


In addition to the environmental and technological upgrades funded by the University of Texas Libraries and the College of Fine Arts, the Physical Plant division provided new carpeting for the entire entrance level.

This redesign of the learning spaces and the addition of new technologies complements the ever-expanding information resources and services of the Fine Arts Library, which include:

  • hundreds of regional, national and international art, music, theatre and dance journals;
  • 300,000 volumes on art, theatre, dance, and music, and musical scores, most of which are available for checkout for at least two weeks;
  • 40,000 music CDs covering popular to jazz and classical music from around the world; most of which are available for checkout for two weeks;
  • more than 5,000 videos and DVDs of art, musicals, opera, plays, dance and some motion pictures, available for three day checkout;
  • access to the Historical Music Recordings Collection, containing 78 and 33.3 rpm records, reel to reel tapes, piano rolls, wax cylinders, four track and eight track tapes, cassette tapes and much more. Totaling 200,000 items, the Historical Music Recordings Collection is one of the largest archival sound recordings collections in North America.
  • one-on-one assistance by art, music, dance and theatre subject specialist librarians in locating arts information; this assistance is available to the UT community as well as to the general public, onsite, by phone, by email or by online chat.


The general public may check out books, DVDs, CDs and musical scores from the collection with a UT Libraries courtesy borrower card for an annual fee. This service is free to spouses and domestic partners of full-time UT staff, to University of Texas Alumni Association members in good standing, and to persons with a valid TexShare card (see


Fine Arts Library subject specialist librarians:

Laura Schwartz, Art Librarian
495-4476, DFA 3.204,


Dr. David Hunter, Music Librarian and Curator, Historical Music Recordings Collection
495-4475, DFA 3.214,


Beth Kerr, Theatre/Dance Librarian
495-4482, DFA 3.212,



Carole Cable, Chief Communications Officer
University of Texas Libraries
512 495-4382 or

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Article published on January 17, 2006 - 12:00am

For more information about this and all University of Texas Libraries news releases, please contact the current Communications Director, Travis Willmann, at or (512) 495-4644.

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