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Last Updated: Sunday, May 30, 2021 8:03pm

The University of Texas Libraries 2020 Year in Review

student sitting at orange cafe booth wearing mask working on a laptop

The past year was not what anyone expected, but instead of acceding to the challenges that faced the University of Texas Libraries, we embraced them as an opportunity to show our mettle. 2019 ended auspiciously enough, with major gifts from supportive donors, and notable grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Mellon Foundation. We also bolstered work to materialize the library as platform, an ambitious plan to move beyond the traditional position of being primarily a storehouse for books and information, and into a space where we play an active role in the production of innovation and the expansion of new understanding of our world. When confronted with crises beyond our control that demanded agility in response, our staff and leaders brought the full force of their skills, knowledge, talent and fortitude to bear and produced exceptional solutions to problems we never imagined.

Here's the year in review.

 

Mupi Bordados Collections

Embroidered Testimonies of Salvadoran Refugees Made Accessible

Staff at the Benson have expanded on a relationship with the Museum of the Word and Image in El Salvador to digitally preserve unique embroidered testimonials created by refugees of the Honduran civil war.

transcription image Expertise

LLILAS Benson Collaborates to Translate Colonial Documents

A joint crowd-sourcing effort between the Benson and the New Orleans Jazz Museum yielded transcriptions for a cache of colonial documents held by the two institutions.

students in a media lab looking at computer screens Strategic

Tocker Foundation Gift Funds Development of Textbook Alternatives

The University of Texas Libraries received a generous gift from the Austin-area Tocker Foundation that will support the development of digital teaching and learning resources through a partnership with Austin Community College and the Austin Public Library.

student in library Strategic

Report of the Task Force on the Future of UT Libraries Released

A long-awaited report from the Task Force on the Future of UT Libraries launched by Provost Maurie McInnis in the fall of 2018 was released and immediately put into action. 

woman studying with laptop and documents in modern chair Strategic

Lebermann Foundation Establishes Technology Endowment

The Lebermann Foundation contributed $250,000 to enable the Libraries to provide funding for modifying spaces and services to the changing natures of learning and pedagogy, and to help to support, preserve and disseminate unique research and scholarship on the Forty Acres.

screen capture of the texas geodata portal homepage Platform

Libraries Launch Texas GeoData Portal

The Libraries leveraged technological advances in geographic information systems (GIS) to enhance the value of map collections at the university with the launch of a new portal designed to facilitate use of GIS software for mapmaking and analysis.

man viewing website on desktop computer Platform

Libraries Launch Digital Collections Portal

A new access point on the Libraries’ website – the Collections portal – allows users to undertake remote research and study utilizing rich resources that have previously only been available in person or through more time-intensive digitization on demand processes.

image of website for university of texas libraries digital collections Strategic

UT Collections Initiate Cultural Partnership with Mellon Grant

The Libraries, the Blanton Museum of Art and the Harry Ransom Center received a $500,000 grant from The Mellon Foundation to establish a collective digital infrastructure that will provide expanded digital access to the university's rich cultural resources.

detail of scanned document in spanish Collections

NEH Grant to Fund Development for Multilingual Transcription

A grant of over $300,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities will contribute to the customization of a Wikipedia-like platform for the collaborative transcription, translation and indexing of archival texts in non-English languages.

man in beard and blue polo sitting at desk reading book in profile Expertise

Jackson Alum Honors Trombatore with Endowment

The Jackson School of Geosciences announced in December the creation of a new endowment fund honoring longtime Geology Librarian Dennis Trombatore, funded by Dr. Carlotta Chernoff. 

college student in glasses smiles while viewing laptop screen, books in background Platform

Libraries Launches New Comprehensive Services Platform

The University of Texas Libraries launched a new library services platform from vendor Ex Libris this January that will make organizing and accessing library resources easier than ever before.

montage of zoom images of university of texas libraries' staff Expertise

Libraries Transition to Remote Services and Resources

Libraries' staff showed great agility in responding to the immediate needs for the campus shift to online learning in response to the health crisis. 

finch drawing on cover of journal Collections

Latin American Digital Repository Expands Collections

More than 60 thousand scanned images from seven archival collections throughout Latin America are now available online in the updated Latin American Digital Initiatives (LADI) repository (ladi.lib.utexas.edu). 

two men having a discussion at a wooden table with audio cassettes and notebooks on it. Expertise

AILLA Opens Unique Amazonian Collection

With support from an NEH grant, the Archive of the Indigenous Languages of Latin America (AILLA) opened the Baniwa of the Aiary and Içana Collection of Robin M. Wright

bearded man smiling, holding a book Expertise

In Memoriam: Dennis Trombatore

Dennis Trombatore became a historical figure of UT Libraries lore during his 40+ year tenure. We remember his life and impact on libraries after his passing in summer 2020. 

portrait in black and white of older man (miguel angel asturias) Collections

Benson Acquires Archive of Nobel Laureate Miguel Ángel Asturias

The Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection announced the acquisition of the Miguel Ángel Asturias Papers. Asturias, the 1967 Nobel Laureate in Literature from Guatemala, was an instrumental precursor to the Latin American Boom. 

collage of benson collection materials Expertise

LLILAS Benson Launches Curriculum Site

LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections partnered with the Urban Teachers Program at the Department of Curriculum and Instruction in the College of Education to develop and provide free, online access to high school lesson plans.

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