Three years ago this month, in June 2013, the University Archives was established at UHD. Although the Library had been the official repository of archival material since 1980, there had never been an attempt to systematically keep or teach the history of this institution. Since UHD and its predecessor, South Texas Junior College, represent such an important cross-section of the city’s history and population, it was vital that we begin working towards preservation.
In the first months, there were no shelves, no storage, just slowly working towards gathering “things.” Today, with the help of many people here at UHD, the Archives has collected official records and historical materials from nearly every major office in the University and made them available for both internal and external researchers. It’s been very exciting to help uncover the deep and important story of Houston’s downtown university.
Current holdings (all acquired since June 2013):
7.3 GB of digital holdings (approximately 6,200 individual files)
~120 linear feet of physical holdings (approximately 150,000 pages of paper and photographic material), with another 150 linear feet currently in queue for acquisition
370 hours of oral histories concerning both the history of UHD and education in Houston
Added over 550 linear feet of archival storage to two storage areas since June 2013
Created 6 physical exhibits and 2 virtual exhibits on UHD history
Created a dedicated website and digital archives for direct online access to the University’s historical materials
Started the UHD history blog, Confluence, which has welcomed nearly 800 unique visitors to the site since February 2015
Recipient of a High Impact Practices grant to teach a two-day workshop on digital archives and literacy
Hosted three students as archival volunteers to learn the work of archives