University of North Texas Libraries 2015-2016 Research Fellowships

University of North Texas Libraries 2015-2016 Research Fellowships

Special Collections Research Fellowship

The University of North Texas Libraries invites applications for the 2015 UNT Special Collections Research Fellowship. Research in special collections is relevant to studies in a variety of disciplines including history, journalism, political science, geography, fine art, art history and American studies. We encourage applicants to think creatively about new uses for special collections. Preference will be given to applicants that demonstrate the greatest potential for publication and the best use of special collections at UNT Libraries.

 The Award:

A total of $4,000 in funding will be awarded to two or more fellowship applicants. Fellowship awards are intended to defray the actual costs of conducting research and applicants must prepare a budget detailing their expenses as part of the application process. Fellows will be required to conduct research in residence at UNT for a minimum of four days and a maximum of three months to receive the award. The fellow will be required to write a brief (under 500 words) overview of their research experience and may also be asked to present an informal lecture on their research. The Special Collections Fellowship is generously supported by the Friends of the UNT Libraries.

 Eligibility:

The Fellowship is open to faculty, graduate students and independent researchers. Any funding awarded must be used between June 1, 2015 and August 30, 2016.

 Application procedure:

Applicants should demonstrate the specific relevance of UNT Special Collections to their current research through their essay and cover letter. Information on library holdings can be located through the UNT Libraries catalog, the Special Collections department website, on-line finding aids for archives and manuscript collections or by contacting the department directly at archivesrarebooks@unt.edu.

The Portal to Texas History Research Fellowship

The University of North Texas Libraries invites applications for The Portal to Texas History Research Fellowship. Research using the Portal is relevant to studies in a variety of disciplines including history, journalism, political science, geography, and American studies. We encourage applicants to think creatively about the opportunities that research with large digital library collections can enable. Preference will be given to applicants that demonstrate the greatest potential for publication and the best use of The Portal to Texas History.

The Award:

A total of $2,000 in funding will be awarded to one or more fellowship applicants. The Portal Fellowship was created to recognize and support outstanding scholarship which incorporates unique digital collection. Consideration will be given to any anticipated expenses as outlined in the budget, although this is just one factor that the reviewers will consider in making the awards. The fellow will be required to write a brief (under 500 words) overview of their research experience and may also be asked to present an informal lecture on their research. The Portal to Texas History Research Fellowship is funded by the Cathy N. Hartman Portal to Texas History Endowment.

Eligibility:

The Fellowship is open to faculty, graduate students, and independent researchers. Fellowship funding will be dispersed between June 1, 2015 and August 30, 2016.

Application procedure for the Special Collections and Portal to Texas History Fellowships:

Applicants should demonstrate the specific relevance of either UNT Special Collections or The Portal to Texas History to their current research through their essay and cover letter. Information on The Portal to Texas History can be located at http://texashistory.unt.edu/. Information on UNT Special Collections may be found here http://www.library.unt.edu/special-collections. If you are applying for both fellowships please submit two applications.

Deadline for applications is February 15, 2015. The recipient will be notified by April 1, 2015.

Please submit a completed application form along with the following materials:

  • An essay (3 pages maximum) describing your research interests, specific goals for research during the Fellowship period and the specific collections intended for use. For the Special Collections Fellowship also indicate the dates that will spent in residence.
  • A brief CV (3-5 pages)
  • Budget detailing travel expenses such as airfare, transportation or mileage, lodging, meals or other expenses
  • One letter of reference indicating the significance of the proposed research. Letters can be sent directly from the recommender or included in the application packet.

Application materials should be submitted electronically in PDF of Microsoft Word format.

Send questions and applications for the Special Collections Fellowship to Morgan Gieringer, Head of Special Collections.
Send questions and application for the Portal to Texas History Fellowship to Mark Phillips, Assistant Dean for Digital Libraries. 

Highland Street Construction

Highland Street is currently closed due to street construction from Avenue C to Welch Street. The Highland Street Book Drop is also closed during the street construction project. You may return items here:

  • Willis Library Inside Book Drop (located near Willis Library, Room 136)
  • Willis Library Services Desk
  • Willis Library Outside Book Drop (located near the Willis Library entrance)

Most regular circulating items may be returned to any of our Libraries’ book drops with the exception of Music Library audio recordings and Media Library items.

If you are a visitor to Willis Library, you have three parking options:

  • Highland Street Garage
  • Meters
  • Visitor permit

If you are unable to access the Willis Library book drops, please call 940-565-2143 and we will assist you.

Thanksgiving Break Hours - 2014

The Thanksgiving Break hours begin on Wednesday, November 26, 2014 when Willis Library will close at 7:00 p.m. We will reopen for normal 24-hour service on Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

Please see the Libraries’ Summary of Hours page for the Thanksgiving Break hours and closings at Discovery Park Library, Eagle Commons Library, and the Media Library.

Texas Digital Newspapers Feed Historical Research on Slavery

If you walk up to Dr. Andrew Torget at the University of North Texas and Dr. Caleb McDaniel at Rice University, ask them what they think of newspapers.  These professors will start to talk to you about how they look at 19th-century newspaper issues over a series of years and use them as records for reading voting patterns or for learning about slavery in Texas.  Torget, McDaniel, and their students have collaborated on extensive research on newspapers available in the Texas Digital Newspaper Program to build the Texas Runaway Ads (@TxRunawayAds) Twitter feed—displaying actual runaway slave advertisements that appeared in newspapers published between 1836 and 1860 such as the Telegraph and Texas Register, the Austin State Gazette, and the Clarksville Northern Standard.  According to Torget, his UNT graduate students selected these specific titles because, “They represented the three main geographies of 1850s Texas—a southeast newspaper, a northeast newspaper, and a western paper.”  Those geographical regions were centers of agricultural commerce in Texas during the mid-19th century, and their newspapers are some of the earliest available in the Texas Digital Newspaper Program.

This collaborative project has had significant impacts for the students working with both Torget and McDaniel, particularly in terms of how the students are able to communicate across institutions to better understand the historical period.  For example, one of the most interesting and surprising finds within the Texas Runaway Ads was an ad placed by William Marsh Rice, the founder of Rice University.  According to McDaniel, “It’s a very rare, important glimpse into Rice’s relationship to slavery, especially since it names the enslaved woman, Merinda, who escaped from him.”  The importance of collaboration was strongly evinced by the appearance of this advertisement: it was originally located by UNT graduate students, who were then able to notify their Rice counterparts.  The Rice graduate students then contextualized its significance within the wider framework of Texas history during the 19th century.  This type of primary source research gives students a first-hand account of events, thus allowing them to read from multiple perspectives of people in history:

“Unfortunately, the primary sources on slavery in the United States are limited. These sources are usually written from the perspective of the slaveholder and often reduce slaves to their monetary value. This can make it difficult for historians to learn about the personal experiences, attitudes, and relationships of enslaved men and women. Among these primary sources, runaway advertisements offer one of the best glimpses into the names, personalities, and experiences of individual slaves, as well as into the institution of slavery as a whole” (http://ricedh.github.io/05-twitterbot.html). 

The Runaway Slave Ads project goes one step further by displaying the text from ads on current social media, Twitter (https://twitter.com/TxRunawayAds). According to Dr. McDaniel, “We decided that placing the ads in social media streams, rather than on websites with standalone images of the ads, would more closely resemble the context in which they originally appeared---surrounded by other ads and quotidian news content.” During the 19th-century, and well into the 20th-century, newspapers were the social media of the day.  Commonplace were ads about who visited whom in which town, who was recovering from what illness, and even who had run away from a slaveholder.  According to Dr. Torget, “The idea of exploring and mapping these ads through digital means seemed to open the door to new insights into what runaway slave ads might be able to tell us about both Texas and slavery during the years before the Civil War.”  The Texas Runaway Ads, in aggregate, is intended to help current researchers connect the names of people who were slaves with their geographic locations and, sometimes, family members.

These ads are already opening channels of communication across the history discipline to broaden our understanding of the 19th-century before the Civil War, as Seth Rockman, Professor of History at Brown University, states on his Twitter feed. A similar project by Kyle Ainsworth out of Stephen F. Austin University is the Texas Runaway Slave Project.  Intended to document the names of individual runaway slaves, this project also uses newspapers from the Texas Digital Newspaper Program with the goal of providing identity to those people about whom little primary source evidence exists. 

The Texas Runaway Ads and the Runaway Slave Project utilize open source technology intended to help people in the research community use digital tools to aggregate significant historical information in one place.  This type of aggregation builds awareness of life in the past, provides faculty researchers with a platform for developing classroom materials, and gives students the opportunity to trace individuals across different ad postings, geographic locations, and activities.  For example, the Texas Runaway Ads Twitter feed displays the runaway ads, one per tweet, and includes a link back to the original newspaper from which the individual ad originates.  Any users of the feed can then use the aggregation of the ads via the feed to trace specific names, counties, or dates, but can also directly link to the newspaper page to get a rich context of an individual case. 

The Texas Digital Newspaper Program is dedicated to supporting any kind of research.  The work that Drs. Torget and McDaniel and their students are doing exemplifies how digital humanities research can broaden our vision into the past and can open new communication pathways across research disciplines. 

 

 

 

 

Honors College Releases the 2014 Issue of The Eagle Feather

The Eagle Feather, an interdisciplinary undergraduate research journal at UNT, celebrated the publication of Issue 11 on October 7, 2014. The current issue contains 33 student research projects in biological sciences, linguistics and technical communication, teacher education, social and behavioral sciences, sociology, political science, and English.

Highlights include:

  • The addition of two new faculty editors — Dr. James Duban and Dr. Diana Elrod
  • A special feature collection of poetry
  • Inclusion of research articles produced in two of UNT’s new core capstone classes — linguistics and sociology
  • Research articles examining the lives of women in colonial America
  • Mentor of the year — Dr. Jeanne Tunks
  • Department of the year — Department of Biological Sciences
  • Where Are They Now? — Highlighting student researchers from the 2005 issue

The User Interfaces Unit receives research articles in Word document format beginning in July of each year and transforms them into an electronic journal format. We have provided services and website maintenance to The Eagle Feather since 2004.