2011 Highlights

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It is my pleasure to share a few selected highlights from 2011 Library accomplishments that I recently submitted for the President's Annual Report. There were many noteworthy events to report for the last year, these are some selected items that tell the recent story of the UNT Libraries in a compelling way.


Portal to Texas History Growth

The Portal to Texas History

The Portal to Texas History is an innovative UNT program documenting the cultures and history of the state of Texas, which achieved several milestones last year. Students, teachers and citizens from across the entire state and beyond say the Portal is truly making a difference in terms of learning about the varied history of Texas.

The Portal had almost 2 million uses in 2011 (a 61% increase over 2010), and has become embedded in the curriculum of educators throughout the state. The Portal is one of the most exemplary examples of a collaborative statewide digitization program in the United States, and has more than 200 partner libraries, archives, and museums in Texas.

The Portal is a gateway to Texas history materials. Users may discover anything from an ancestor's picture to a rare historical map. From prehistory to the present day, users can explore unique collections from Texas libraries, museums, archives, historical societies, genealogical societies, and private family collections. The Portal continues to grow as additional partners contribute digital versions of their collections.

In 2008, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) included the Portal on their EDSITEment Web site as one of the best online resources for education in the humanities.

Since 2005, more partners, funding, and content have been added and the collections have grown enormously. By 2010, the Portal hosted over 900,000 digital images from one hundred and thirty partners. Every month over 115,000 visitors from around the world use the online collections.

Heavy Student Library Usage

Students in Willis Library - December 2011

At the request of the student government association (SGA) the UNT Libraries have gone to 24-hour access five days in the week, and has become one of the most heavily used campus services.

In 2011 the Willis library alone had 500 thousand people come through its doors; the users of the library include all categories of clientele that comprise the extended university community: students, faculty, and the public. This tally is only for the main library; there are far more than this number of individual visits to all the libraries that make up the other libraries on the Denton campus.

These users checked out 400 thousand items. The purpose of these circulations vary tremendously, from a quick read of a novel to in-depth research on an archival item. This range of uses is precisely what makes the collection a versatile tool for different educational purposes.

Librarians taught roughly 12 thousand classes and individual instructional sessions on research methods and the use of library resources, most of which were requested by instructors or students themselves. This category of instruction has demonstrable benefits for student learning outcomes, and is heavily requested by faculty in many different disciplines.

The UNT Libraries is a vital part of providing our students with the highest quality educations, and is also one of the most effective and efficient services on campus on a per dollar basis.

Acquisition of Horse Ranching Industry Archives

"Rounding up the Remuda", from the Bankston Photography Collection

With a photography career that spanned from 1962 – 2002, Ray Bankston was one of the nation’s premier horse photographers, travelling regularly to seven state fairs, and world and national championships for many horse associations. The Ray and Joyce Bankston Dalco Photography Collection was acquired in 2011. Bankston has photographed Triple Crown winners, and legendary quarter horses such as Bar Money, Cutter Bill, Dash for Cash, Depth Charge, and Doc O’Lena. For years, owners of elite horses from California to Florida knew that Ray was their go-to man. He worked with many well-known owners, breeders & trainers.

Another major acquisition in this area in 2011 was the Don Shugart Photography Collection. During the course of a career of three deacdes, Don Shugart was the official photographer of the National Cutting Horse Association for many years, and also did extensive work at private ranches around the country, and at iconic Texas ranches such as Four Sixes and the King Ranch.

UNT Digital Library Ranking

Screenshot from 2011 rankings of repositories

The UNT Digital Library has now grown to include almost 4 million files, and is now ranked 9th in all of North America by the international Cybermetrics Lab.

This achievement puts our institution in the same company as the entire UC system (#5) and the Smithsonian and NASA (#4).

The UNT Digital Library was used approximately one million times in 2011, a 76% increase over 2010. The UNT DL now includes over 75 thousand serials and other titles, and almost doubled in accessions in the past year. This resource has become a source of international renown for the university.

Clark Family Photography Collection

Photograph from the Clark Collection acquired in 2011 by the UNT Libraries

The Clark Family Photography Collection is a trove of millions of photographs from a family of the greatest photographers of the 20th Century, whose work was regularly featured in Life Magazine, National Geographic, Look and Newsweek.

The collection is made up of photographs that created the iconic imagery of the American South, the American auto industry, and other major epochs in Americana. Included in the Clark Collection are the photographs that led to the creation of the Jack Daniels brand name, one of the most successful marketing campaigns of the last century.

The acquisition of the Clark Collection was a joint effort between the UNT Libraries, the Mayborn School of Journalism, and private donors. This interdisciplinary collection will be studied by scholars for decades to come.

Acquisition of Major Music Collections

Arnold Schoenberg

There were a series of major music collections acquired by the UNT Libraries in 2011. The Arnold Schoenberg Collection is comprised of original manuscripts, personal correspondence and photographs donated by family members of the renowned 20th-century composer. This acquisition was celebrated by a rare performance of the cantata Mein Lebenslauf by Georg Schoenberg (son of the composer) organized and performed in collaboration with the UNT College of Music. The Stan Golding Collection includes many LP’s, many first and limited edition scores, rare and autographed books about opera and opera houses around the world, amassed by Mr. Golding over his lifetime as a collector of rare opera materials. These are materials that neither UNT nor most other libraries have previously had access to. The collection also includes some photos, posters, etc., and 78s, which are very rare, of Mary McCormic, world-famous soprano who founded the opera program at UNT. Finally, the WOR Wallenstein Collection consists of 28,000 orchestral scores and parts from the old WOR Radio Station orchestra in New York City, conducted by Alfred Wallenstein (1898-1983). The collection contains classical works, orchestral arrangements of popular music and Broadway show tunes, and is representative of the standard radio broadcast orchestral repertory of the 1930s and 1940s.

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