Our Bright Young Librarians series continues today with Elizabeth Lisa Cruces, Hispanic Collections Archivist and Librarian at University of Houston Libraries:
What is your role at your institution?
Hispanic Collections Archivist and Librarian
How did you get started in special collections?
I found Special Collections during a historic preservation and public history internship shortly after graduating from undergrad with my degree in History. In the course of conducting research for a preservation project, I sort of stumbled into archives and shortly thereafter special collections librarianship. It was exciting to find a profession that brought together service, education and history.
Where did you earn your MLS/advanced degree???
University of Texas at Austin, Master of Science in Information Studies, 2012??
Favorite rare book / ephemera that you've handled?
Doodles by Jorge Luis Borges??
What do you personally collect?
What do you like to do outside of work???
Spend time with friends, hike, travel??
What excites you about special collections librarianship???
What excites me most about special collections librarianship is the movement towards making it a more inclusive and diverse--both in terms of the bibliographic objects and the make-up of the individuals in the profession. I really appreciate the strides organizations such as Rare Book School is making towards including more non-Western materials and formats into bibliography.
Thoughts on the future of special collections librarianship?
The future is bright!??
Any upcoming exhibitions at your library?
Houston Beyond Convention: The Photography of Ben DeSoto, 1980-present??
Houston Beyond Convention: The Photography of Ben DeSoto, 1980-present reflects on nearly four decades of work, past and present, produced by Houstonian Ben Tecumseh DeSoto, whose career spans genres of photography and a diversity of human experiences. After discovering his love for what he has called the "scientific magic" of the photographic process, DeSoto followed his passion for photography to a career chronicling his city. DeSoto has consistently challenged the viewer to see beyond static images of Houston, to look more deeply instead at the individual or community narrative behind the photograph.
Presented thematically, the exhibit showcases DeSoto's documentation of Houston: portraits of local visual artists and musicians from fringe music and arts scenes, fine art photography, journalism, as well as his life's work, the Understanding Poverty Project. Through photographs, news clippings, and audiovisual materials, Houston Beyond Convention: The Photography of Ben DeSoto, 1980-present tells the story of Houston--across class and race--and forces the viewer to move beyond conventional thinking.
Image provided by Elizabeth Lisa Cruces