Open alternatives

Even as the debate over the issue of open access v. traditional publishing continues apace, there are options on the periphery for accessing creative or original content without having to consider the mortgage of one’s financial future (or soul).

DJ and musician Moby announced earlier this week the relaunch of his website Moby Gratis which provides a license-free catalog of his music for use in independent, non-profit and generally low-budget creative enterprises.

Following up on his announcement Mashable has a short list of some of additional options.

What open access content sites do you use?

(h/t Mashable)

The most primary of sources

Napkin designs on display. Source: eNEWS 11-20-2012

Thanks to Gregory Street, one of our Library Student Supervisors, the Alexander Architectural Archive has begun collecting records of the UT chapter of the National Organization of Minority Architecture Students (NOMAS).

As he was busy packing up for his six-month residency at the firm Overland Partners, Gregory — the outgoing President of NOMAS — took time to make a special donation to the Archive. NOMAS was incredibly active this year, building their membership, conducting a service project for Mendez Middle School and holding a “napkin sketch” competition.  Such sketches often represent the seeds of designs that are later manifested in great buildings. This competition was NOMAS’ way of bringing together all programs and communities in the School while raising awareness of their organization.  The result is a unique representation of student, faculty and staff work.

During one of our morning breaks, I asked Gregory what NOMAS planned to do with the sketches.  We also discussed the importance of student organizations, and how it is difficult for members to ensure continuity and sustained knowledge for their leadership.  That’s where the archive comes in.  Especially during this era of centennial celebrations, we have seen a rise in scholars asking for information about the early days of programs and student life.  Student organization records reflect what students deem most valuable at a particular time in their education and their professions.  They reflect the work of future leaders.

Gregory recognizes the value of his organization’s work, and his effort in donating the NOMAS napkin sketch competition documentation is very fitting, serving as the seed of the NOMAS chapter archive and future collaborations with the University of Texas Libraries.  We look forward to supporting our student organizations and see a great future for NOMAS.

Beth Dodd is Head Librarian at the Architecture & Planning Library

Cross-posted at Battle Hall Highlights.

In Memoriam: Dr. James E. Boggs

Dr. James E. Boggs. Photo from the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

James E. Boggs, longtime chemistry professor and library benefactor, passed away on June 2, 2013, at the age of 91.

Dr. Boggs came to The University of Texas at Austin in 1953, after working in the Manhattan Project as an Oberlin College undergraduate and then getting his PhD at the University of Michigan.  In 1948 he married Ruth Ann Rogers, a librarian.  They had originally planned to stay only a few years in Texas, but ended up spending the rest of their lives in Austin.

A physical chemist specializing in molecular structure and dynamics with over 400 scientific publications, Boggs established the long-running Austin Symposium on Molecular Structure, which convened here starting in 1966.  As a popular teacher he pioneered a course on science in society and taught freshman chemistry for many years.

Boggs was an avid traveler and internationalist, and worked for years with the Overseas Study Program to seek out talented chemists in far-flung places around the world, providing them with professional opportunities to publish, travel, and work as post-docs in his lab.  While he retired officially in his seventies, as professor emeritus he maintained an active work schedule and a funded laboratory up until the time of his death.

In 1998 he and his wife established the James E. and Ruth Ann Boggs Endowment Fund, which has benefited the Mallet Chemistry Library as it strives to remain one of the best chemistry collections in the country.  The endowment has enabled the purchase of many expensive monographs and reference sets over the years, and along with the Skinner Endowment provides the margin of excellence that a top research library needs.  Memorial donations may be made to the Boggs Fund via the UT giving site.

David Flaxbart is the head librarian of the Mallet Chemistry Library.