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News From the Libraries Archive
October is American Archives Month—How to make a Humidification Chamber
Humidification is the process of introducing moisture into paper by placing the document inside an enclosed area with a water source. This is often done for tightly rolled documents such as large maps, posters, or large pictures. Water vapor enters the fibers of the document, allowing them to relax. Often the document may then be opened safely, after which it can be pressed and dried to keep it flat.
A conservator is a professional whose primary occupation is the practice of conservation and who, through specialized education, knowledge, training and experience, formulates and implements all the activities of conservation in accordance with an ethical code such as the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC) Code of Ethics and Guidelines for Practice.
Humidification is relatively safe, but there is always some risk when documents are exposed to water.
Items that should only be treated by professional conservators are:
- Rare and valuable documents.
- Non-paper documents such as parchment and vellum.
- Documents that are heavily soiled.
- Documents that show previous mold growth
- Documents with water soluble inks or paints as they may smear or bleed into the paper.
For help finding a conservator, contact the American Institute for Conservation at 202-452-9545 or visit their website at www.conservation-us.org.
Moving on to the fun stuff! What supplies do I need to make a Humidification Chamber?
- Plastic container with a tight-fitting lid, they come in different sizes and shapes. Select one made of plastic with no ventilation holes. Remember to choose a container which works best for the documents you want to flatten. Examples below:
- 2-3 bath towels.
- Water pitcher.
- 4 freezer containers. You can find these at any grocery store, Walmart or Target for less than $4.00.
- Warm water.
- “Egg Crate” light panel. These are plastic grids with holes in them. The documents will rest on this panel so it should have a small grid, approximately ½”, to give even support. The panel should be at least 3/8” thick, to prevent the document from touching the water filled containers beneath it. Cut the panel to fit on the lip of the container. You may need to cut the panel to fit in the container. Use caution when cutting because the plastic is brittle, and bits may fly about as it is cut. Wear protective eye gear when cutting the panel. Another option is asking hardware store staff to trim it for you.
- Blotting paper—purchase online at suppliers such as universityproducts.com or Gaylord.com.
- Paper for signage. Use this wording for the Sign: Humidification in Process.
- Unfold or unroll the document before humidifying, if that can be done without damaging it.
- Remove staples and paper clips. Metal fasteners can rust in humid conditions.
- Step 1—Fold towels and place at the bottom of the container.
- Step 2- Place 4 freezer containers of equal size on top of the towels
- Step3- Pour warm water into the freezer containers.
- Step4-Place egg crate panel on the lip of the container. It should fit snuggly, raised a few inches above the freezer containers to avoid their contact with document.
- Step 5- Cover the container and wait patiently for 4-8 hours. Check the progress of the document every 15-20 minutes. If you have to open the container, do not leave the lid off for long, or the humid air will escape, and this will prolong the humidification process.
- Step 6- Remove document from container, it will unroll on its own.
- Step 7- Lay the document flat on blotting paper. Make sure blotting paper covers top and bottom of the document you are drying. Use a book to provide even pressure while the document is drying. Leave on blotter paper for a minimum of 12 hours.
- Final step-Remove document from blotter stack. You are finished with humidifying your document.
Video on how to make humidification chamber to come later. Stay tuned!
If you have questions about humidifying your documents, please call or email Anne Comeaux or Mellisa DeThorne at the telephone/email below.
If you have a story of the early days of the Health Science Center or medicine in San Antonio to share, please send to email@example.com or call 210-567-2470.
Happy American Archives Month, All!
Mellisa DeThorne, Keeper of precious things
Information Courtesy of:
Open Access Week, PhD Comics Explains It All
PhD Comics has released a creative explanation of open access and its importance to research and health care. It’s a great 8-minute video explanation of what Open Access Science Communication is all about. The narrators are Nick Shockey of SPARC and Jonathan Eisen of University of California Davis, and the brilliant animation is by Jorge Cham of PhD Comics.
P. I. (Pat Ireland) Nixon Photographs & Biographical Materials
P. I. Nixon
Olive Gray Read Nixon
|Olive Read met Pat I. Nixon while they were both attending the University of Texas at Austin. He graduated in 1905, but they waited until he finished his M.D. degree at John Hopkins University School of Medicine and established his practice in San Antonio before marrying in 1912. They had four boys – Pat Ireland Nixon Jr., Robert Nixon, and the twins Benjamin Nixon and Thomas Nixon. Olive shared Nixon’s interest in history and was his partner in collecting historical materials.|
Fannie Andrews Nixon
|Frances Amanda Andrews was born in Randolph county, North Carolina, on Nov. 5, 1843. In 1866 she left North Carolina with her brother-in-law and sister and after a 3 months journal arrived in Texas, settling at Belmont. She taught school for a few years then in 1872 married Captain Robert Thomas Nixon, the owner of a 14,000 acre plantation 6 miles south of what is now Luling. Captain Nixon had 9 children from his previous marriage. Fannie added 7 children of her own. In 1895 they moved to Luling. When her husband died in 1897, she managed the estate for the next forty-two years.|
P. I. Nixon, Jr.
|Dr. Pat I. Nixon Jr. MD was born on May 28, 1913. He graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1935 and Duke Medical School in 1939. He joined the Army in 1949 and was stationed at West Point during World War II as a Hygiene Teacher and a member of the Medical Staff. He returned to San Antonio in 1946 and practiced medicine with his father. He married Ruby Baker while in the Army, and they had 4 children. Ruby died in 1982, and he married his second wife, Della. He loved old antique cars and driving and donatedmuch of his time to charity and doing work for the Boy Scouts. He died in October 2012 at the age of 99.|
Ben Oliver Nixon
|Ben Oliver Nixon was born in 1921, the oldest of the “Tennis Playing Twins.” He was a Captain and aircraft pilot in the Air Force and died while flying a plane in 1961. He was married to Grace Nixon and had four children.|
P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library Policies
UT Health Science Center Libraries Special Collections
Procedures for Use of P. I. Nixon Library and the University Archives
The P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and the University Archives is open to lay and professional researchers by appointment from Monday through Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm, except on university holidays. The following procedures help preserve the material in the collections for future generations. Your understanding and cooperation is appreciated.
- The P. I. Nixon Library Reading Room is reserved for those using materials from the Special Collections. Rare books and archives may not be checked out or removed from the Reading Room.
- All patrons must register with the Special Collections staff and complete and sign a Research Agreement. Picture identification is required.
- Special Collections materials may be used only under supervision of Special Collections staff, who will assist patrons in identifying material to be reviewed and who will retrieve requested material for patrons.
- Library staff must be present in the Reading Room during the use of archival materials and rare books. Please notify Special Collections staff when you arrive and return materials to staff when you leave.
- Appointments are required if specific materials are requested. Staff need to know in advance as some materials are stored in remote locations. For rare books call 210-567-2428 or email firstname.lastname@example.org; for archival materials call 210-567-2470 or email email@example.com
- No bags, brief cases, purses, notebooks, folders, binders, coats, or other personal property are allowed in the Reading Room. These should be given to Special Collections staff for safe keeping and will be returned when materials are turned back in. Personal computers are permitted, but computer carrying cases must be placed with staff.
- Use only pencil or personal computers for taking notes. No other writing implements or markers are allowed in the Reading Room during materials use. Do not mark materials in any way or fold pages.
- Only loose sheets of paper are allowed in the Reading Room for note taking and will be provided by staff. PostIt NotesTM are not allowed. Patrons must present all material to Special Collections staff for checking prior to departure.
- Food and drink are not allowed in the Reading Room except for special functions approved by the Library.
- Unless special arrangements are made beforehand, no more than 2 books and/or 2 manuscript boxes will be retrieved at a time. No items will be retrieved after 4:00 pm.
- Cameras are welcome, but flash photography is not allowed. Photography must be supervised by Special Collections staff and permission must be obtained for publication or reproduction of any Special Collections materials.
- Archival materials and rare books must be handled with great care. Staff will monitor the use and handling of materials at all times. Proper handling guidelines include, but are not limited to:
- Handle papers one at a time, using both hands for support, and stack papers carefully. Do not pick up a stack of papers and tap them on the table to straighten them. If a document is in fragile condition, please request assistance from a staff member.
- Do not make any marks, erasures, or any other changes on a document.
- Keep all items on the table while being used. Place nothing in the lap or propped against the table. Staff can provide book cradles or supports for better viewing of books.
- Place nothing on top of archival materials or books. Do not write on top of, fold anew, or trace materials.
- Turn pages slowly and carefully, touching only the margins if possible.
- Wear the cotton gloves provided when handling pictures and wash hands prior to handling rare books.
- Notify staff if you notice any irregularities or incongruities in the description of the material and the actual material, or if you notice damaged materials.
- Tours of the Nixon Library can be arranged. We welcome groups.
Note regarding photocopying and digitization: Staff will digitize or photocopy a portion of text for patrons. Some materials cannot be copied due to their condition or other restrictions. Materials larger than 11” X 17” will not be photocopied. Photocopies or digitization may be ordered at the time of visit and should be ready within 24 hours. There is no charge for Health Science Center personnel. Non-UT Health Science Center users will be charged 25 cents per photocopy or $25.00 per picture digitized, collected in advance. Fees may be charged for digitization of other materials, depending on the purpose and the amount of materials requested.
Please note that access to the collections of the P. I. Nixon Medical Historical Library and the University Archives does not imply permission to copy, quote, publish, or otherwise make public use of any part of the collection. The researcher assumes the responsibility to secure such permissions, including permission from the UT Health Science Center Libraries, prior to use.
Planning an Imaging Project
The handouts and webinars on this page were developed by the Texas State Library and Archives Commission to help personnel at state agencies and local governments who are considering digitizing records. They are free to everyone. The webinars are archived at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission website and may be viewed as a guest. You may also create an account to login so you can print out a certificate for the course. Click View the Archived Webinar on the course webpage to view the webinar. The download may take a few seconds.
What does digital imaging involve? When (and why) is digital imaging beneficial, and when is it a waste of money and time? This webinar discusses the benefits of imaging and cost considerations. It also discusses the issue of source document destruction – should you destroy the original document after scanning and how do you ensure requirements for authenticity?
Handout (You may need to click Login as a guest to view the handout.)
View Part 1 (You may need to click Login as a guest to view the webinar then click on View the Archived Webinar )
This is the second part of the planning an imaging project webinar series. It explores who should do the imaging – you or a vendor – and the components of an in-house project (how to do it) – selecting software and equipment, handling fragile or oversized material, staffing and training, metadata, file formats, and quality control.
Handout for Part 2 (You may need to click Login as a guest to view the handout.)
View Part 2 (You may need to click Login as a guest to view the webinar then click on View the Archived Webinar )
Print from a Windows laptop
Please note: When installing this software in the Library please use a wired network connection. Do not use a wireless connection.
Pharos Popups does not currently support 64-bit Windows Vista.
- Download the Pharos Popups installation file for the location that you wish to be able print to:
- If you get the “Do you want to run or save this file?” box, click Run.
- If you get the “The publisher could not be verified” warning, click Run.
- The installation window will open. Click Start. It will take several minutes for the installation to finish.
- When the installation finishes, click Finish.
Note: If you wish to install more than once location, simply install each location individually.
Read the December issue of News from the Libraries
RefWorks from the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio Libraries
RefWorks is free to UT Health Science Center San Antonio affiliates with current Library registration. You can access your RefWorks account from any computer with access to the internet
Links to help you get started with RefWorks:
- Refworks Quick Start Guide
- RefWorks video tutorial playlists on YouTube:
- Search a library database
- Convert to RefWorks from another reference manager (like EndNote)
Need Help? Visit The Libraries Get Help page.
RefWorks will be down for systems maintenance Saturday, August 24 at 10:00 AM – Sunday, August 25 at 3:00 AM. During this time users will be unable to access network paths.