UNT’s Portal to Texas History reaches one million items

UNT’s Portal to Texas History reaches one million items

UNT’s Portal to Texas History reaches one million items
March 04
20:58 2018

The Portal to Texas History, a university-maintained online database of Texas-related materials, reached 1 million items on Feb. 9. UNT Libraries celebrated the milestone Feb. 15 in Willis Library’s Special Collections unit.

The millionth item was the “De Cust Van Westindien Van La Desconoscida Tot C. Escondido,” a map that dates back to 1680.

“It’s about creating accessible information, to build unique opportunities for students at the university and to not assume the portal is only for history students,” said Mark Phillips, associate dean for Digital Libraries.

Since the Portal’s site launched in 2002, the UNT Libraries Special Collections department has been using it to catalog items related to Texas, from historical information and research to sports and rare artifacts. More than half a million users visit the Portal every month.

The portal is free and accessible to anyone who wishes to use it.

UNT has collaborated with more than 375 partners to create a catalog that has 1,011,000 items at the time of writing. UNT Libraries created the Cathy Nelson Hartman Portal to Texas History Endowment in 2012. The endowment is used to provide funds in order to add content, develop research and add collections to the Portal.

“We want students to use the Portal and take advantage of the available rich resources and services,” said Daniel Alemneh, supervisor for the Digital Curation Unit.

English literature student Kendall Martin said it’s her job to upload each item upon request from the Digital Libraries department and make sure that the items cataloged are easily searchable for anyone choosing to access anything through the Portal.

UNT Libraries partners with Reserving Texas History, which works on preserving pieces of history that are deteriorating due to age, to make the items digitally available to the public through the Portal.

“Transparency is key,” Alemneh said. “Like how our guiding principles say, provide unified digital access to resources of value to the UNT community. It’s important to provide more information that is print format, it’s about evolving as time goes on.”

Featured Image: An attendee observes one of the artifacts from the UNT Libraries’ catalog: the Portal to Texas History. The Portal has reached its millionth item, and there was a celebratory event on Thursday. Paige Bruneman

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Nicole Hooi-Rodriguez

Nicole Hooi-Rodriguez

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