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What’s New at the Walter Geology Library

At the Walter Geology Library we’ve spent the past year putting some of our reserves to work to enhance services.

We were able to reach a deal with the European Association of Geoscientists and Engineers, signing a five-year license for their Earth-Doc database, giving University of Texas users online access to a large store of full-text materials from Europe dealing with energy, geophysics, petroleum geology and related environmental topics. The database is not widely available in the United States and is a great complement to the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), One-Petro and GeoScienceWorld (GSW) holdings we already offer. In the first four months we had almost 1,400 downloads.

We also signed a five-year deal with GSW to be an early participant in its new e-books platform released in July 2014. Since we already hold some of the e-titles through our licenses, we focused on the roughly 700 titles in the package that we did not have already. Clearly the transition from print to electronic delivery is well under way.

The Texas topographic map collection has been consolidated into the Perry-Castaneda Library (PCL) Map Collection. This turned out to be a big task, but it has freed up 40 drawers. We are now processing 20 cartons of UNOCAL maps and preparing to shift the entire map collection. This year, with the assistance of associate professor Elizabeth Catlos and her students, we also acquired more than 60 pounds of Turkish geologic maps, vastly enlarging our coverage of that geologically important region.

In other map news, Calla Smith-Dowling and Katherine Strickland from the PCL Map Collection have initiated a quarterly event called “You Are Here” to highlight the role of cartographic information in the various libraries on campus. This year they featured the Benson Latin American Collection, the Fine Arts Library, the PCL Map Collection and the Walter Geology Library. Find out more at

In the area of notable gifts, in addition to about 50 cartons of materials from the Bureau of Economic Geology and Institute for Geophysics’ collections, this year we processed almost 75 cartons donated by the Edwards Aquifer Authority in San Antonio, of which we will retain about 20 percent.

We also this summer received 16 large cartons from the American Geosciences Institute containing materials from Australia and other overseas locations that we do not already own. AGI wanted these materials, which were processed for its GeoRef database, to be placed in an academic library where they would be available to users.

This is an outgrowth of our cooperative arrangement, having indexers from GeoRef onsite, which has been a great benefit for both us and AGI over the years.

Space, both onsite and for library storage, is becoming a crisis. Our new storage facility is now full due to making user space in the PCL, and we may lose an existing storage and processing building in a few years to make way for the Dell Medical School on Red River.

This year’s digitization news is again focused on theses and dissertations. We ask alumni to grant permission to digitize their master’s and doctoral theses for our UT Digital Repository, home of the official copies of new graduate theses available at To date, there are 430 geology theses in the repository, of which about 200 pre-date the repository.

This process is especially important for geology titles, which often include loose maps and glued-in photographs that are difficult to preserve. Since the copyright of a thesis belongs to the author, we need individual permission to post the files. If you would like to be included, please contact us at

Our new School of Information graduate research assistant Laura Mattys has done a great deal of work helping to catalog backlogged gifts.

In staff news, this year’s Guion Award winners are Ron Podgorsek, for his work on the Texas topo transfer project, and Strickland, for her teamwork in organizing the “You Are Here” presentations. Smith-Dowling, unit manager and webmaster, attended the Western Association of Map Librarians (WAML) meeting last fall and is taking over map cataloging in addition to her other varied duties.

Finally, congratulations to our student workers who have completed their degrees: Regi Floresca, Amanda Gatti, Zarina Moreno, Armando Pecina, Camille Senellart de Vriere and Samantha Vo. Thanks for your efforts over the years and best wishes to you all in your chosen careers!

—Dennis Trombatore, Librarian