CHC Research Colloquia 2017-2018: Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellows Speak on their Research

The Cuban Heritage Collection’s 2017-2018 Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowship Research Colloquia kicks off in August with several talks by researchers who will be describing their works in progress.

​Colloquia are scheduled for 3 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Held at the Elena Díaz-Versón Amos Conference Room in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion on second floor of the Otto G. Richter Library, these events are free and open to the public.

  • Tuesday, August 1
  • John Ermer, Florida International University (History)
    The Lebanese Mahjar in Cuba
  • Asiel Sepulveda, Southern Methodist University (Art History)
    City Impressions: Frédéric Mialhe and the Making of Nineteenth-Century Havana
  • Thursday, August 3
  • Lilianne Lugo Herrera, University of Miami (Modern Languages and Literatures)
    Transnational Black Bodies: Caribbean Perspectives on the Theater of the Cuban Diaspora
  • Thursday, August 10
  • Rodrigo Del Rio, Harvard University (Romance Languages and Literatures)
    Cuban Urban Imaginaries: Writing the City on the Verge of Revolution
  • Tuesday, August 15
  • Alberto Sosa Cabanas, Florida International University (Modern Languages)
    Racism, Celebration and Otherness: Depictions of Blackness in the Cuban Cultural Discourse (1790-1959)
  • Tuesday, August 22
  • Catherine Mas, Yale University (History, Program in the History of Science and Medicine)
    The Culture Brokers: Medicine, Anthropology, and Transcultural Miami, 1960-1990
  • Wednesday, October 11
  • Corinna Moebius, Florida International University (Global and Sociocultural Studies)
    Transnational Racial Politics of Public Memory and Public Space in Little Havana’s Heritage District
  • Friday, December 15
  • Rosanne Sia, University of Southern California (American Studies and Ethnicity)
    Performing Fantasy in Motion: The Hemispheric Circulation of Women Performers, 1940-1960
  • William Kelly, Rutgers University (History)
    Revolución es [Re]construir: Housing Policy and Everyday Life in the Cuban Revolution, 1959-1989

Learn more about the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships »

2017-2018 Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowship Awards

The University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) will welcome eleven new Goizueta Graduate Fellows beginning in July. Hailing from institutions across the United States, the 2017-2018 cohort of fellows is comprised of historians, literary specialists, and ethnicity scholars.

2017-2018 is the eighth year of the CHC’s graduate fellowships program. In 2015 the Goizueta Foundation made a $1 million gift to endow graduate fellowships at the Cuban Heritage Collection.

The Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowship Program provides assistance to doctoral students in the U.S. who wish to use the research resources available in the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami Libraries. The goal of the program is to engage emerging scholars with the materials available in the CHC and thus contribute to the larger body of scholarship in Cuban, Latin@, hemispheric, and international studies.

For more information about fellowship opportunities at the Cuban Heritage Collection or to learn about past fellows, click here.

Graduate Research Fellows

Elizabeth Cerejido
University of Florida (Art and Art History)
Cuban (American) Art: Beyond Nation and Diaspora

William Kelly
Rutgers University (History)
Revolución es [Re]construir: Housing Policy and Everyday Life in the Cuban Revolution, 1959-1989

Sara Kozameh
New York University (History)
Harvest of Revolution: Cuban Agrarian Reform and the Politics of Consent, 1958-1970

Catherine Mas
Yale University (History, Program in the History of Science and Medicine)
The Culture Brokers: Medicine, Anthropology, and Transcultural Miami, 1960-1990

Corinna Moebius
Florida International University (Global and Sociocultural Studies)
Transnational Racial Politics of Public Memory and Public Space in Little Havana’s Heritage District

Rosanne Sia
University of Southern California (American Studies and Ethnicity)
Performing Fantasy in Motion: The Hemispheric Circulation of Women Performers, 1940-1960


Graduate Pre-Prospectus Fellows

John Ermer
Florida International University (History)
The Lebanese Mahjar in Cuba

Lilianne Lugo Herrera
University of Miami (Modern Languages and Literatures)
Transnational Black Bodies: Caribbean Perspectives on the Theater of the Cuban Diaspora

Rodrigo del Rio
Harvard University (Romance Languages and Literatures)
Cuban Urban Imaginaries: Writing the City on the Verge of Revolution

Asiel Sepulveda
Southern Methodist University (Art History)
City Impressions: Frédéric Mialhe and the Making of Nineteenth-Century Havana

Alberto Sosa Cabanas
Florida International University (Modern Languages)
Racism, Celebration and Otherness: Depictions of Blackness in the Cuban Cultural Discourse (1790- 1959)

A Conversation with UM Faculty: Dr. Leslie Knecht, Ph.D., Lecturer in the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences

In the fall of 2016, Dr. Leslie Knecht co-taught with Dr. J. David Van Dyken, assistant professor of biology, a Chemistry (CHM 113) / Biology (BIL 152) integrated laboratory course made possible through a grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). The HHMI courses provide opportunities for first-year students from underrepresented minorities to conduct scientific research and explore career paths in the biomedical sciences.

Leslie Knecht, PhD

A member of the 2016 Faculty Learning Community, Dr. Knecht was introduced to the services offered in the University of Miami’s pilot Learning Commons, located on the first floor of the Otto G. Richter Library. The Learning Commons supports creativity and experimentation, including designing and modeling 3D objects. Doctors Knecht and Van Dyken decided to incorporate opportunities for the students to use the 3D printing service in the Digital Media Lab, one of the many academic service partners participating in the Learning Commons.

In this conversation with Dr. Knecht from January 2017, Kelly Miller, associate dean for Learning and Research Services, found out more about the design of the course and assignments, the tools and services used, and what the students were able to discover and learn during the semester.


Can you briefly describe the course you taught with Dr. Van Dyken and what you hoped the students would learn?

The course is an introductory laboratory course that integrates both biology and chemistry. The goal is to give students an authentic research experience at the introductory level so we can demystify science for the students and, hopefully, excite them to begin pursuing other research opportunities in a STEM field. We want to take a true interdisciplinary approach to research so they can see that what they learn in their biology class can be relevant to the topics they learn in chemistry, physics, etc.

Briefly, in the course they genetically engineered knockouts in yeast. This means that they chose specific genes to delete or replace in the DNA of the yeast. They had to research the genes and make their own hypotheses on the effects the deletion would have on some testable characteristic of the yeast. They then tested these hypotheses using traditional lab techniques (petri dishes, microtiter plates, test tubes).

For the second half of the lab, they were tasked with creating new analytical platforms to perform their analyses. Each group noted shortcomings with the traditional techniques and created a device or platform that could overcome that shortcoming. They were able to use a 3D printer, a polymer, and a wax printer to create their designs. After the initial creation, the students had to optimize many parameters to get the yeast to grow because there was little literature precedent using these types of platforms for yeast.

Ultimately, we want to show students that science is truly an interdisciplinary subject, and sometimes that does not adequately come across in our normal curriculum. We want students to learn that it is okay to break the boundaries of a discipline and use unique and creative collaborative ideas to solve problems. In short, we hoped the course and project would excite the students about science and teach them to not just be analytical, but also creative in their problem solving.


Left to right: M3D Micro 3D Printer and the lab group’s first printed mold. Image credit: The Lab Journal.

In what ways did the “Create” portion of the Learning Commons’ service model (supported by the Digital Media Lab ) enable you to create new or different types of assignments for the course?

We could not have completed the project if not for the Digital Media Lab. Before becoming a member of the Faculty Learning Community, I had no idea that the Library had a 3D printer we could use. The staff there, specifically Morgan McKie, was instrumental in allowing the project to move forward. They were more than willing to come to my class and give presentations on how to use the available software to make the 3D models. Morgan helped to troubleshoot some of the design flaws my students had (walls that were designed too thin, models that were out of the size range of the printer, etc.).

One student, who was really involved in the 3D modeling software, would go to the Digital Media Lab in her spare time to learn the software. To me, that is what teaching is all about — to inspire students to learn something new that can translate to transferrable skills in the future. Without the support of the Digital Media Lab, this project would not have been as successful as it was.


Top to bottom: Original model design and the finalized 3D printed Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) platform students created to be able to analyze the competition of wild-type and mutant yeast. Image credit: HHMI General Biology Laboratory Group 1.2.

How does 3D printing, in particular, enable your students to learn in new or different ways?

By allowing the students to make their own analytical platforms, they had complete ownership of the project. It was THEIR design. They were invested in the outcome of the project. Technology like 3D printing allows for students to bring creativity to the classroom. They had to really think about what they wanted to achieve and carefully design something to reach their goals. No two designs were the same, even though some of their goals were the same. 3D printing their own analytical platform enabled the students to truly think about what they were doing in the lab, not just go through the motions of getting an experiment done so they can leave lab for that day. Again, by being able to 3D print, it showed students that there is a creative component to science. It demonstrates that you are not confined to what exists, but you can create new things to solve your specific problem. To me, that is what science is about.


How did you, as the teacher, learn about the students’ experiences? What did you ask them to share with you?

One thing I pride myself on is the relationship I have with my students. They often speak to me about experiences on campus with the various resources that we offer. For example, my students told me early in my teaching career that there were no tutors available for my class at the Camner Academic Resource Center. I went to the center to speak with one of the directors to shed light on the situation and they were very helpful, making accommodations for the students who needed it. For the HHMI laboratory course, I frequently spoke with the students about their experience in the Digital Media Lab. There were good lines of communication between employees in the Lab and my students. The employees, namely Morgan, went above and beyond to assist my students. I think the common theme with the Learning Commons is that they are here to help and will do whatever is possible to facilitate the students’ learning.


In your view, why is it so important to increase representation of minorities in the biomedical sciences research community? How might the Learning Commons contribute to this effort, do you think?

It is important to increase minorities in the biomedical sciences and sciences in general because they are so underrepresented. As a society, we need to step back and ask ourselves why this is true. I am a minority in the sciences in several ways: I am a woman, I am African American, and I grew up with a very disadvantaged socioeconomic background. When I look back, the key thing that got me interested in sciences was the enthusiasm and encouragement from teachers and mentors along the way. As a professor, I want to demonstrate that science is not just what you learn in a textbook but also has a creative component. I want to be enthusiastic about science so my students will feel enthusiastic. I want to create an atmosphere for my students that encourage them to talk to me when they have problems and to find solutions for those problems. That is where the Learning Commons plays a key role. I have sent students to the Camner Academic Resource Center for tutoring and I have sent some of my best students to apply to be tutors at the center. Having a free tutoring resource helps break down those socioeconomic barriers some students may have.

My students commonly reserve study rooms at the library and study together as groups. This community builds relationships and confidence of the students taking the course. I have used the Digital Media Lab to encourage collaborations and creative thinking about science. All of these things help break down barriers and make science more accessible to everyone.


Groups of students researching primers to block the IRA2 gene, the gene they had chosen to genetically modify. Image credit: Hell Yeast.

How would you like to see the “Create” portion of the Learning Commons’ service model grow and develop?

I wish more classes would use the technology and the expertise that exists in the Learning Commons. There are a million things you can do with 3D printing, whether it be making a model for demonstrative purposes or making actual working prototypes as my students were able to do. Beyond 3D printing, I think educational game design would be interesting and serve as a conduit to finding more interdisciplinary approaches to subjects that you normally wouldn’t pair.

I would love to see a well-attended open house with faculty from across the University to converse and assist one another with coming up with innovative and integrative technology driven pedagogy. Of course, I would also like to see the Learning Commons get more resources (like more 3D printers) and gain a larger audience in the University. It truly is a valuable resource, but more faculty need support in understanding how to tap into the benefits of the resource.


What was the most surprising or exciting thing you learned during the semester?

I wouldn’t say I was surprised by the students’ enthusiasm for their projects, but it definitely excited me. Students were checking on their experiments on days when lab was not in session. They were coming together in their groups and excitedly discussing the project. When one of their ideas checked out, they would cheer and high five. During presentations, students in the entire class would collaborate and offer advice from their failures and successes to one another. It would be any instructor’s dream to see how involved and invested the students were in their learning.


Photos from a yeast test lab report. Image credit: HHMI Group 4.

How does this course reflect the way scientific experimentation in laboratories is changing in the 21st century?

Technology is continuously advancing knowledge in the scientific community. Technology has enabled us to see matter on the atomic scale, develop better diagnostics for earlier detection of diseases, and to characterize materials that we cannot even see with the naked eye. All of this technology comes from creative people coming together to create new technology or use existing technology in new ways to solve problems. That is what this course was meant to show students.

We need to train our future scientists to take risks, to be creative, and to think outside of the box to solve problems. We have so much technology at our fingertips and most students are aware of and have used the technology for non-science related things. We wanted to show them that they can take something that has a different purpose and repurpose it to solve a problem.

For instance, we had one group use spray-on deodorant, tape, and an adhesive spray on paper to perform one of their tests. One doesn’t usually think of using those things to perform science, but you definitely can use them.

Science is also becoming more and more interdisciplinary. This lab showed the students that sometimes it takes more than one scientific field to solve problems. Collaborative research and being able to work and communicate over different disciplines is of utmost importance for future scientific advances.


Can first-year students truly contribute to scientific research, and if so, how?

Yes, yes, yes! First-year students can definitely contribute to scientific research. Sometimes they don’t even realize how their knowledge can be applied to solve scientific problems. I think it is our job as faculty and mentors to help a student make connections between what they are learning in their courses and how they can use that knowledge in research. We also must show students how to use the scientific literature to solve problems. Once my students knew where to look, they found peer-reviewed scientific publications that gave them ideas for their projects.

If any student is interested in research, they should contact the Office of Undergraduate Research in the first floor of the Ungar Building. This office assists students with finding a research lab based on their interests. Even if a student isn’t sure what area of science they are most interested in, they should go to this office and find out more about the research opportunities on campus.


How did participation in the Faculty Learning Community affect your own approach to teaching the course?

I cannot say in words how much I appreciated my time in the Faculty Learning Community. I went because I wanted to make problem-solving videos for my lectures. I left not only learning about the One Button Studio to make the videos, but also learning about the 3D printers, how to do virtual office hours, game design and development, and a host of other things.

It was incredible to collaborate with faculty from other colleges in the University and to reimagine my discipline in a more interdisciplinary way. It was also wonderful to hear how other professors approached solving problems similar to what I have had in teaching and giving my advice to other faculty based on my experiences. I definitely felt like it was a community, and I made some great connections.


Left to right: Printing a test mini-manometer starts with the 3D modeling stage and ends with removing the finished print from its mold. Image credit: Yeastparalogs.

What courses are you teaching this semester, and will you do anything differently based on your experience in the Fall?

I am currently teaching an upper divisional analytical chemistry lab course (a lab course for chemistry majors). In the previous year, I had taught this course and did not have a authentic research component or a project. Therefore, I wanted to implement a project utilizing technology much like the students used in the HHMI lab course. However, unlike the HHMI course, I am allowing students to have more freedom to choose what type of project they would like to complete based upon their individual research interests. Thus far, I have seen that giving too much freedom can sometimes be overwhelming for students because they aren’t sure where to begin, especially when you are introducing them to things they have never been exposed to. I have had to take a more involved approach this semester and help guide the students. Having a more defined goal and guidelines is definitely something to keep in mind when trying to implement this type of project in the future. Although the students have seen these technological concepts, we are utilizing them in ways the students are not familiar with.


Is there anything else you would like to share with us today that we haven’t asked about?

I would just say to faculty that we have so many resources for our students on campus, starting with the Learning Commons. These resources aren’t always well advertised, and students sometimes overlook them. As faculty, we need to guide our students to the resources that give them the best chance to be successful. Further, we need to be advocates of innovation in the classroom. We are teaching a new generation of technologically savvy students and to engage them, we need to tap into their interests. The Learning Commons is a great place to get started, and even if they do not have what you need, they will definitely help direct you where to go.


Thank you for sharing these insights with us!

Join Us for “Independent Internationalism in the Air: Pan American Airlines, the Pan American Union, and the 1928 Havana Convention” on May 26

Friday, May 26, 2017 | 12:30 p.m.

Otto G. Richter Library | 3rd Floor Conference Room
1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

Join Sean Seyer for a presentation of his book project based on ongoing research of the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records. Dr. Seyer is using the collection to place the origin, institutionalization, and application of the first civil aviation regulation in the United States within an international context, an analytical approach missing in the current domestic-centric narrative.

After World War I, Allied representatives crafted the 1919 Convention Relating to the Regulation of Aerial Navigation as part of the Versailles Peace Conference. This document constituted a regime—something political scientist Stephen Krasner defined as a set of “principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures”—that set the parameters for international civil aviation in the interwar period.  While the convention’s connection to the League of Nations precluded ratification by the United States, Canada’s adoption of it resulted in the unofficial acceptance of its operational and registrational standards among American engineering societies, insurance companies, and aviation organizations. The 1926 Air Commerce Act, drafted in consultation with these same industry and aviation interests, placed all interstate and foreign flights within the United States under federal jurisdiction and allowed for the formal adoption of the convention’s standards in the absence of ratification.

In this presentation, Seyer will discuss the book project and highlight interesting and important discoveries from his work with the Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records.


About Dave Abrams and Gene Banning

After graduating from the University of Miami, Dave Abrams (1919-2005) joined Pan American Airways and worked for 42 years as a meteorologist, navigator, and Director of Flight Operations for Latin America. Abrams was instrumental in the formation of The Pan Am Historical Foundation after the company shut its doors in 1991, and he played a crucial role in finding a home for Pan Am’s archives and memorabilia.

Gene Banning (1918-2006) was one of the longest serving pilots for Pan Am. His aviation days started with the infamous flying boats in 1941 and ended with Boeing 747s in 1978. An avid researcher, Banning was a guiding member of The Pan Am Historical Foundation from its inception, and he is the author of Airlines of Pan American since 1927.


About The Pan Am Historical Foundation and Special Collections

The Pan Am Historical Foundation is a group dedicated to preserving the heritage of Pan American World Airways.

The Special Collections of the University of Miami Libraries preserves and provides access to research materials focusing on the history and culture of Florida, the Caribbean, and Latin America. The Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records consists of hundreds of boxes of materials and reigns as the most avidly consulted single resource in Special Collections.

Questions? Email or call 305-284-4026.

UM is a smoke-free campus. Parking is available at the Pavia Garage near Stanford Drive. Please click map image below to enlarge. Learn more about parking »


2017-2018 Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships

Call for Applications
The University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC) is calling for applications for the 2017-2018 Goizueta Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships in support of individual research by graduate students and scholars who wish to use the research resources available in the CHC. The goal of the Goizueta Foundation Graduate Fellowships is to engage emerging scholars with the materials available in the CHC and thus contribute to the larger body of scholarship in Cuban, American, Latin@, hemispheric, and international studies.

Information about the fellowships, eligibility requirements, and application process is available online at The deadline for applications, which should be submitted electronically on Interfolio, is Wednesday, February 1, 2017.

Questions about the fellowships program or application instructions should be directed to


Award Categories
All recipients must be in residence during the course of the fellowship and may not hold concurrent teaching positions.

Graduate Pre-Prospectus Summer Fellowships

Pre-Prospectus Summer Fellowships will allow doctoral students to determine how the CHC may serve their research needs as they prepare the dissertation prospectus. These are exploratory fellowships to determine if research resources in the CHC will support a dissertation. Fellowships of $1,500 will be granted for one month in residence between June 1 and August 31 of 2017.

Graduate Research Fellowships

Research Fellowships will support doctoral students who wish to use the CHC as a primary resource for a dissertation. Doctoral students applying for these fellowships will have completed their course work and passed their qualifying examinations. Fellowships of $3,000 per month will be granted for periods of one to three months

New Library Catalog Now Live: Search, Browse, and Discover with uSearch

For the past year, UM’s nine libraries have been collaborating on a merger and migration to a new library management platform and catalog/discovery tool in order to streamline access to the University’s millions of library holdings. The new catalog, known as uSearch, went live May 19, uniting three separate catalogs from across the Coral Gables, Miller School of Medicine, and Rosenstiel campuses.

The library-wide effort was first announced to the University community in February. “Faculty and students on all campuses will be very pleased to discover that, with one search, resources from across the University’s libraries will be displayed on their screen,” said Professor of Law Sally Wise, chair of the Faculty Senate Library & Information Resources Committee and director of the Law Library.

Library users can explore uSearch from an interdisciplinary access point or focus their searches through the uSearch portals of Medical and Law libraries, which have been customized with additional search settings specific to those subject areas.

What does this mean for library users?

  • One catalog: All resources from Law, Medical (Calder, Ophthalmology, and UMH Libraries), Interdisciplinary (Richter), and the subject specialty libraries (Architecture, Business, Marine & Atmospheric Science, and Music) will be available in one catalog.
  • One search: Users will now be able to search all locally digitized/created resources from a single search field. This search includes digitized content from our distinctive collections, institutional repositories, and UM electronic theses and dissertations.
  • One login: Users will have a single means of authentication for most library resources (CaneID).*

Additionally users can look forward to enhanced communications on borrowed materials, including courtesy notices in advance of an item’s due date and loan and check-in receipts.

What do users get by logging in to the system?

While anyone may browse the catalog as a guest, signing in to the system provides users with access to a suite of services that includes:

  • the ability to request and/or place a hold on library materials
  • customize search preferences
  • save customized searches
  • save articles and catalog entries
  • add notes
  • create folders
  • export information to bibliographic software
  • receive alerts when new items are added that fit one’s search parameters, topics of interest, etc.

NOTE: Due to publisher licensing restrictions, results from some databases (e.g., Web of Science) only display if users are logged in.

Need help?

Find search tips and guidance on the use of specific uSearch features for interdisciplinary, Medical, and Law libraries:

Feedback and questions

We welcome your feedback and are grateful for your patience during this implementation process.

*Interlibrary Loan services of the Law and Medical libraries will remain independently operated by their respective departments.

Join Us for “Jet Set Frontiers in the Middle East” by Dr. Waleed Hazbun on May 20


University of Miami Special Collections cordially invites you to

Jet Set Frontiers in the Middle East
by Dr. Waleed Hazbun

Friday, May 20, 2016
Presentation 12:30 p.m. | Lunch to follow

Otto G. Richter Library, 3rd Floor Conference Room
University of Miami | 1300 Memorial Drive | Coral Gables, FL 33146

This event is free and open to the public. RSVP to or call 305-284-4026.

Join Dr. Waleed Hazbun in a presentation of his book project based on ongoing research of the World Wings International, Inc. Records. Dr. Hazbun, the first recipient of Special Collections’ World Wings International, Inc. Research Grant, is using the collection to explore the expansion of American commercial airline networks through the Middle East since the early post-World War II era. The book focuses on challenges that commercial airline networks faced with the rise of regional conflict, air piracy, and violence targeting Americans and American institutions abroad. In this presentation Dr. Hazbun will discuss the project and highlight interesting and important discoveries from his work with the World Wings International, Inc. Records.

About World Wings International Inc.

World Wings International, Inc. is the philanthropic organization of former Pan Am flight attendants who seek to maintain the historic Pan Am tradition of global humanitarian assistance, safeguard Pan Am’s place in aviation history, and promote friendship among its members through cultural and civic activities. The organization’s records, housed at Special Collections, include administrative records as well as scrapbooks, photographs, membership and annual meetings files, correspondence, and financial records dating back to 1946.

Please click map image below to enlarge. Contact us at 305-284-4026 or with questions about directions and parking.


New Collection Celebrates and Preserves Urban Art in Florida

A unique collection generously donated by Barbara Young in honor of her late husband, artist and teacher Robert Huff, is now available for research. The Robert Huff Collection includes a vast array of exhibit catalogs dating back from the 1980s to the present. Of interest are the sheer number and variety of exhibits that cropped up all around Miami, showcasing different artists with their own brand and identity that contributed something valuable and new to the art scene.

At the forefront of the collection is one name splayed across many of these exhibit catalogs – Robert Huff himself, a former art professor and chairman at Miami Dade College. His stunning, three-dimensional visual style was celebrated throughout the decades as a welcome presence in Miami as his use of bright colors intersects with architectural designs to create pieces that are unexpectedly harmonious in spite of their disparate elements. Segmenting lines and geometrical shapes present in many of his artworks are where these elements meet and interact to create layered images that paint an urban jungle for its audience to be lured into, inviting them to traverse deeper into the story he tried to tell in each piece.


These catalogs serve as a celebration of his prominence and success here in Miami and will hopefully evoke the curiosity of future young artists and researchers who wish to delve deeper into his work and those of his contemporaries. We invite you all to come stop by and take a look through the exhibition catalogs to experience the way the urban art movement has shaped Miami’s cultural scene as a whole.

Capturing Florida’s local art scene is one of our key collecting areas here in Special Collections as we feel it has something unique and culturally significant to offer current and future generations. We are striving to document as much of it as possible before historical materials are lost or disappear into the ether (as so many websites do), so materials such as our newly acquired Robert Huff Collection have become crucial to our initiative to preserve Florida’s modern history with the same eclectic flair that we experience in our day-to-day lives living here in this energetic and artistically vibrant city.

Life in an Archive: Heartbeats, Lifelines, and Legacies

Connecting People and Papers of the Past and Present

Arcihve Month 2014 - Stewardess with soldiers

Photograph of stewardess and soldiers inside a Boeing 707 on a Vietnam Rest and Relaxation Airlift, circa 1960s, Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records collection.

by Emily Gibson and Laura Capell

It may sound anachronistic to refer to “life” in an archive when you consider that archives house the collections of people and places past. However, life is precisely what archives are all about. Case in point: the Pan Am Collection.

With over 1,500 boxes of historical materials, the Pan American World Airways, Inc. corporate records touch upon many different aspects of twentieth century history—not just in the United States, but around the world. Since it’s such a rich treasure trove of information, the collection is incredibly popular with researchers interested in an immense variety of topics.

World Wings Grant (attendant_on_engine)

Photograph of stewardess seated inside a Boeing 707 engine intake well, circa 1960s, World Wings International, Inc. Records collection.

Researchers are the heartbeat of our collections. Many Pan Am researchers are former Pan Am employees or family members of former employees interested in documenting their family history. Aviation enthusiasts also like to use the collection, since Pan Am played such a significant role in aviation history. The collection is also popular with scholars researching a wide variety of historical, social, and cultural topics.

Sometimes our collections are lifelines. Take for example a Vietnam veteran who contacted UML Special Collections searching for documentation in support of his disability claim. Information from a Pan Am timetable from Southeast Asia from the early 1970s provided the final piece of information needed for the VA to approve his claim. As an archivist, it’s incredibly fulfilling to connect people with the information they’re looking for, especially when that information has the power to change a life.

Archive Month 2014 - Map with Saigon

Detail of route map from 1972 timetable, Pan American World Airways, Inc. Records collection.

The Pan American World Airways, Inc. corporate records may be the linchpin of Pan Am’s legacy, but the motor driving the legacy are organizations like the Pan Am Historical Foundation and World Wings International whose missions are to educate people about Pan Am’s history and connect the people who made that history possible. These organizations keep Pan Am alive.

The Pan Am Collection includes the records of the Pan Am Historical Foundation, Inc. and World Wings International, Inc., and the personal papers of dozens of former employees, in addition to the corporate records. These collections, and the relationships we forge with the people and organizations who donate them, are a very important part of life in UML Special Collections.

Stay tuned throughout Archives Month for stories about how UM students, researchers, donors, and community members are breathing life into UM Libraries’ unique and distinctive collections.

Music Research Guide

Got a music research paper coming up and you don’t know where to start? Take a look at the Music Research Guide. The research guide list important and popular resources for music research, organized by type of resource.There are also links to guides for specific courses as well as for specific types of research, from jazz to music therapy and more.


If you’re teaching a course and you would like a customized guide for your course, please contact us at