Rice vs. University of Houston

Tomorrow we play our city rivals UH in the annual Bayou Bucket Classic. Let’s look back at our previous clashes.

Rice players holding the trophy
Winning the trophy in 1993
Rice player #44 running towards the defense while being protected by #42
Future NFL player Earl Cooper on the move against UH, 1979

If you feel like watching games of yore, here’s a highlight film featuring Arkansas, Baylor, and UH from 1987.

Your ears aren’t deceiving you. There is no sound.

Watson Mystery Solved, Part 2

If you remember back a few weeks ago, we had re-discovered a collection of books by William Watson. We figured out why his book became dispersed. Warning it’s a bit technical. In the online library catalog, some of our onsite rare books can be identified by location as WRC – [name of collection]. When Watson lived on the shelves in the Woodson, the collection was safe and a distinct unit both physically on the shelves and in the catalog.

But…Watson moved offsite to the Library Service Center. When that happened, the location designation changed to LSC-WRC and that’s it. With the location change, what tethered the collection together (proximity and the Watson location name) fell apart. There’s only one other rare book collection that lives offsite and that one has a special note that ties the collection together.

stack of books
Complete set of Odes and Other Poems

Lauren DuBois, trusty cataloger, is now ordering the books by title (There are multiple editions for each title.) and making the requisite changes in the catalog as well as providing more descriptive updates. For example, Watson wrote two poems (published elsewhere) into the first couple of pages one of the books.

But folks, that’s not all. We temporarily proved Rudyard Kipling wrong.

Newspaper clipping: Mr. Rudyard Kipling said of Sir William Watson last night: "He did magnificent work. He never wrote a bad line. His work has gone to the general account and will never be lost."

The Watson books, which now formally go by the title the James Wade Rockwell collection of William Watson poetry, will become a complete collection again (not lost) with a proper title including the donor’s name.

RIP Gorby

Mikhail Gorbachev passed this week, which made me think of his visit to the Baker Institute. Yes, this is a re-use of a photograph from a past post, but it’s a good one.

Mikhail Gorbachev and Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian sitting at a table talking, 1997
Mikhail Gorbachev and Ambassador Edward P. Djerejian, 1997

We also have a “To the Point” radio program featuring Frances Loewenheim talking about Gorbachev from 1985.

My Dear Watson, Part 1

Headshot of William Watson. A white man with a large moustache, probably in his 20s.
William Watson, 1858-1935

Last week we encountered a big mystery at the Woodson. After trying to make this rare book page look pretty with non-pixelated tiles, we realized there were only three books in the William Watson rare books collection. Usually, our rare book collections contain more than three books, more like 100 or more. The books themselves didn’t make sense, one is by Watson, one by John Dunne, and one by Thomas Otway.

We realized that we couldn’t even find this mystery collection in the Woodson, where the vast majority of our named rare book collections lived. What was going on?

We realized that we do have the William Watson papers, purchased in 1972, which is a rather small collection of items from the poet. We looked in the control folder (where we keep information about purchasing, etc.) and discovered that there was a rare book catalog which contained a list of Watson books with checkmarks and other notations next to them. Typically, our named rare book collections are named for the donor and not for the writer(s) covered in the grouping. There was a bookplate in the folder, which provided a name for the potential donor of the books, James Wade Rockwell via the Rockwell Fund.

Fingers holding a book plate

There are a bunch of Watson books offsite, but would they have been part of the original Watson collection? We had to order them to find out.

We selected one title, Excursions in Criticism: Being Some Prose Recreations Of A Rhymer (1893), as well as ordered the Watson book that was already part of his collection entitled The Hope of the World and Other Poems (1898), and the John Dunne book.

Let’s start with Excursions.

While the book is not fancy, it contains three bookplates, including the Rockwell tucked into the back pages. In the rare books, we place paper ID slips with call numbers. The slip included the name Watson on it, which would be typical of a rare book collection.

The Hope of the World, listed as part of the Watson book collection, contains an inscription from Watson to the meteorologist Rollo Russell. It also had a Rockwell bookplate.

The Dunne book had nothing to link it to Watson like the ID slip or a bookplate. It did have a bookplate demarcating that it had some from Edgar Odell Lovett’s library. Looks like this might need to be removed from the Watson collection.

For our next steps, we are going to continue ordering the rest of the Watson books from offsite and inspect them to see if they belong in the Watson rare book collection. There might also be supplemental materials, too. I’ll write with another update when or if we learn more.

If you’re wondering why this happened, most likely information was lost when the info moved from the card catalog to a library information system (computer program) or during data migrations to new library information systems.

Andy Warhol gem in the Doc C collection

Here’s a blog post from Fondren’s Lauren DuBois, Special Collections Librarian, and Jeanette Sewell, Database and Metadata Management Coordinator.

One of the best parts about the Gilbert Morris Cuthbertson Collection of Rare Books and Manuscripts is finding related items tucked in the pages of his books! We’ve found bookmarks, photographs, receipts, electric bills, letters, stamps, scraps of paper, and so much more.

Last week, we stumbled upon this catalog for Raid the Icebox I: a 1969-1970 exhibit featuring items selected by Andy Warhol from the storage vaults of the Museum of Art at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Warhol was invited to curate the exhibition by Dominique and Jean de Menil, founders of the Institute of the Arts and the Media Center at Rice. The exhibition opened here and then traveled to The Isaac Delgado Museum in New Orleans, finally ending in Providence at RISD.

Outside image of Warhol's tree with catalog and ephemera held up in front of it.
Raid the Icebox I catalog & ephemera in front of the Andy Warhol Tree on Rice Campus / photo by Jeanette Sewell

Between the pages of Doc’s copy of the catalog, we found:
1) Andy Warhol’s signature on the title page (!)
2) One Raid the Icebox I exhibit tag published by the Institute for the Arts at Rice
3) Two small postcards announcing the exhibition dates and hours here on campus
4) One large postcard inviting Doc C to attend the exhibit preview
5) One Winter 1969 newsletter addressed to Doc C, detailing the new art center and community response to the new Institute space and Raid the Icebox I exhibit at Rice

Postcards, newsletter, tag, and signature found within the exhibit catalog

Like all of our rare books in the collection, this catalog and accompanying items will be available for viewing only in the reading room at the Woodson Research Center. Just reach out to one of our archivists to schedule an appointment.

You can learn more about this special exhibit on the RISD website here and find a related essay about Warhol’s art at BEST Products’ Indeterminate Façade store here. Happy reading!

Additions to the Elinor Evans art education collection!

We are delighted that Danny Samuels, Professor in the Practice, Rice School of Architecture, brought more Elinor Evans art education materials for her archives this week. Here’s a sneak peek at the kinds of items he brought. These works were created by freshmen taught by Elinor Evans, the Harry K. and Albert K. Smith Professor of Architecture, 1964-1965, in the Rice School of Architecture. They were featured in an exhibition, and the original wall labels are included in these images.

“Stick and String. This stick and string problem is an exploration of possible ways of creating a continuous structuring process, using only limited designated elements. The variety of solutions is endless.”
“Burlap. Using burlap, this problem is about the altering of an existing simple structuring process to create a new structuring process.”
“Wire. This is a problem about forming: Using wire to invent a continuous structuring process.”

See the guide to the Elinor Evans papers, to which these will be added soon.

New Book Collection Just Dropped

We’ve spent the past year combing through thousands of books generously donated to us by Dr. Gilbert Cuthbertson. Read our previous blog post here. And we’re excited to let you know that some of his rare and unusual books are now available for viewing.

Have you checked out our rare book collections online before? You can browse special collections by going to OneSearch at Fondren Library.

Click the icon with three dots […] at the top and select Collection Discovery. Then select the Woodson Research Center tile to view the special book collections.

Click the Cuthbertson tile to browse the Gilbert Morris Cuthbertson Collection of Rare Books and Manuscripts. If you find an available book you’d like to view in person, just contact one of our staff to schedule a visit to the WRC Reading Room. 

Screenshot of the Cuthbertson rare book page. Each book has a tile with the book's image and title.

Keep your eyes peeled for new books from Doc’s collection added every day!

Public News online

The cover of the first issue of Public News. Features a picture of Wendy O. Williams of the Plasmatics.
1st edition of Public News

We’re happy to announce that one of Houston’s alternative weeklies is now digitized. Last year, Craig Keyzer donated his early run of Public News. We thought it would be a great newspaper to digitize. We were able to do this with funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) project “Digitizing hidden selections of Houston’s African American and Jewish heritage” grant.

We will eventually have Public News in our repository, but now you can view 88 issues from the first three years of the publication via The Portal to Texas History

As part of the same grant, UNT has helped us digitize a variety of newsletters and papers, including:

Emancipation in Mexico

A document in Spanish decreeing emancipation for all slaves in Mexico
Broadside – 1837 Abolición de la esclavitud (Emancipation Proclamation of the General Congress of Mexico)

Celebrating freedom this July makes us think of our neighbor Mexico, who began the process of abolition in 1818 while still part of the Spanish empire. The printed broadside pictured is the declaration of April 5, 1837, in which the Mexican Congress “abolished without exception all slavery in all the Republic.” (They also provided compensation for enslavers’ losses on a case-by-case basis: with the exception of settlers in Texas, who had seceded and later joined the United States as an enslaving state.)

Swim a Lap Day

Ann Farmer (Mochler) swimming, 1958, photograph by Paul Dorsey

In honor of a very important holiday, here are some swimmers getting in their laps.

Swimmer, 1958, photograph by Paul Dorsey

If that seems to intense, there’s always the art of watching others swim laps.

Pool at the Gibbs Recreation Center, 2008, photograph by Tommy LaVergne