KTRU Tuesday: Sunsplash ’87

The Rice Radio Reggae show sent two DJs to Jamaica to attend Sunsplash ’87. While there, they did a variety of interviews with notable reggae artists, including Steel Pulse, Culture, The Mighty Diamonds, and Pato Banton, among others.

One interview with U-Roy, also known as Ewart Beckford, discusses his DJ (toasting) style, how he started, his early songs, taking a break, RAS Records, future projects.

Although U-Roy might not be a household name in the U.S., he has been quite influential. The record label, Duke Reid, released recordings of U-Roy’s MC style of talking and playing musical segments, which served as an early influence for hip hop pioneers.

Image from: The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 75, No. 14, Ed. 1 Friday, December 4, 1987

Richard G. Park, Jr. Scrapbook


Back in October, we received a wonderful phone call from a woman in the NE offering us a scrapbook, belonging to her relative Richard G. Park, Jr.


Why would we be interested in this scrapbook? It provides more history on the Texas Mexico Border Campaign. Almost exactly two years ago, we featured a scrapbook on the same topic, focusing on one man’s experiences during the campaign. While the scrapbook is fascinating, it’s unlabeled.

In comparison, Park labeled almost all of the photographs and included people’s names, dates, and locations. It is a treasure trove of information. This would be a wonderful digitization project in the future.

Now, feast your eyes on the photographs.











For more information on the collection, please see our finding aid: Richard G. Park, Jr. scrapbook, 1915-1917, MS 673, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

KTRU Tuesdays: Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols

Considering that Steve Jones’s autobiography recently hit the shelves stateside, it’s rather fitting to showcase this interview with him from 1987.

An unknown KTRU DJ (If you know who this is, please let us know.) talks to Jones about being a former Sex Pistols member, his new album Mercy, touring, future plans, moving to L.A., his drug addiction, Rock Against Drugs, the punk scene, Quadrophenia, Iggy Pop, David Bowie, his musical influences, and the ugliest man in rock.

For more on the Sex Pistols, Bruce Kessler wrote a piece in the Rice Thresher about the Sex Pistols at Randy’s Rodeo in San Antonio.

Image from: The Rice Thresher (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 65, No. 19, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 12, 1978

Memorabilia Monday: The Woodson Plaque

If you’ve noticed, we spiffed up the blog last week. The layout was showing some age.

Onto other things that aged, here is the original plaque for the Woodson Research Center.


It sat in the old reading room above the card catalog. In the photo below, it’s below the clock and next to that computer. If you know what that computer is, we’d love to know.


After the Woodson’s renovation, we replaced the plaque with this one.


To learn more about the namesakes, at least Mr. Woodson, he has an informative Wikipedia entry.

Mapping Civil War Narratives

We are happy to announce that our new mapping project, Mapping Civil War Narratives, is now available online!


This series of maps uses ArcGIS to highlight some of the WRC’s numerous Civil War collections (1861-1865). Researchers can now explore the multiple geographies of over 300 Civil War-era letters. From military operations to disease to courtship, these maps convey the potential of our archives’ diverse stories. You can, for example, follow the particular route of a soldier in the Army of the Potomac through his letters or explore the communication in and out of a single city. Use filters to see where men and women were discussing slavery, politics, battles, or military medicine.

Visit the website to take a tour of these maps. Or, if you are familiar with ArcGIS, scroll to the website’s last page to go directly to our two feature maps.


View the connections between where letters from each collection were sent and received.


Or look at individual locations to see where letters were written, where they were received, and what locations the authors mentioned within their letters during four years of war.


You can explore the collections by mutual themes, as well. See where authors discussed battles, politics, or particular officers.


Part of an ongoing effort under the new Fondren Fellows program, we expect to continue to grow and evolve this project as more and more of the WRC’s collections are added.

We want to thank Christina Regelski, our Fondren Fellow, for all of her hard work over the fall semester. She did more with our letters than we could have imagined.

Happy researching!

KTRU Tuesdays: Project Update

KTRU digitization is still moving right along.

Our in-house digitization has come to an end. All that is left are a few leftover sticky shed reels and some DAT tapes. These odds and ends, mostly KTRU Outdoor Show recordings, will be sent to The Media Preserve this week.


As for listening, all of the in-house reels have been reviewed and metadata has been created. We’re now moving on to the nearly 100 audio files from the last batch of sticky shed reels that were digitized by The Media Preserve. Most of these are reels from the mid 1980s. Early highlights have included on-location interviews with Culture, Daddy U-Roy, and David Hinds of Steel Pulse from Sunsplash ’87 at Montego Bay, Jamaica.

If you know of anyone that might be holding onto their KTRU reels, it would be a great time to donate them.

KTRU Tuesdays: Patten on Dickens

Dr. Robert Patten spent his academic career studying Charles Dickens. In this “To the Point” from December 18, 1978, Scott Hochberg talks with Dr. Patten about Charles Dickens’ views on Christmas.

Find out more about our Dickens’ holdings.

Image from: Rice University News & Media Relations; Board, Administration and Faculty Photo and Research files, ca. 1930-2000, UA 187, Box 60, Folder 17, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University