21st Century Rice Map

Image of instituteRice map.

A large team has been working hard to create both an interactive and historical map of Rice called instituteRice. For example, you can look at Lovett Hall from a variety of angles and at different points in time. If you love exploring, Rice history, and just poking around, this is the map for you. While the Woodson did not make this map, our archival materials pop up everywhere on it.

Have fun!

Pajama Bridge

Drawing of woman in 1930s era pj's with text on side.
from the Ileene Rosenfeld Robinson papers

Text reads: Stretch your weary limbs and come to a Pajama Bridge Party at the home of Pauline Wateyman, June 14, 1930 at 10:AM Don’t bother to chance Come in your pajamas.

Sounds fun, if you like bridge. Also, don’t forget your kitten heels with your pj’s.

Rice Media Center Films

Close up image of Genevieve Howell
Genevieve Howell in her room on campus.

In a Rice News article by Katharine Shilcutt, the Woodson and Fondren Library has been working in conjunction with the Rice Media Center to help them preserve their treasures. You can read more about it here.

As the article notes, Interim Director, Amanda Focke, has a few large hard drives in her office that contain a portion of the digitized content. We wanted to show off some of the stills from one of the films entitled Three Rice Engineers (1972). This 16mm documentary created by David Gerth features interviews with John Doerr, Genevieve Howell, and Tom Dydek.

Three students waiting in line to graduate
Pres. Norman Hackerman passing out diplomas
Pres. Norman Hackerman
John Doerr and Mike Donegan in electrical engineering lab
John Doerr and Mike Donegan
Unknown student and Genevieve Howell sitting on Howell's bed.
Unknown student and Genevieve Howell
Tom Dydek in his office


KTRU Rice University radio poster for 19th annual Outdoor Show, 2010
KTRU Rice University radio poster for 19th annual Outdoor Show, 2010

Our student run radio station has successfully regained the call letters KTRU. For more in depth reporting on this, please see the Thresher’s article on the purchase.

Since KTRU still needs to do station IDs, we’d suggest they dig up some of their golden oldies from amazing people who once graced the studio with their presence, like Iggy Pop, Joan Jett, Joey Ramone, Frank Zappa, and Stevie Nicks just to name a few.

We’ve featured some of these IDs on the blog before, but here’s over 14 minutes of station ID bliss.

If you want even more Rice student media, we are currently placing all of The Campanile’s online. We’re currently at 66 in total, but more are going up every week. Each pdf has to pass a number of accessibility steps to be ready for all of our patrons, so it is taking us time.

If you want to take a trip down yearbook lane, feel free to peruse the 1971 edition.

First Day of Classes

Today’s the first day of classes for the new academic year, so let’s look at students in class.

Rice Institute student at a drafting table, in Electrical Engineering building, ca. 1912-1916
Marilyn Rae Butler with machinery, 1973
Student painting on an easel in a Studio Art class, 1970s
Dr. Stephen Klineberg sitting in class with students, ca. 1994
Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, 2010

August 1619

This month marks the 400th anniversary of the first slave ship landing in Virginia. What follows are bills of sale. You can follow the links to find more information and transcriptions of the documents.

Bill of sale of woman and child from William R. Warwick to Joseph Dunbar, Sept. 10, 1811

Bill of sale of woman and child from William R. Warwick to Joseph Dunbar
Bill of sale of woman and child from William R. Warwick to Joseph Dunbar

Bill of sale for a negro named George, 1847

Simple receipt for a man named George

Sale of a man from Mexican Gulf RWC to Alexander Gordon, Jan. 11, 1847

Sale of a man from Mexican Gulf RWC to Alexander Gordon

The New York Times is observing the anniversary with the creation of the 1619 Project, in case you want to read more about its lasting effects. There’s also an amazing project called Slave Voyages. It includes a 3D video of a slave ship, timelines of estimates of captives embarking and disembarking, and a timelapse map showing ships crossing the Atlantic.

The Whole Internet

We’re currently weeding our reference collection, which resides on the shelves in our reading room. It has slowly grown over the years and contains some useful items, but also books that quickly aged out of relevance. A perfect example is The Whole Internet: User’s Guide & Catalog by Ed Krol published in 1992.

Front cover of book

In 1992, this book would have been ahead of its time. I first remember surfing the net at the end of 1994. It was a brand new frontier that moved incredibly slow. Today, this book provides a bit more guffawing. Here are some notable sections from the Table of Contents.

List of table of contents
List of table of contents
List of table of contents
List of table of contents
List of table of contents
List of table of contents
List of table of contents
What are robotic librarians?

At the end of the book is a list of News Groups. This one for the publishers of the book had the cutest illustration. O’Reilly Media still exists.

List of table of contents

On a completely different note, archivists at the ONE Archives and the John J. Wilcox, Jr. Archives have been trying to identify a couple, their friends, and families from the 1950s. The story is quite touching. If you are from the Philadelphia region or have family there, consider sharing the story with them.

Cal Dean Hill, Jr. scrapbook

After his death in 2017, Cal Dean Hill, Jr.‘s widow donated some items related to his time at the Rice Institute and his life in Houston and Sugar Land.

His scrapbook that documents his life as a boy has a number of highlights from tickets to the Houston Symphony to newspaper clippings of movies that he went to with his mother. What follows are some of the more interesting tidbits.

Caption reads: At the Ft. Bend Co. Fair and Cap Rich's Rodeo, Rosenberg, Texas, Friday afternoon, Oct. 11, 1940. Includes 5 images the rodeo with some including Hill.
Letter and autographed picture of Gene Autry. Caption reads: "Saw Gene and Champ at Texas Theatre in Palestine when I was 6 years old."
Postcards and photographs of trip to Houston. Captions reads: "Where I had my first lessons in art Summer 1941, Mrs. Bessell, teacher." "On the Museum steps, July 1941." "Mrs. Bessel and some of the pupils At Herman Park zoo."

For those wondering why he highlighted his first art lesson, it’s because he continued to paint throughout his life. I found an example of his work here.

Items documenting art class and visiting the Museum of Fine Arts Houston.
Photograph of Hill at new home and at Allen School. Captions read: "At 1611 Francis Ave., Houston, Texas." "Allen School."
Hill’s new home in Houston and Allen School

The home pictured above no longer stands in midtown. Here is the new residence.

Woodson in the News

Melissa Kean and Michelle Miller in the in the stacks of the Woodson.
Melissa Kean and Michelle Miller amongst the archival stacks.

The Woodson is popping up all over the place.

First, you can check out our own Melissa Kean talking about Houston and Rice’s connection to NASA that aired on CBS This Morning on Saturday.

Second, a story about our recent acquisition of the Houston Blues Museum Archive appeared on Thursday’s Houston Matters with an extended version on the new podcast Unwrap Your Candies Now.

NASA and Rice: from Houston to the Moon (and beyond)

Alan Bean and Suprathermal Ion Detector Experiment 1969-1971 on the Moon, Apollo 12 Mission


July 20th, 1969. “Houston.  Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed.” Humanity’s first words from another world.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing this week , the Woodson Research Center is curating an exhibit in the Fondren Library Hobby Information Concourse.


The exhibit displays items in the Woodson Research Center which were donated by Rice scientists and astronauts during the long and productive partnership between Rice University and NASA. One of the highlights is the mechanical model of the Suprathermal Ion Detector which Apollo astronauts used to train from 1969-1971. The experiment was designed by John Freeman, former NASA scientist and a long time professor at Rice University in the Space Sciences Department. Also included is a flight jacket donated by Scientist/Astronaut Curtis Michel and other memorabilia from the Jack McCaine NASA papers and from former NASA employee Joe Hatfield.  Ray Viator’s book, Houston: Space City, USA, along with pictures of Mission Control and the Johnson Space Center make up the rest of the exhibit.

There is also a permanent exhibit in the alcove nearby with photos of the Rice University scientist/astronauts  who participated in many important missions for NASA, and the Lunar sample (moon rock) awarded to Rice University on the 40th anniversary of the first lunar landing.