KTRU Tuesdays: David Butler’s Calendar

sFor four years, 1976-1980, David Butler contributed his services to KTRU, as well as the Thresher and Campanile. His most important KTRU contribution was the “Calendar.” At 7:00 pm, he ran down all of the events on and off campus, as well as provided weather forecasts and the daily food menu.

Only a small number of these calendar recordings have survived, i.e. were not recorded over. This is one of his final 7:00 pm broadcasts, which aired August 31, 1980.

Butler went on to work for the Houston Post as a Copy Editor and later was Assistant Managing Editor at Stars and Stripes. Sadly, Butler passed in 2000. After his death, the David L. Butler Memorial Fund was founded at Rice.

Image from the 1980 Campanile.

Source: http://www.angelfire.com/tx4/toastedposties/david.html


Memorabilia Monday: Astrodome Anniversary



In the Memorabilia Collection sitting inside a box labeled Houston, there is the above 25th anniversary commemorative ticket. It celebrates the Houston Astros April 9, 1965 opening night game against the Yankees.

At Astros Daily, there is a very detailed article about the game with lots of stats. Below, the video discusses the new Astrodome and how players adapted during the first indoor baseball game.

Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary

April 23, 2016 was the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Throughout 2016, global events are celebrating and honoring the enduring work and legacy of a man considered the greatest writer in the English language.

In the Woodson we have many fantastic examples of his works starting with the 1623 First Folio. Printed seven years after Shakespeare’s death, the folio is the first complete publication of Shakespeare’s works. The Woodson has three tragedies from the folio: King Lear, Othello, Antony & Cleopatra.


[Three tragedies from the first folio]. [Printed by Isaac Iaggard and Ed. Blount], 1623.

There are wonderful examples of the marginal notes and corrections that owners added to the First Folio.


This beautiful 20th century compilation of works by Shakespeare has metal pin and hole with leather straps.


The poems and sonnets of Shakspere [Shakespeare]/ with an introduction by Edward Dowden. London: K. Paul, Trench Trűbner, 1903.

From our beautiful Limited Editions collection we have the complete letterpress editions of “The Comedies, Histories, and Tragedies of William Shakespeare” published in 1939-1940. Each volume was illustrated by some of the very best illustrators of the day. Much Ado About Nothing includes watercolors by Fritz Kredel:

The comedies, histories & tragedies of William Shakespeare. The Limited Editions Club, 1939-1940.

The comedies, histories & tragedies of William Shakespeare. The Limited Editions Club, 1939-1940.

The play is the thing and in the Woodson we also have many examples of performances of Shakespeare’s works at Rice. Records from The Rice Players and BakerShake (Baker College’s annual performance of Shakespeare since 1970) include photographs, programs, and ephemera. From our Institutional repository here is Dr. Albert Van Helden performing Twelfth Night at BakerShake in 1972:

“Al Van Helden, History professor, during Twelfth Night at Baker Shakespeare, Rice University.” (1972) Rice University: http://hdl.handle.net/1911/72166.

KTRU Tuesdays: Servery Food in the 1970s

In spring 1976, Stan Barber spoke to Joyce Rubash, College Food Director, about food quality, college food services, and the central kitchen. Rubash argues that the Central Kitchen’s food quality is top notch and that the food changes when it reaches the college kitchens.

While she seemed like a much reviled staff member (She is attacked constantly in The Rice Thresher.), she did introduce the campus to the wonders of  yogurt. In case it’s hard to read on the videp, here is the yogurt article in its entirety.

Images from The Rice Thresher Vol. 64, No. 41, Ed. 1 Thursday, March 31, 1977

Memorabilia Monday: X-rays of Hitler’s Skull?


Within the amazing Dick Hedges World War II Memorabilia Collection are some X-rays that have been sitting in our vault for many years. They are purported to be taken of Adolf Hitler’s skull  on September 19, 1944 and October 21, 1944.







The X-rays are connected to a report called “Hitler as seen by his doctors,” which is an interrogation report from six of his doctors. The first page is below. According to the report, some of the X-rays were taken after Hitler’s car wreck/assassination attempt on July 20, 1944.


We can neither confirm nor deny the validity of these X-rays.

Images from: Dick Hedges World War II Memorabilia Collection, MS 422, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.


Tech Thursday: New Media Readers for the Woodson

Sorry for the late post folks!

John “Grungy” Gladu, a longtime friend of Rice and the Woodson, has generously donated several old media readers to augment the Woodson’s digital preservation program. Previously, the Woodson was outfitted to image and capture metadata from floppy discs, Zip discs, CDs, DVDs, reel to reel audio, and Hard Drives. This new equipment will give us access to several more formats, including Jaz drives, Linear Tape-Open 1 (LTO 1) drives, and Peerless storage drives. For good measure, we also got a pristine, unused 5.25″ floppy disc drive.

Thanks-a-million, Grungy!

Jaz drive

Jaz drive

LTO drive

LTO drive

Peerless drive system

Peerless drive system

5.25" floppy drive

5.25″ floppy drive

The Houston Flood

The library after a flood, May 13, 1966

The library after a flood on May 13, 1966

The library and by extension the Woodson Research Center did not incur damage during Monday’s flooding.

Our thoughts go out to those who did not fair as well.

Rice Owls Baseball Pitchers

Rice Athletic Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Allan Ramirez, set the all-time Southwest Conference record for strikeouts in SWC games during 1976-79.

Rice Athletic Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Allan Ramirez, set the all-time Southwest Conference record for strikeouts in SWC games during 1976-79.

The Rice Owls are now deep into their season. While the team has had many great pitchers in their history, here are just a few.



Images from scholarship.rice.edu


KTRU Tuesdays: Lots o’ Station IDs

In 1979, KTRU staff decided to save items from old reels. While it’s unclear why they saved some items (Tim Curry’s song “Sloe Gin”), others that made the cut definitely deserved it. More specifically, they saved over 20 station IDs from a variety of artists from funk to punk, such as: Iggy Pop, George Clinton, Stevie Nicks, Frank Zappa, and Rick Nielsen.

There’s a strong possibility that Bruce Kessler might have recorded some of these station IDs after his “Backstage Interview” sessions. Sadly, the audio for some of those interviews did not survive.

Image from The Rice Thresher, Vol. 65, No. 13, Ed. 1, Thursday, November 3, 1977.


Memorabilia Monday: Tower Party Stamp



Starting in the late 1970s, Sid Richardson and Jones College held an annual Tower Party. The joint party came to an end around 1985, but came back as a Sid sponsored party in 1987. It continued until 2007.



While it is unclear how the Socials Committee used this stamp, it is a great piece. We used it in an exhibit last year.

Here is what you could expect at the January 20, 1989 shindig.


Images from: Sid Richardson College Records, 1969-2014, UA 65, Box 20, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University and The Rice Thresher, Vol. 76, No. 14, Ed. 1, Friday, January 20, 1989

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