As many of you know, in 2016 the Shepherd School of Music found analog audio and video recordings which had never been digitized. Fondren Library staff in Digital Scholarship Services, the Woodson Research Center, Cataloging and Metadata Services, Reference, and Access Services joined in a project to digitize thousands of past performances by the students and faculty of the Shepherd School. As of June 30th, 2022, the digitization of all content converted from analog formats (printed performance programs, cassette tapes, reel to reel tapes, and CDs) was completed and files were uploaded to the Rice Digital Scholarship archive.
Over 4,200 more audio performances, given from 1974 through 2015, are now available for users to stream. We acknowledge the generous support from Fondren Library, the Woodson Research Center, the Friends of Fondren Library, and the Rice Historical Society, which made this possible.
We hope you enjoy a little Debussy from a 2012 performance by Makiko Hirata, who received her Doctor of Musical Arts from the Shepherd School in 2012:
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.)
Today we celebrate Star Wars Day – May the 4th be with you! And in honor of the day you can find a recording of John Williams’ Jabba the Hutt theme from Return of the Jedi at the 10:50 minute mark on the recording here:
Imagine this played by the Cantina band at Mos Eisley.
We’re also celebrating the Shepherd School of Music Digitization project, and the considerable progress accomplished in the last year. Staff from Digital Scholarship Services, the Woodson Research Center, Reference, and Cataloging and Metadata Services have contributed to the completion of the first pass of audio review of analog tapes for over 1,500 performances. As of the end of the year 2020, over 300 audio files (for performance years 2000 through 2003) have been uploaded to the Digital Scholarship Archive:
Our amazing Digital Processing Archivist will continue to work on the project through the summer of 2021. We hope to have all the 1,500 performances uploaded to the institutional repository by the end of summer.
U.S. Civil War journal, Nov. 1861 – Feb. 1862, page 7
Staff at Fondren are continuing their work to help the Woodson improve access to the hundreds of manuscripts in the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive (scholarship.rice.edu). The manuscript above is from one of four notebooks, written in the hand of Albert Sherrad Campbell at St. Louis, Missouri, covering the early months of the U.S. Civil War. Included are descriptions of battles and other political and military events.
As of the end of the year, 332 transcriptions (59% of the project total) are now online in the IR. Another 151 transcriptions (26% of the project total) are in the final review process. Many thanks to the staff in Technical Services, Access Services, Reference and Library Administration who volunteered for the project and made this possible.
As a reminder, most of the materials transcribed were chosen to provide resources useful for the Rice University Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, & Racial Injustice. Many of these documents date from the U.S. Civil War and touch on the authors’ opinions at the time on slavery and political issues. It should also be noted that these specific Civil War collections include voices of white authors, and there is a gap in our Civil War collections of African American voices.
KARIM SULAYMAN Tenor MASTER’S RECITAL Friday, February 16, 2001 6:00 p.m. Lillian H. Duncan Recital Hall.
The tenor sings a program of French repertoire by Fauré, Debussy, Massenet, and Poulenc, among others. My favorite piece in this concert is Poulenc’s lovely Les chemins de l’amour, which begins an hour and 5 minutes into the concert. After what was clearly a standing ovation by the audience, Sulayman performs an unidentified encore- extra points for anyone who can identify the piece for us.
Sulayman was awarded the 2018 Grammy for the Best Classical Solo Vocal Album for Songs Of Orpheus – Monteverdi, Caccini, D’India & Landi, recorded with Apollo’s Fire, a critically acclaimed period-instrument ensemble specializing in early music (Renaissance, Baroque and early Classical). (The award was given in 2019.)
CLASS OF 2003 CONVOCATION and PRESIDENTIAL CONCERT Friday, May 9, 2003 at Stude Concert Hall. This concert was in celebration of Rice University’s Ninetieth Commencement; it includes a wide variety of musicians, including the Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra, the Rice Brass Choir, vocalists, pianists, and the Attacca Winds Quintet. I recommend “Vilia” from The Merry Widow, about 24 minutes into the concert; it always makes me smile.
As part of our work from home, staff at Fondren are working to help the Woodson improve access to the hundreds of manuscripts in the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive (scholarship.rice.edu).
Volunteers for the project include staff in Technical Services, Access Services, Reference and Library Administration. With hard work and enthusiasm the team has fully transcribed over 50 historical manuscripts so far. The transcriptions improve access for all our patrons, and enable scholars to more easily use the materials for research purposes such as text mining and geospatial mapping.
Many of the first materials transcribed were chosen to provide resources useful for the Rice University Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, & Racial Injustice. Many of these letters date from the U.S. Civil War and touch on the authors’ opinions at the time on slavery and political issues. It should also be noted that these specific Civil War collections include voices of white authors, and there is a gap in our Civil War collections of African American voices.
Letter from Edwin Fosha to daughter, 1863, wrc07860
As you can see from the examples, having a transcription included with the pdf of the original letter will make research significantly easier; the letters and their transcriptions can be found using the titles beneath each letter as the search term in the Digital Scholarship Archive.
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.
Christmas card, 1918, engraving of the tower in the Grand Place, Courtrai, Belgium
One hundred years ago an Armistsice had been signed and the first World War was winding down to an end. The Belgian city of Courtrai, pictured in the card above, had just been recaptured by the Belgian, British and French forces in October of 1918.
Christmas card from the Red Cross and Order of St. John, 1918
This formal card, from the Red Cross and the Order of St. John, includes coats of arms of the British Commonwealth nations. The interior of the card is more casual, including a Santa, Christmas pudding, and tobacco with its illustrations of soldiers, ships, and cannon, and looks toward peace in the new year (see above).
The Woodson Research Center closes for winter break tomorrow, and reopens January 2nd, 2019. Have a wonderful holiday, and see you all in the new year!
Yesterday we had a delightful visit with a donor whose parents and grandfather attended the Rice Institute. Among her grandfather’s materials were Schlueter photos, including this wonderful photo of Autry House, built in 1921 as a community center for Rice on Main Street across from the Institute.
I particularly like the sign of the Owl, visible through the trees, and the biplane hovering over the area.