The Bookman Christmas Catalog

The Bookman bookstore owned by Grace David had an amazing 1960 Christmas catalog. Below are a few pages.









Our collections reveal a few connections to the famed Grace David, who served as the inspiration of Aurora Greenway in Terms of Endearment. We own the Charles Tapley architectural collection, which feature architectural drawings of the Grace and Henry David home. We also have a collection of Larry McMurtry papers. He both briefly attended Rice and taught here.

Thanksgiving Plans

Given that Rice Institute was such a small community in its early days, it makes sense that there is a list in the Rice Thresher detailing students’ Thanksgiving plans. If you read through the list, you’ll see other oddities like mass quantities of pecans being sold out of the Thresher office.



The Woodson will be closing early today at 2:00 and will re-open on Monday 11/27.

Memorabilia Monday: Cuba Libre Dress

Our university memorabilia collection is going through some changes. We’ve separated out all of the clothing items and created a new collection entitled the Rice Historic Clothing collection. This will free up some much needed room in our vault.


This amazing dress created for the Archi-Arts Ball on January 22, 1944 has been at the Library Service Center for many years. Because of all of the changes, it magically popped up in the vault.



In 1944, the theme for the ball was “Baccanale.” Women wore dresses based on alcoholic drinks. Dorothy Lottman wore Cuba Libre. Other dresses included the Mint Julep (Bettie Lou Johnson), Pink Lady (Margaret Morrison Mays), Manhattan Cocktail (Gertrude Levy), Old Fashioned (Ann Ridgeway), Champagne (Beth Hummel), and Purple Passion (Dorothy Jean Weghorst).

To read more about the ball, there is a great pre-event write-up from the Rice Thresher.

Memorabilia Monday: “Blithe Spirit”

In the back, there’s a cart that accumulates all of the little bits of flotsam and jetsam that float through the Woodson.

On top of the cart today was this, a ticket for Blithe Spirit.


Here’s an accompanying article in the Thresher dated Friday, September 21, 1951. Sadly, there were no clearly marked photographs in the Campanile.


Online Exhibit: Houston Folk Music Archive


We’re happy to announce the new online exhibit for the Houston Folk Music Archive. It features a history of the scene, mini-exhibits on musicians, bands, music venues, and others. Each mini-exhibit contains a biography or history, images, and/or an oral history.


The online exhibit also has a map of music venues where folk musicians played. It even includes a timeline where you can track the folk scene’s rise and fall.

A big thank you to Claudia Middleton, our student archivist, for all of her scanning, metadata work, and for creating the map.

More Folk Music Oral Histories

We have uploaded another batch of oral histories. These will all be included in our upcoming Houston Folk Music Archive online exhibit.

David John Scribner


He speaks about his life and his time hosting the “Chicken Skin Music” program on KTRU.

Lynn Langham


The Grammy winner discusses her long career in the music industry and her experiences as a singer-songwriter in Houston, New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville.

Don Sanders


He talks about his time playing at the most famed folk clubs in Houston.

Book Signatures


Perusing the rare books shelves can reveal a variety of surprises.


One unassuming volume, Lettres D’Emerance A Lucie by Jeanne-Marie Leprince De Beaumont (1765), has some interesting signatures from Sir William Clayton Bart and C.E. Clayton, Harleyford, 1819. It’s unclear if these are two separate signatures, thought they appear to be in the same hand or E.C. Clayton refers to the Clayton-East-Clayton baronets.


by William Beechy, 1802

Above is Sir William Clayton, 4th Baronet (1762-1834), who was a member of Parliament for Great Marlow.

How a book from Sir William Clayton / Harleyford Manor wound up in our rare book collection is a bit puzzling.

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