Elizabeth Kalb’s “Jailed for Freedom”

In 1920, Elizabeth Kalb ’16 donated Doris Stevens’ book Jailed for Freedom to the library with an interesting inscription.

Inscription reads: To the Girls of Rice, Past and Present, This Book is Affectionately Inscribed. Elizabeth, '16. National Woman's Party Washington D.C. October 1920

Below is a Thresher article from November 25, 1920 with a bit more context on the book and Elizabeth Kalb.

Thresher article about book and Kalb.

Doris Stevens’ features Kalb more than once in Jailed for Freedom. She was one of a group arrested during a suffragette protest in front of the White House. Stevens explains the ordeal and even features an image of Kalb.

Three images. Top one features Kalb covered by a sheet on a stretcher.

The book provides images of various suffragettes along with short biographies. Below is Kalb’s. For those interested in reading further, you can read the complete book online.

bio of Kalb

In case you want to see Elizabeth Kalb not covered in a bed sheet, here she is at work, photographed on December 1, 1920.

Elizabeth Kalb in the literature and library department of the National Woman's Party in its Washington, D.C. headquarters. She is holding a book standing next to book shelving.
Image via the Library of Congress

The Saga of Black Manhattan, Part 2

We have some updates on our Black Manhattan blog post from a few weeks ago. For those that need to be caught up, we were trying to figure out why we have Arturo Alfonso Schomburg’s personal copy of James Weldon Johnson’s Black Manhattan.

Our amazing Rice historian Melissa Kean worked quite hard trying to track down when the book came in. When the library was still the Rice Institute library run by Alice Dean, she kept incredibly detailed records tracking who ordered a book, where it came from, its price, and its final location. Black Manhattan, sadly, came in after Ms. Dean’s tenure. As a volunteer, she still kept track of items in a log book, but not with the same meticulous detail. What we found out is that the book arrived at Fondren Library between March 12th and March 20th of 1953.

Melissa also tracked down the book’s library catalog card. It’s pretty standard and does not give any more clues.

If we find out more from the Schomburg Library, we’ll update the blog.

For those interested, below are screenshots of Schomburg’s review of Black Manhattan. We thank both ProQuest and the Chicago Historical Society for granting us permission to use it on the blog.

Screenshot of Schomburg's review of Black Manhattan, part 1
Screenshot of Schomburg's review of Black Manhattan, part 2

Source: The Claude A. Barnett Papers: The Associated Negro Press, 1918-1967, Part 1: Associated Negro Press News Releases, 1928-1964, Series A: 1928-1944. Chicago Historical Society, Copyright, 2011. Reproduced by permission.

100: The Great War Seen through the Eyes of two Soldiers

WWI exhibit poster

A new exhibit is now on display in the main hallway of Fondren Library celebrating the 100th anniversary of World War I. “100: The Great War Seen through the Eyes of two Soldiers” was first shown in France as part of the commemoration of the centennial of the Great War. It is curated by the French non-profit “Cercle de Valmont” in collaboration with the Woodson Research Center to honor the memory of the American soldiers who went to combat with the allies on French soil.

The exhibit shares two soldiers’ stories taken from two unpublished sources. One is a scrapbook album from the Woodson which retraces the World War I experience of Galveston native and Rice graduate James S. Waters, Jr. The other is a private archive of 450 photographs taken in the trenches by a young French soldier, Paul Gueneau.

The photographs Gueneau took in the trenches are a powerful testimony to the realities of the frontline displayed alongside narrative panels documenting Waters’ movements from Rice Institute graduate,  training as a “90-day wonder” officer, and experience overseas in France.

Gueneau and Waters were the same age, born in 1895 and 1894 respectively. When Waters became an Engineering freshman at Rice Institute, in 1913, Gueneau had abandoned his dream of becoming an engineer, dropping out of school and working as a bank clerk at 14 to provide for his family after the premature death of his father. In December 1914, Gueneau, 19, was enlisted in the French 56th Infantry Regiment and spent the next 4 years at the frontline, until he was put out of combat by mustard gas injuries on September 4th, 1918. Just days later, Waters was at the frontline for the first time, fighting in the St-Mihiel offensive. Gueneau and Waters never crossed paths, but today their combined testimonies give us an invaluable glimpse into the past.

The exhibit will be on display until end of March 2019.

Woodson in News from Fondren

Cover of News from Fondren issue

In case you haven’t seen it, there are quite a few articles about the Woodson’s various projects and collection in the most recent issue of News from Fondren. They include information on the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston (CAMH) archive, the Reginald Moore Convict Leasing research collection, the Shepherd School digitization project, the Houston Folk Music Archive’s Homecoming concert, and the Wilson Collection of Historical Cartography and Geography.

Architectural Marinade

While most university archival collections from deans and professors offer no great surprises, every once in a while one pops up. Below is Lars Lerup’s, the former Dean of Rice School of Architecture (1993-2009), recipe for a marinade including a lovely doodle.

Marinade recipe

Coleman's powdered mustard
soy sauce
crush garlic (2-3)
herbe provence
olive oil 
1 cup
cover saran wrap
in refrig.
grill ?0/each

World War I Chrismas cards, part 2

Christmas cards, 1918

“My heartiest greetings to you this Christmas Morning, and my Best Wishes to you for the New Year”

We’re ending our posts for 2018 with a return to the Sheelah Green-Wilkinson scrapbook album, 1916-1918, and a couple of the Christmas greeting cards for 1918.

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!

Memorabilia Monday: Football Rock

During my weekly search for content, I found this little guy. This rock football player has two feet/legs, but also has another little rock to sit on, perhaps, while he waits to be put in the game or to keep him upright.

There is a sticker on the underside of his foot that has been removed. The remnants seem to suggest that someone purchased this rock. As always, any additional information is always great.

Autry House

Autry House, ca. 1923

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.

Oral Histories and Wheatfield Concert

The Houston Folk Music Archive has a couple of new oral histories that have been indexed and are ready for viewing.


The first is from Walter Spinks. He tells about his teenage years going to Sand Mountain Coffee House, his duo Fat and Furry, and being a co-owner of Anderson Fair Retail Restaurant.


The second is from Houston folk band Wheatfield. They talk about the band’s formation, becoming a regional powerhouse band, their lives post-Wheatfield, and the reformation of the band.

If you are interested in watching more oral histories about Houston’s folk music scene, you can find more here.

Wheatfield will also be playing at Fondren Library live on November 2nd at 6 p.m. If you are in town for Homecoming or just love live music, please stop by. Please RSVP if you plan to attend.


2018 HFMA Concert Letter 1 side rev