HAAA in the News


Fox 26, the local affiliate, did a story on the Houston Asian American Archive and the work of the Chao Center for Asian Studies in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Here is the link to the video.


Dr. Edward C. M. Chen


Dr. Anne Chao of the Chao Center

If you would like to learn more about our collections. Visit our Houston Asian American Archive research guide and Houston Asian American Archive oral histories, as well as our Zoroastrian community oral histories.



Note: We realize that the Fox 26 video link may eventually be broken, which is why we have included a few screenshots. We’re sorry for any inconvenience.

KTRU Tuesdays: Summer Renovations

For anyone on campus during the summer, the university is bustling with renovations. For example, the old section of Brown College is going through a second phase of summer renovations.

Above is the audio from an unidentified man explaining the 1971 summer renovations. Carpeted hallways in the colleges sound like a horrible idea. Was it red like the carpet in the college’s commons ca. 1975?

Image from: “Intramural table tennis match in the Baker College Commons, Rice University.” (1975) Rice University: http://hdl.handle.net/1911/79661.

George Ensle collection



Under the auspices of the Houston Folk Music Archive, we’re happy to announce that the George Ensle collection is available for research. This collection includes a wealth of photographs, lyrics, fliers, audio, and video chronicling Ensle’s life as a performer.


Growing up in Houston, Ensle began taking guitar lessons at the age of 14. A few years later, his guitar teacher introduced him to Houston’s folk club scene. He moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas in the fall of 1966. The following summer he began playing at Sand Mountain Coffee House where he befriended Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Carolyn Hester, among others.


1979 for cover of Head On

In the 1970s, he made Austin his permanent home. He toured the college circuit with Nanci Griffith. He also played in venues across the state of Texas, including Houston’s Anderson Fair, the University of Houston Coffee House, and the Old Quarter. Towards the end of the decade, he began teaching music in economically disadvantaged schools as part of a Texas Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts program.



Ensle released his first full length album in 1980 entitled, Head On. He followed this up with Heartwood (1990), One Gentle Hand: A Collection (1999), Live Set (2006), Build a Bridge (2008), and Small Town Sundown (2012), and CD and DVD Live from the Brauntex (2013).



Ensle continues to play throughout Texas and runs the weekly Songwriters Showcase at Poodie’s Roadhouse in Spicewood, TX.

For information on other collections in the Houston Folk Music Archive, please check out our research guide.

Images from: George Ensle collection, 1973-2016, MS 680, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University

KTRU Tuesdays: Lucinda Williams

On her birthday in 1982, Lucinda Williams visited KTRU studios for an interview with David John Scribner on his “Chicken Skin Music” radio show. In this one-on-one, she discusses how she got started, musical influences, early life, living in Houston, her albums Ramblin’ and Happy Woman Blues, working with the Hemmer Ridge Mountain Boys, and the worst music venue.

For copyright reasons, we have cut out her live performances.

Image from: Sweetheart of Texas Concert Hall and Saloon poster collection, 1974-1975, MS 662, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University. Courtesy of Bruce Bryant.

Art in the Archives: Mary Ellen Hale Lovett (1875-1952)


The portrait of Mary Ellen Hale Lovett looks calmly out over the reading room of the Woodson Research Center. Educated at West Kentucky College and the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, she married Edgar Odell Lovett, the first President of the Rice Institute, in 1897. After E. O. Lovett’s career at Princeton the couple spent a year taking a world tour of leading colleges and universities, developing ideas for the Institute.

Mary Ellen Lovett actively worked supporting cultural and artistic projects in Houston. In 1914 she was elected to the board of directors of the Houston Art League, an organization of women supporting the arts that eventually became the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.  In 1928 she received a medal from the Central Federation of the Alliance Française in Paris, given to the president of the local organization which has been the most active, for her work in French-American relations. She was also a member of the group which founded the Houston Symphony and the Faculty Women’s Club of the Rice Institute.

The portrait is oil on canvas, by Auguste Leroux (1871-1954), a French painter, illustrator, and professor at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.  It was offered in 2002 to the Woodson Research Center by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Mrs. Lovett is dressed in a black lace-edged gown, and wears two ropes of pearls and a ring.  The background is a landscape reminiscent of Renaissance paintings, and near her left elbow is a bird (Mrs. Lovett was very fond of birds).

Memorabilia Monday: Tennis Trophy


As an archive, we have various types of trophies from sports to Beer Bike. This tarnished gem is Lucy Taylor’s Doubles Tennis trophy from 1916.


As for specifics on Ms. Taylor, she seems to have only attended Rice Institute her freshman and sophomore years. During her first year, she was a member of the Elizabeth Baldwin Literary Society. After December 1916, she disappears. With such a common name, her post-Rice life is hard to find.

Image from: Rice University. “The Campanile, 1916.” (1916) http://hdl.handle.net/1911/62513.

Art in the Archives: Margaret Bremond Rice

Patrons visiting the Woodson Research Center reading room often comment on the portrait of Margaret Bremond Rice, first wife of Rice Institute founder William Marsh Rice.  We know very little about her, apart from her obituary notice in the Houston Telegraph. Bremond was the eldest daughter of Paul Bremond, one of the founders of the Houston and Texas Central Railway; she married when she was 18 and Rice a successful businessman of 34.

Margaret Rice was known for her charitable work in Houston. She attended the sick during the city’s many epidemics of yellow fever and cholera, and was active in war relief efforts for the families of soldiers during the Civil War. She died in 1863 at 31 of unknown causes.

The portrait is oil on canvas, the artist and the date unknown.  It was offered to the Rice Institute by a descendant of the Bremond family in 1947, and received in 1948. The painting is described as follows:

She is dressed in a lace-edged robe de style of bronzed green velvet, a Paisley shawl in dark orange thrown across her right arm.  She wears a cameo and matching earrings of a classical temple.