Rice's Woodson Research Center (Medical Humanities)

The Woodson Research Center, housed in Rice's Fondren library, supports the institutional, research, and public service programs of the University. The Center collects, organizes, preserves and describes Rice University archives, rare books, and manuscripts. Woodson has several medical archives relating to Typhus and Houston medical history that it wants help cataloguing and making accessible online.

1. Julian Huxley Papers (MS 050)

Huxley was a British evolutionary biologist, eugenicist, and internationalist. He was a proponent of natural selection, and a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century evolutionary synthesis. Huxley supported Planned Parenthood and spoke at a conference and 
received an award. In the collection there is correspondence between Huxley and Margaret 
Sanger, as well as correspondence between Huxley and individuals involved with: Abortion Law Reform, Family Planning Association, Population Council, and Planned Parenthood of America.

2. DePelchin Collection

Woodson is in the process of securing the personal and professional records of Kezia DePelchin, a Houston-based nurse who lived from 1828-93 and treated diverse patients in the Reconstruction-era south. A smaller collection of DePelchin’s 1878-79 letters and journal, relating her experiences treating yellow fever patients, has already been transcribed and turned into an online exhibit. This larger collection provides an exciting opportunity to make available to the public a fuller picture of nineteenth-century nursing in the deep south, and the historical interconnections between race, class, and medicine in Texas.

3. Oveta Culp Hobby (MS 459)

Polio vaccine information - As the Secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Hobby worked to get the Salk vaccine approved and ready for public consumption. There are government reports, speeches, and meeting notes. Much of this directly implicates the history of Houston Hospital segregation.

  • Finding aid
  • Project: Omeka exhibit.
    • Create a LibGuide with cross-institutional materials [potential cross-repository opportunities with McGovern Historical Collections and Research Center at The TMC Library, the Harris County Archives, and UH Libraries Special Collections.

    • If desired, could explore interviewing Hobby’s son, Lt. Gov. Hobby, who lives in Houston.

4. Kaderli letters on death (MS 052)

This is a collection of twenty-seven letters, mostly handwritten and accompanied by their original envelopes. Each letter addresses the subject posed by Mrs. Kaderli when she asked for guidance in explaining death to her small daughter. A few of the letters are photocopies which replace lost originals. She wrote a series of letters to leaders in the fields of art, music, literature, science, religion, medicine and other fields, and the responses to her letters make up the content of this collection. Famous figures such as Sir Julian Huxley, Aldous Huxley, C.S. Lewis, Eleanor Roosevelt and Carl Sandburg replied. 


  • Finding aid
  • Project:
 To be imagined and planned! 


(scholarship.rice.edu)

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