Rice's Woodson Research Center (Cultural Heritage)

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. Houston Folk Music Archive

The Houston Folk Music Archive at the Woodson Research Center in Fondren Library seeks to preserve Houston's vibrant folk community from the 1960s-1980s. Houston's folk community nestled in Montrose spawned artists such as: Townes Van Zandt, Guy Clark, Lucinda Williams, Nanci Griffith, Robert Earl Keen, Lyle Lovett, and many more. The archive contains collections from singer-songwriters Vince Bell, Richard Dobson, Lynn Langham, Don Sanders, Sara Hickman, the band Wheatfield, and others, as well as music venues like Liberty Hall, Sweetheart of Texas, Rockefeller's, and the Jester Lounge. There are also online video oral histories with singer-songwriters, music venue owners, and others related to the scene. To learn more visit our research guide for a full list of collections, books, and videos. For assistance with the collections, please contact Norie Guthrie - slg4@rice.edu.

2. Buffalo Bayou: Ecology & Politics

The Woodson Center is in possession of and has digitized the original 40’x4’ mylar architectural plan for the Buffalo Bayou “improvements” as proposed by Charles Tapley in the 1970’s. The map has been digitized, and now needs to be GIS encoded and ultimately transformed into an interactive map of a key site in Houston’s political geography. This project is open to students with a variety of disciplinary backgrounds, and we will potentially admit multiple students on a team basis. Buffalo Bayou’s improvements are a source of ongoing debate; students working on this project will be contributing informed research to Houston culture and politics.

(View a 150 ppi scan of the Tapley map on Artstor or Rice servers)

3. Integration at Rice

Woodson possesses numerous materials on the history of Rice’s dual integrations: the admission first of women, second of people of color. Work has already been done to process much of this information and present it as an online exhibit, “Rice: Between Decisions,” that follows some of the key figures in the school’s transition to a more diverse environment. More work remains to be done, however, in considering the institution's decision-making process; a student will work with primary source documents and/or perform in-depth oral history interviews to extend the existing exhibit or create a new one.


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