We’re getting ready to fly back to Houston after scrapping our original plans to drive. Apparently there’s some sort of blizzard between here and there. I wasted quite a bit of time this afternoon just looking at the pictures I have stored in my laptop, just browsing really. I have a lot of pictures and couldn’t quite decide what I wanted to talk about today. Then just a moment ago I stumbled upon a series of photos that were taken when the Graduate Research Wing of Fondren Library (essentially the back part of the building) was completed in 1969.
This expansion project was part of President Pitzer’s Ten-Year Plan, a concerted (and successful) effort to raise Rice’s national profile by pouring resources into our research and graduate study infrastructure. The new addition added almost 100,000 square feet of research space–carrells, stacks and (most important) room for a proper Special Collections area, to be called the Woodson Research Center.
I have no idea who the mysterious and studious man in the corduroy jacket is, but he managed to find his way into the back room of the Woodson. The bound volumes that are sitting sideways on the shelves are some of the scrapbooks that contain the clippings from the William Marsh Rice murder trials. I think they’re housed out in the Library Service Center these days:
Although the public space in the Woodson looks vastly different now, the back room hasn’t really changed much:
Bonus: Here’s a link to the Friends of Fondren magazine, The Flyleaf, from 1969. I put it here for the interesting article about the then-new Woodson Research Center, but I also spent a good part of an hour smiling over the donations list in the back.
I remember that the basement of Fondren flooded during a rainstorm because of some construction at the library. Students, faculty and staff waded in the water and passed books and manuscripts up the line to save them.This would have been in the fall of 66 or the spring of 67. I wonder if this was the same construction. Barney L. McCoy Hanszen 67
The actual flood was due to work on the steam tunnels – there was a large excavation next to the library and the trench filled with water which broke into the library basement. It was in late spring 1967.
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