A while ago we had an alum bring in something wonderful. Leigh Anderson, ’71, had been saving this little item since he found it in a box of old junk in a rental house in 1970 and decided that now was the time to donate it to Rice’s archives. (We’re very grateful!) It’s a 1920 Rice Owl calendar, apparently something produced only that year.
As a calendar it’s close to an abject failure–each “calendar” page has three months on it, all so tiny as to be useless. Many other pages, though, are absolutely fabulous. They give us a glimpse of student life I’ve not seen anywhere else. The first thing that caught my eye was this image. It looks so odd, packed with the ornate, old-fashioned furniture and decorations, and I wasn’t immediately certain where it was.
Look closely though, and it looks like it must be the Commons Library, maybe decorated for Christmas. Note the portrait of William Marsh Rice over the fireplace and that row of chairs along the wall on the right. We have those chairs (or at least some of them) in the basement annex of the Woodson–they’re sitting in front of a panel from the R1:
Then this turned up a few pages later. I especially like the caption on the portrait. This is interesting to me because for a variety of reasons I’ve always thought about this room as a place largely occupied by faculty, not so much by students. I guess I need to rethink that.
There’s lots more of interest in this calendar and also more about the library, but this is all I happen to have with me right now. I’ll be back in Houston tomorrow!
Bonus: The same room last July.