“Duplicates,” undated

Yesterday I was digging around in the files that came over a couple years ago from the campus photographers. I didn’t find what I was looking for but I did come across some other great material, including an entire folder full of slides that don’t seem to be all that old, but reveal a campus I don’t know well at all. It’s neither new enough to be part of my own experience nor old enough to have been something I’ve studied intently. All the photos seem to have been taken at about the same time, but they aren’t labeled except for one singularly unhelpful word: “duplicates.”

This is completely new to me. I simply do not know where this is:

Campus photographer slides 6

Neither do I know how long the library looked like this inside:

Campus photographers slides 4Or where the post office was:

campus photographer slides 7I do think that the idea of a Rice Museum is a really good one, although I have no idea what might have been in here:

Campus photographer slides 5

Anybody have a plausible date? I’m guessing, based on next to nothing, mid to late ’70s.

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36 Responses to “Duplicates,” undated

  1. loki_the_bubba says:

    The police station is the back side of Abercrombie. They were there when I was a student in the 70s and 80s.

    • Gene says:

      I was going to say, this looks like the late 70’s, maybe a bit earlier. The library definitely looked like that 1978 – 1983, and the media center / museum looks right. I don’t know where the post office was, but, if I had to guess, somewhere in the RMC???

      • Hannes Hofer says:

        The picture of the Police Station in Abercrombie must have been taken before the big renovation in the mid seventies that “filled in” the areas between the wings that were on the east side of the building originally. The Police Station remained in Abercrombie until 1987 when it moved to its present location near Entrance 8.

  2. Grungy says:

    The post office was in the basement of Allen Center.
    That’s the circulation desk that I recall, from the mid-70s.
    The Rice Museum was the original occupant of the other “temporary” building.
    You have the blueprints for these, for year references.

    • Melissa Kean says:

      Blueprints for the temp buildings? I think I know where to look. Do you recall what the Museum housed?

      • Hannes Hofer says:

        The Museum housed the Menil Collection before it moved to its own Buildings in Montrose.

      • Grungy says:

        Yes, I donated the blueprints (along with a many others).
        The label on one said “A temporary (structure/building) to house the Rice Media Center”.

  3. Syd Polk says:

    The Library looked like that when I went to Rice Summer School for High School students from 1976, and still looked that way when I went to college in the 80s. The Museum and Media Center was on the east side of the entrance near Maroneal (what I knew as “Entrance 7”) on the east edge of the stadium parking lot. I saw some movies in that Media Center. I used to pick the key to the RMC to get into KTRU for my Sunday jazz show at the police station behind Abercrombie from 1985-1988.

  4. C Kelly says:

    The front desk at the Fondren Library doesn’t look like that now?!

  5. Mary Lowery says:

    If the price on the stamp machine reads 25 cents, that picture would be sometime between ’88 and ’91. It’s a bit fuzzy on my screen to be sure on the second digit or whether it is for a single stamp.
    February 17, 1985 .22
    April 3, 1988 .25
    February 3, 1991 .29

    • almadenmike says:

      My recollection is that those sorts of machines sold stamps at convenient coin prices (like dimes & quarters) but the postage value of the stamps you got was much less than you paid for.

      Here are prices for 1-ounce first-class letter postage from the late 60s to early 80s:

      January 7, 1968 – 6 cents
      May 16, 1971 – 8
      March 2, 1974 – 10
      December 31, 1975 – 13
      May 29, 1978 – 15
      March 22, 1981 – 18

      I wouldn’t be surprised if you got a single 8-cent stamp for 10 cents and two (with maybe also some 1-centers) for a quarter.

    • marmer01 says:

      Looks like 23 cents but 25 cents makes more sense, I agree.

  6. Paul Engle says:

    I don’t remember any details now, but I remember the de Menil’s names being mentioned in conjunction with the temporary buildings. Was the Rice Museum the precursor to the Menil Colleciton before it opened in the late 80’s?

  7. marmer01 says:

    All of those scenes look familiar to me, so yes, late-70s early 80s. Campos were in AbLab; at one time they had civilian cars with a shield sticker instead of real police cars. Yes, that’s the circulation desk; the numbers on the wall behind the desk were a relic of the closed stack days when you’d submit your “order” and runners would go fetch it. Not visible but just to the right of the photo was the mighty card catalog. I was very saddened when I went to Fondren recently, picked up a piece of scratch paper, and it was a catalog card! Yes, the Post Office was in the basement of Allen Center. Rice Museum and The Media Center were part of John and Dominique de Menil’s Institute for the Arts which organized exhibitions of the Menils’ and other collections. The Menils had a falling out with St. Thomas and came over here in the free-wheeling 70s. Continuing Studies took the building over in 1988 after the Menil Collection de-camped to their new building. The buildings are by Howard Barnstone and Eugene Aubry, significant Houston architects. You can find lots of information about them and the Institute for the Arts story in Stephen Fox’s _Campus Guide_.

    • marmer01 says:

      The “Art Barn” as it was called, also housed painting and sculpture studios temporarily while Sewall Hall was being built.

  8. Dagobert Brito says:

    The library looks like it was when Patricia and I were graduate students in the late 1960s. Patricia is puzzled by the woman’s dress. Seems not right for the times. Also the de Menils came to Rice around 1968, maybe earlier. We still have a print we bought at the de Menil collection in 1968.

  9. marmer01 says:

    The woman’s skirt, blouse, and shoes are not terribly unusual for being slightly dressed up in the late 70s or early 80s. The guy’s polo shirt and hair certainly look like that to me.

  10. almadenmike says:

    Until the last decade of so, when digital images became widely used, each PR/media relations office in which I worked had “Duplicates” files of color slides. These were copies (“dupe slides”) made from an original transparency (35mm — or if you could afford it a larger format). In news releases or response to media queries, we’d send out only dupes for newspapers, magazines etc. to use. We kept the well-marked original images in a very safe place and used them only to have dupes made or, on rare occurrances, for posters or high-quality reproduction that needed first-generation resolution.

  11. David M. Bynog says:

    I believe the library looked like that until the major renovation that began in the fall of 1987.

  12. Don Johnson says:

    No one has noted that the library renovation was motivated by the Economic Summit. Since I had an office in Fondren then, I was very sensitive to this major change. That’s the raison d’etre for the fancy sconces you see in Fondren today. There must be architectural records on the renovation somewhere.

    • James Medford says:

      There was a major library renovation starting in ’87 that drastically altered the entrance area and resulted in the removal of the original circulation desk. The Economic Summit was in 1990, and while I don’t remember major changes to Fondren occurring that year (I could be wrong), I do remember that a West U garden club provided some large potted plants to decorate the Academic Quad for the summit. Some of them still sit out in front of Fondren.

  13. marmer01 says:

    I think James is right. I was working at the Shepherd School by then and for a time in the late ’80s our offices were on the fifth floor of Fondren. I’m pretty sure that there was a major redesign of the entrance and the whole circulation area well before the Summit. The biggest change I remember about the Summit was that they enclosed the Reference Room and painted a whole bunch of decorative symbols on the walls.

  14. Kathleen Boyd says:

    The Rice Museum was a later incarnation of The Institute for the Arts. Also known as The Barn, it was Madame de Menil’s museum on Rice campus. I would date the photos 1976 onwards.

  15. Jerry Outlaw says:

    The post office was in the basement of Fondren in the mid-60s and then moved to the football stadium for a while. Mr. Baty was the campus postal chief.

  16. mjthannisch says:

    For what it is worth, the Campus Police were in the RMC from at least 1974-1979.

    • mattnoall says:

      Campos moved to Ab Lab around 77 or so. I remember that move as it caused an extension to the building and (at least at one point) had a long desk with glass globes on each end that looked exactly like a booking desk from a gangster film from the 50’s

      The Rice Museum and Media Center were there before 1974 and remained there I think until after 1979 after I left

  17. TomT says:

    Saw a wonderful Magritte exhibition in the 70’s at the Rice/Menil museum. Still have the poster.

  18. Sigsby Rusk says:

    Just now read the comments above. Did not know the stacks in Fondren were ever closed. I arrived as a freshman in 1949 and the paint on the library was barely dry. The circulation desk looked as it does in the photo above, and I still can see dear Sarah Lane standing behind the desk. I had never seen a real library before, and the education I got browsing the stacks for four years filled in a lot of gaps. I worked there part time, shelving books.

    • mattnoal says:

      I know the stacks were open up through 1979 so that closing was after that. I wonder when that decision was made? I was sorry to learn that Fondren had closed the stacks; It would certainly stunt curiousity.

  19. mjthannisch says:

    Interesting comment, Matt. Half the fun of doing papers was seeing what was adjacent to what you were looking for, and occasionally diving into another section just for the fun of it.

  20. Closed stacks were debated in the late 50s. Apparently some faculty and grad students were in favor of it because of greater security for the collection and because it was relatively commonplace for research libraries back then. During the construction of the back wing in the late 60’s a portion of the stacks were definitely closed; the numbers may date back to that.

    • Mark Williamson says:

      The numbers definitely predate the late 60s construction. They were already there (unused) when I started working in Fondren in the summer of 1967. We installed the IBM 1401 from Bonner Nuclear Lab in an existing room in the basement with added raised floor; later we moved it to a bespoke computer room in the new back wing.

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