The week before commencement is one of my favorite times of the year. Things feel almost placid after the chaos of finals and I enjoy watching the preparations out on the quad and the anticipation of the summer. I took advantage of the quiet this afternoon to dig into a collection that I haven’t spent a lot of time with, the Julian and Juliette Huxley Papers. There are a staggering number of photos in this collection and there’s no obvious place to plunge in so I needed a moment when I wasn’t pressed by other business.
Happily, I was rewarded with one of the nicest pictures of early campus I’ve ever come across. It is this, labeled by Huxley “Our Lab, November 1914. Davies in background.”:
It looks like they may still be moving into the then-brand new Physics Building, which housed the Biology Department for many years. Heaven only knows what all that machinery is about. The highlight here, though, is one of my heroes, the great Joseph Davies, who I would have missed entirely if Huxley hadn’t pointed him out to me. It must be one of the earliest images of him at Rice. This is the sort of thing that makes my job deeply satisfying.
Bonus: I think he would have loved this wild little corner of campus. I certainly do.