Celebrating Research

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Rice University Library

Library Overview

The Woodson Research Center collects, organizes, preserves, and describes official records of the University, special collections of rare books, and manuscripts. It makes these materials available for Rice faculty, students, and alumni, as well as local, national, and international researchers via exhibitions, lectures, and other public events, and by publishing print and web-based materials highlighting the department's primary source collections.

The Woodson Research Center’s strong service tradition and commitment to technology enhances access to and aids in the preservation of rare materials, and facilitates long-distance study and teaching.

The Woodson includes the William Ward Watkin and Annie Ray Watkin University archives, which contain the historical records related to the governance and life of the university, including the records of the Board of Governors, administrative offices, papers of Rice presidents, university committees, student organizations, academic departments, and university-related groups.

The collection contains approximately 475 manuscript collections, including personal and institutional papers, photographs, audio, video, and artifacts with the following areas of interest: Rice University personalities; history of science and humanities; United States Southern history and Civil War; British history and drama; Houston and Texas entrepreneurs, business, performing arts, religion, and political activities.

The Woodson houses about 35,000 volumes with strengths that include the history of science, Confederate imprints, Texana, 18th century British drama, the history of aeronautics, and an historical atlas collection.

The Woodson also maintains an active digitization program ranging from putting finding aids online to being actively involved in digital preservation.

Rice University
Woodson Research Center for Special Collections
Fondren Library--MS 44
Rice University
PO Box 1892
Houston, Texas 77251-1892
(713) 348-2586 (t)
(713) 348-6172 (f)