Fondren Library ranked among the ’20 Most Impressive University Special Collections’

The Online Education Database (OED) recently listed Rice’s Fondren Library among the “20 Most Impressive University Special Collections.” 

Ranked No. 18, Fondren Library is singled out for, among other things, its materials on Texas history and the Civil War, which “form the crux of the Owls’ manuscript collections, but the rare books archive shines far brighter in many ways,” the OED said. “It contains over 32,000 works, further sorted into history of science, Ricketts and Shannon books, history of aeronautics (appropriate for Houston!), 18th-century British drama, George Cruikshank, Thorton Wilder, the Limited Editions Club, Texas history, watermarks and Sir William Watson.”

Fondren Library’s counterparts at Trinity College Dublin, Cambridge University and Oxford University earned the top three spots, respectively, in the ranking.

“The Fondren Library is very pleased to receive this recognition from the OED,” said Vice Provost and University Librarian Sara Lowman. “The staff in the Woodson Research Center have worked hard to build a first-rate collection to support the teaching and research needs of the Rice community; it’s very rewarding to be listed among such a distinguished international group of libraries and see their hard work recognized.”

For more information about this ranking, visit For information about Fondren Library and its special collections, visit

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is associate director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.