The spring issue of Rice magazine includes a feature on Fondren Library’s Woodson Research Center — home of Rice’s institutional memory, the place where official records, personal papers, rare books, manuscripts, photographs, and audio and video collections are housed for preservation and study. Occupying 8,000 square feet over two floors in Fondren, the archive also houses such delicate ephemera as costumes from the annual Archi-Arts balls, trophies, jewelry and china. Another 5,000 rare books and records are stored at an off-campus facility. In the past year, librarians and archivists welcomed hundreds of visitors to Woodson.
Included among this archival treasure trove are 31 scrapbooks created by Rice students from 1912 to 1970, with most of the albums dating from the first half of the century. Frequently overstuffed with Rice memorabilia and in various states of disorder and decay, the scrapbooks deliver tantalizing glimpses into their owners’ lives. The carefree students who assembled the journals left a delightful, and at times intriguing, record of time and place.
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