Library Resources

Fondren Library provides a list of resources related to slavery and racial injustice at Rice University, including links to finding aids for collections in the Woodson Research Center. Some documents relevant to the work of the Task Force have also been digitized and published on the university's Digital Scholarship repository. Both sites are updated as more documents and resources become available.

Digital Projects

Rice University Between Decisions: From Co-Education to Integration (1957–1970) 

Rice students created “Rice University Between Decisions” from 2014 to 2016 as part of coursework and practica lead by Rice’s Humanities Research Center. The digital project, which includes a timeline, addresses gender and race. It begins with the 1957 decision to create the college system, which allowed women to live on campus for the first time, and it ends with a discussion of the first black faculty. The project discusses the charter trial in its historical context, beginning with the proliferation of federal grants related to STEM education and research in the post–World War II era. “Rice University Between Decisions” also includes profiles of Charles Edward Freeman III, Jacqueline McCauley, Theodore Henderson, and Linda Faye Williams, the first black undergraduate students at Rice. The Project was created by Edna Otuomagie, Samhita Sunya, Itohan Idumwonyi, Danni Vasquez, and Matthew Holloway, and it is hosted and maintained by the Woodson Research Center.

A Time of Protest at Rice

“A Time of Protest at Rice” is a digital exhibit organized around a timeline. Rice students Emma Satterfield and Anna Ta worked on the project as Fondren Fellows with the Woodson Research Center, which hosts and maintains the exhibit. It covers the Masterson Crisis of February 1969 and the Abbie Hoffman Incident of spring 1970. The exhibit interprets these protests—one against the appointment of William H. Masterson as Rice’s new president without the consultation of a faculty and student committee, the other against the university administration’s decision to prevent Abbie Hoffman from speaking on campus—in the context of student-led protest movements during the era of protests for civil rights and against the Vietnam War. 

Literary Societies at Rice

Norie Guthrie created the digital project “Literary Societies at Rice” and organized it around a timeline that covers transformations in Rice’s literary societies, which were early academic and social societies for women. The timeline covers years from 1914 to the 1980s. The exhibit includes a lot of images and documents related to literary societies from the Woodson Research Center, which hosts and maintains the project.

Presidents and Provosts

Eight men have served as presidents of Rice University, and this digital exhibit includes basic information about all of them. Each entry includes the years they served as president, basic biographical and professional information, what they are remembered for at Rice, and the names of the provosts who served under them. Also included are links to the online guides of each president’s records at the Woodson Research Center, which hosts and maintains the project.

Task Force Timeline

Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice Timeline (DRAFT)

This timeline currently includes events from 1838, when William Marsh Rice arrived in Texas, to 1930, when the Founder’s Memorial was unveiled. It highlights the ongoing research of the Task Force, and it currently focuses heavily on William Marsh Rice’s enslavement of black people and his financing of plantations or market transactions, which he sometimes financed by accepting mortgages on enslaved people. This timeline is a work in progress and will be updated over time as research continues.

Other Rice Timelines

The following timelines were not produced by the Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice but are provided here for reference and comparison.

“Gifted and Black” Timeline by Rice Magazine

The staff of the Rice Magazine created “Gifted and Black” in 2016 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of integration at the university. The timeline includes basic foundational events during the early years of the Rice Institute, from the 1891 charter to 1948, when Rice Thresher editor Brady Tyson reprinted Houston Post and Houston Informer editorials on integration and sparked an early debate about admitting black students. After 1948, the timeline becomes denser, as it covers important moments before and after integration at Rice and the city of Houston. It also highlights the experiences of black students at Rice from the 1970s to 2016. The timeline includes quotations from black students and alumni, which were taken from the film Young, Gifted and Black: Reflections from Black Alumni at Rice (2012), alumni surveys, and interviews.

Rice Alumni Black History Timeline

The creators of this Association of Rice Alumni timeline envision it as a “living timeline” of the history of black undergraduate life at Rice. The creators drew from “Rice University Between Decisions” and the “Rice University Centennial Timeline.” There is significant overlap between the events that this timeline presents and those of the “Rice University Between Decisions” and the “Gifted and Black” timelines. The timeline ends in 2016, with the 50th anniversary commemorations of integration.

“Welcoming the Second Century” by the Rice Historical Society

The Rice Historical Society’s timeline begins in 1816, with William Marsh Rice’s birth in Springfield, Massachusetts. After quickly moving to his death in 1900 and the founding of the Rice Institute, the timeline slows down and becomes a denser list. It includes, for instance, the 1916 formation of the basketball team, the 1937 requirement that students pass a spelling test before graduation, and the registration of Fondren Library as an official patent depository in 1976. The timeline ends with the 1999 construction of a new graduate housing complex.

“Centennial Timeline” by Rice University

The Rice centennial timeline begins with the Rice Institute’s charter of 1891 and ends in 2012, with the expansion of the public arts program. The timeline can be viewed by year, by decade, or by presidential administration. Each decade includes its own summary, and specific events regarding student life, faculty developments, construction, etc. can be viewed by selecting specific years.

“A History of Racial Injustice at Rice” by the Rice Thresher

The Rice Thresher’s timeline of racial injustice is meant to demonstrate the present relevance of the institution’s racial history. It begins in 1842, when William Marsh Rice was assigned to the Houston slave patrol, and quickly moves forward a century, to discuss events before and after integration; the timeline ends in July 2020, with the appointment of Bryan Washington as Scholar in Residence for Racial Justice and the appointment of Alexander X. Byrd as Rice’s first Vice Provost for Diversity. The timeline relies on sources and digital exhibits made available online by the Woodson Research Center, especially historic Thresher articles.

“A Latinx History of Rice University” by the Rice Thresher

This timeline addresses the history of Latinx students, staff, and faculty on campus. It begins in 1912, quickly moves to the 1960s and 1970s, and ends in 2019. The timeline highlights anti-Latinx rhetoric and activity in the early years, and it discusses the experiences of Latinx students in later years. The timeline relies almost exclusively on material from the Thresher.

Several schools and departments of Rice University created and maintain the following timelines that record their histories. Though not produced by the Task Force, they are provided here for reference.

School of Humanities

George R. Brown School of Engineering

School of Social Sciences

Rice Arts

Department of Mathematics

Department of Physics and Astronomy