Supporting Research

Enable researchers to find, access, use and share Rice collections of research materials. 

In June 2019, President David Leebron appointed a Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice to “investigate Rice's past with respect to slavery, segregation, and racial injustice; to encourage frank and honest discussion about that past; and to identify suggestions for Rice's future.” Led by faculty members Drs. Alexander Byrd and Caleb McDaniel, the Task Force is supported by Fondren Library in a variety of ways:

  • An online research guide was created to provide information on resources related to slavery and racial injustice at Rice University. These materials include published histories, online exhibits created by Rice students, books, and archival materials housed in the Woodson Research Center. (See online LibGuide) Dr. Will Jones, a Postdoctoral Research Associate works closely with archivists to identify and research archival materials and recommends archival materials for digitization to enhance their accessibility to members of the Task Force and the public.
  • Thanks to generous support from the Friends of Fondren Library, 69 business ledgers from the William Marsh Rice business and estate ledgers were digitized and have been made available online in the Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice historical documents collection.
  • Drs. Byrd and McDaniel craft discussions around some of the new online documents from Rice University's past in their Task Force’s “Doc Talk” webinar episodes
  • A virtual ‘behind the scenes in the archives’ event was hosted by WRC during Homecoming 2020 which featured updates on Task Force research and a peek into some of the materials housed in the archives.


Excerpt from William Marsh Rice business and estate ledgers, Old Business 1859-1862, UA 102


Historians Dr. Will Jones and Dr. Melissa Kean conducting research in support of the Rice University Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice


Research work of The Task Force on Slavery, Segregation, and Racial Injustice.

Reginald Moore Travel Grant

On June 19, 2020, the School of Humanities and the Fondren Library at Rice University were pleased to announce the creation of two new funding opportunities:

  • Open Access Fund: Digital Support Services provided support for open access publishing and facilitated open access books in the institutional repository. 
  • Collection Development: Coalition negotiations with Elsevier concluded successfully in the Fall of 2021 with a new three-year contract (see Background below for more information). The achievement of significant savings with Fondren’s Elsevier contract (30%) may potentially change the way researchers will access some of these journals.