Subject strengths of manuscript collections include Houston families & history, Houston Folk and Blues Music, Houston Jewish History, LGBTQ community, Asian American community, convict leasing, local Hip Hop culture, Rice faculty members' papers, U.S. Civil War materials, British Maritime & Naval History, and more.
The William Ward Watkin and Annie Ray Watkin University Archives contain the historical records of Rice University. Non-current records from administrative offices, Rice presidents, academic departments, residential colleges, and student organizations are preserved and made available for researchers. The archives also contain campus plans, drawings and blueprints; photographs; publications; Rice University websites; the Rice Thresher student newspaper; video and audiotapes; ephemeral material; and memorabilia.
Formats in these primary source collections include photographs, letters, diaries, reports, financial records, memorabilia, land deeds, computer disks, email, audio, video, oral histories, maps, and many others. Rare book active collecting areas include Texana, History of Science, publications by Rice faculty, and areas which support any of the manuscript collection subjects.
Overall, the Woodson Research Center will strive to build collections with the perspective of inclusivity and diversity, seeking to recognize and address silences in the historical record.