Researching at PJD
Although The Papers of Jefferson Davis project is primarily a
publishing concern, we do allow qualified researchers access to the
estimated 100,000 Davis documents and other resources in our collection. Other resources
include extensive reference files on Davis, his family, and all facets
of his life and career, including antebellum Mississippi, the Mexican
War, the Civil War, and the postwar South.
Location and Directions
- The project offices are located in the Woodson Research Center, 1st floor of the Fondren Library, on the campus of Rice University
in Houston, Texas. The campus is centrally located and relatively easy
to access; the address is 6100 Main Street. Fondren Library is in the
middle of campus facing the main quadrangle. Visitors may use the
shuttle bus to get around campus without charge. Ask the driver to take
you to the library stop. For campus maps, custom driving directions,
and parking information, click here.
The Papers of Jefferson Davis project is open 9:00-4:00,
Monday through Friday. The office is closed on weekends, official
holidays, and from December 24 through January 1. Our staff is small, so visiting researchers are strongly encouraged to call or
write before coming to make sure the time of the visit is mutually
convenient. For information regarding Fondren Library, including hours, admittance procedures, and collections, please visit the library website.
- Researchers are allowed to make notes on almost everything in our
files and may make photocopies of transcriptions. Photocopying of
original documents is, however, restricted to materials located in the National Archives and the Library of Congress,
and those owned by the project. Researchers may make notes on
manuscripts owned by other repositories, but it is the responsibility of
the researcher to contact each repository to secure permission to
quote. All visiting researchers must sign a statement agreeing to abide
by this policy.
- Our reading room offers tables with electrical outlet for
laptops. Photocopies are 15 cents per page. Researchers are expected to make their own copies
unless time is limited and/or they find a large body of materials to
copy. In that case, arrangements can be made with one of our graduate
assistants or proxy researchers (paid by the hour, in addition to copying costs) to do the
- There is a coffee shop a few steps outside the library.
Additionally, the student center adjacent to the library houses
a cafeteria serving breakfast and lunch. A
few other eating places are within walking distance, and the Rice
Village, which has many popular restaurants, is about a mile away.
- Houston is the nation's fourth largest city, and Rice University is located near many of the major attractions. The Texas Medical Center,
one of the world's largest, is literally right across the street, and
the Astrodome and Reliant Stadium are about three miles away. The world
champion Rockets play about five miles in the other direction at the
Toyota Center, as do the WNBA-champion Comets. The Museum of Fine Arts and Contemporary Arts Museum are within a mile of campus, as are Hermann Park, site of the city zoo, a garden center, the Museum of Natural Science,
other museums, and Miller Outdoor Theatre, which hosts many free plays
and concerts during the spring and summer. The Astros play downtown at
Minute Maid Park.
- Traffic in the city is generally not too much of a problem except on
the freeways during morning and afternoon rush hours. Visitors might
wish to consult the Houston Chronicle for the local traffic, weather, and events calendar. The weekly Houston Press has information on other happenings around town.