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.

Research Policies

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 copying. 
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.

The Papers of Jefferson Davis
Rice University--MS 215
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, Texas 77251-1892

Phone and Fax Numbers
Phone: (713) 348-2586
Fax: (713) 348-6172 

Email Address