Rice Digital Scholarship Archive

The Rice Digital Scholarship Archive (RDSA) is Rice University’s institutional repository. That means it collects scholarly work and other materials produced by Rice University faculty and staff, including faculty and student research, dissertations and theses, publications produced by the university, and archival materials related to the university’s history. Additionally, the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive serves as a host to several digitized cultural heritage collections.

Screenshot of the homepage of Rice's Digital Scholarship Archive

This guide covers navigating:


The archive collects research products–articles, dissertations, theses, and more–produced by Rice faculty, staff, and students.


This includes newspapers, journals, and newsletters produced by university groups, as well as performances at the Shepherd School of Music.


This includes non-periodical materials relating to Rice’s history, such as commencement programs, yearbooks, campus maps, and oral histories.


Digitized cultural heritage materials include collections from Rice’s Woodson Research Center, the Americas Archive, the Chao Center for Asian Studies, Travelers in the Middle East Archive (TIMEA), and selected materials from other libraries and museums around Houston.


How to cite materials in the archive.


For information about archive management, depositing work into the archive, and other topics, see the Rice Digital Scholarship FAQs page.


Faculty and Staff Research


Click on the box labeled “Faculty & Staff Research” on the RDSA’s homepage to access faculty and staff research. The schools and institutes at Rice producing research appear as sub-collections, and most recent submissions to the archive appear first. You can use the filters on the right side of the page to browse research by issue date, author, subject, document type, and more. The basic search bar at the top of the page is another option.

Screenshot of the Faculty and Staff Research page of the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive.

The following is an example of what searching within this set of files by Subject looks like. It is also possible to browse subjects (or titles, or authors) without running a specific search.

Screenshot of the "Faculty & Staff Research" page of the RDSA with "Subjects" under "This Community" boxed in red.
Screenshot of the "Browsing Faculty & Staff Research by Subject" page with a search for "Image restoration" boxed in red.
Screenshot of the results of the above search.
Screenshot of the above results expanded.

Student Research


Click the “Graduate & Undergraduate Student Research” box on the RDSA homepage to access research produced by undergraduate and graduate students, excluding graduate dissertations and theses. The student research page has fewer sub-communities and collections than the faculty and staff research page–you can only view graduate research, undergraduate research, or the results of Fondren programs together–but the page has the same search functions as the faculty page, including browsing options and a search bar.

Screenshot of the "Graduate and Undergraduate Student Research" page in the RSDA.

To view an item, click the title. A new page with more information about the item and links to “View/Open” its files will appear.

Screenshot of a record for a student research poster titled "Vota!" in the RSDA with the "View/Open" link boxed in red.

Dissertations and Theses


Click the “Rice Theses & Dissertations” box on the RDSA homepage to view dissertations and theses by Rice graduates. The theses and dissertations lack structured communities and sub-collections like many of the other sections of the RDSA, but you are able to browse theses and dissertations by advisor, discipline, department, degree name, and degree level. As with the pages for faculty and student research, standard browsing options (title, author, subject, and so on) and a search bar are available.

Screenshot of the "Rice University Graduate Electronic Theses and Dissertations" page in the RDSA.

The following screenshots show what it looks like to browse the section by department.

Screenshot of the Department browse for dissertations and theses in the RDSA with "English" boxed in red.
Screenshot of a listing of English department theses and dissertations in the RDSA.

Rice Publications and Performances

Click on the “Publications and Performances” box on the RDSA homepage to view publications produced at Rice and programs and other documents from performances at the Shepherd School of Music. Contents include official Rice publications, such as Sallyport and News from Fondren, as well as student-led publications, such as the Rice Thresher and the Rice Historical Review.

Screenshot of the "Publications and Performances" page in the RDSA.

Publications are organized into sub-communities or collections. Clicking on one will lead to that publication’s archive in the RDSA. Filtering options–issue date, author, title, subject, and document type–are the same as for other sections of the RDSA, and a search bar is available for specific searches.

Rice History

Click the “University Archives & Rice History” box to access materials related to the history of Rice University. This includes Reports from the President (under “History of Rice University sub-community), KTRU student radio recordings, commencement programs, general announcements, oral histories, Campanile yearbooks, and campus maps.

Screenshot of the "University Archives and Rice History" page in the RDSA.

This section of the RDSA has the standard filtering options and a search bar. Several collections–Houston Area Rainbow Collective History (ARCH) oral histories, KTRU Rice Radio archive, and Rice University Oral Histories–contain audio or video content.

By the way, if you’re interested in Rice history, don’t miss the Rice History Corner blog, maintained by Rice’s Centennial Historian Melissa Kean. 


Cultural Heritage Collections

Click the “Cultural Heritage Collections” box on the homepage to access a variety of digitized cultural heritage materials, including many from the Woodson Research Center.

Screenshot of the "Cultural Heritage" collections page in the RDSA.


There are five main sub-communities in this part of the RDSA:


Americas Archive

The Americas Archive collects digitized primary source documents related to the history of the Americas. The collection includes materials from North America, the Caribbean, and Latin America, dated from the start of colonization to the present, but most documents are dated from the nineteenth century and focus on either the United States or Mexico.


Chao Center for Asian Studies

The Chao Center for Asian Studies is an archive of digitized twentieth and twenty-first century materials related to Asian and Asian-American history. Two especially strong areas are for oral interviews documenting Asian-American experiences (found in several sub-communities and collections) and Chinese advertisements (found in the “Ephemera Archive”).


Museum of Houston

The Museum of Houston collects digitized primary source materials related to Houston’s history. Materials contributed by the Houston Public Library’s Houston Metropolitan Research Center, McGovern Historical Collections, the Museum of Fine Arts, Texas South University’s Terry Library, the University of Houston libraries’ special collections, the Heritage Society at Sam Houston Park, and Rice’s Woodson Research Center are included.


TIMEA – Travelers in the Middle East Archive

TIMEA contains a variety of digitized primary source documents related to travel to the Middle East, primarily Egypt, from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Documents contained include maps, travel guides, travel narratives, museum catalogs, postcards, and advertisements.


Woodson Research Center Digital Collections

The Woodson Research Center collection contains a number of digitized copies of materials held by Rice’s Woodson Research Center. Materials include items from the Stockton Axson Collection of 18th Century British Drama, William Ward Watkin architectural records, letters and journals from the Civil War, oral histories from the Houston Folk Music Archive, the Robert Avalon music collection, Ye Old College Inn memorabilia, Zoroastrian community interviews, and more.

Keep in mind, this collection represents only a portion of what the Woodson Research Center holds. Many of its materials are not digitized and can only be accessed in person. See here for more information about the Woodson Research Center.


This tutorial covers searching special collections and archives in general.


All item records in the Rice Digital Scholarship Archive include a citation. If you need to convert citations to a specific style, you can use Zotero or another citation manager to store the item’s information and create new citations as necessary.

Screenshot of an item record in the RDSA with the citation boxed in red.