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George G. Williams Papers

Identifier: MS 0341
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

The papers reflect Williams literary and academic careers, along with his interests in ornithology. Material includes typescript and handwritten manuscripts, newspaper clippings, student questionnaires and papers, and correspondence. There is a list of correspondents available in the control file. When donating these papers, Williams annotated the files with illustrative biographies or thoughts he remembered about the person or event.


  • 1923 - 1983
  • Majority of material found within 1923 - 1964


Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials from the George G. Williams papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Biographical Note

Born on May 1, 1902 at Rogers, Texas, George Guion Williams moved with his family to Houston in 1918 and attended Central High School. He entered Rice Institute in 1919 to study biology and English and graduated in 1923. Williams earned his Master's degree in English from Rice in 1925 and accepted an assistantship in English at New York University in 1927. He returned to Houston in 1928 to help with family matters. His hopes of returning to New York to obtain a doctorate in English were dashed by the Depression, so Williams began his 40-year teaching career at Rice in English literature and creative writing. He retired in 1968 and became a professor emeritus. Among his published works are "Creative Writing for Advanced College Classes" (1935), which remained in print for almost 40 years; "The Blind Bull" (1952) a novel that won first prize from the Texas Institute of Letters; "Some of My Best Friends are Professors" (1958); "A New View of Chaucer" (1965); and "Guide to Literary London" (1975). Some of the more notable students Williams helped influence include David Westheimer, William Goyen, Larry McMurtry, John Graves, James P. Miller and James Korges. Williams may be best known among his former students for sponsoring the Rice Writing Club.

While teaching English, Williams also cultivated his love for ornithology. He wrote numerous articles about birds for scientific journals and a book on bird migration that was published in 1961. He helped to establish the Houston Museum of Natural Science and served as the museums first president of their board of directors from 1948 to 1950. Williams married the former Marian Williams in 1930 and had two sons. He died December 1, 1999.


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Language of Materials



Typescript and handwritten manuscripts, newspaper clippings, student questionnaires and papers, and correspondence which reflect the literary and academic career of George G. Williams, Professor of English, Rice University (1928-1968), along with his interests in ornithology.

Acquisition Information

The collection was received as a gift from George G. Williams in 1980 with additions made in 1989.


There is material in President Lovett's (Rice University Archives) papers regarding the Heinrich Meyer trial.

There is a dual numbering system for the folders for "Guide to Literary London." Numbers to the left of folder titles follow the preliminary numbering system, while numbers in parentheses indicate chapters in the final published form.
Guide to George G. Williams papers, 1923-1983, bulk 1932-1964
Lee Pecht
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas Repository

Fondren Library MS-44, Rice University
6100 Main St.
Houston Texas 77005 USA