Scope and Contents
The papers of Frank Everson Vandiver (1925-), former Professor of History, Acting-President, and Provost of Rice University span the years 1947 through 1977 and total 13 linear feet.. A well-known historian and recipient of many awards and prizes, Vandiver later left Rice to become President of North Texas State University, and eventually President of Texas A&M University.
The collection consists of nine boxes of correspondence, manuscripts, and other material generated by Vandiver as a historian, writer, teacher, and lecturer. Some materials predate his arrival at Rice University; however, the bulk of the collection was generated during his tenure at Rice. Papers generated by Vandiver in his administrative positions (Provost, Acting-President, Brown College Master, History Dept. Chairman) are not included in the collection -- the guide section entitled "Related Collections in the Woodson Research Center" gives a brief description of those materials, as well as access information.
Permission to publish from the Frank E. Vandiver papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.
Frank Everson Vandiver was born on December 9, 1925 in Austin, Texas to Harry Schultz and Maude Folmsbee Everson Vandiver. During World War II, Vandiver was appointed Historian for the Army Services Forces Depot in San Antonio, Texas. After World War II ended, Vandiver attended the University of Texas, where he earned his Master of Arts degree in 1949 before ever earning his high school diploma, which he was awarded by Houston Independent School District in 1969. Vandiver then went on to earn his Ph.D. in 1951 from Tulane University. In 1952, he married his first wife, Carol Sue Smith, who later died in 1979.
After he finished schooling, Vandiver began teaching. He came to Rice University in 1955 and became a full history professor in 1958. While at Rice, Vandiver served as the chairman of the History and Political Science Department, master of Brown College, provost, vice president, and acting-president. Obtaining sponsorship from Rice in 1963, Vandiver started the Papers of Jefferson Davis documentary project. The project is now the world’s largest collection of Davis documents. In 1979, Vandiver left Rice to become president of the University of North Texas and later became president of Texas A&M University from 1981 to 1988. He married his second wife, Renee Aubry Carmody, in 1981. After finishing his presidency at A&M, Vandiver began devoting more of his time to research and writing.
Vandiver wrote a considerable amount of books, mostly about the American Civil War, during his lifetime. He also received several awards, including the Jefferson Davis Award from the Confederate Memorial Lit. Society and the Harry S. Truman Award from the Kansas City Civil War Round Table. Vandiver died in College Station, Texas on January 7, 2005.