Skip to main content

Ralph Anderson Jr. Papers

Identifier: MS 0413
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586. Box 6A is stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.

Scope and Contents

The Ralph Anderson Collection consists of correspondence, photographs, architectural drawings, publications, memorabilia, Rice University records and World War II records. It covers a broad spectrum of Ralph Anderson's life beginning with his grade school transcripts and ending with the very poignant diary that he kept through the last year of his life.

Although most of the documents relate to the personal and professional life and career of Ralph Anderson, Jr., there are also a few records pertaining to other family members.


  • Creation: 1860-1989
  • Creation: Majority of material found within

Conditions Governing Access

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

Box 6A is stored onsite at the Woodson Research Center.

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from the Ralph Anderson, Jr., Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Biographical / Historical

Ralph Anderson, Jr. was born January 1, 1923 in Houston, Texas, the son of Mr. And Mrs. Ralph Anderson, Sr. Ralph Anderson, Sr. (Andy) was the Sports Editor of the Houston Post and later the Houston Press.

Ralph Anderson, Jr. attended school in Houston, graduating from Lamar High School in 1939 and Rice Institute (later Rice University) in 1943 with a B. A. degree in Architecture. While at Rice, he won The American Institute of Architecture Student Medal, and was the first architectural student at the university to be elected to Phi Beta Kappa, a national honorary fraternity.

After being inducted into the Army in 1943, he was sent to Harvard University. Upon completion of an Advanced Studies Program, he went to France where he served in the European Theatre of Operations. As a result of a head wound received at the Battle of the Bulge, he was awarded both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

When the war ended, Ralph Anderson returned to Rice Institute, and received a B. S. degree in Architecture in 1947. After graduating, he joined the firm of Wilson, Morris and Crain. He worked for two years, then took a leave of absence in 1949 for an extensive study tour of Europe. He returned to the firm in 1950 and was made a partner in 1952. In 1972 the firm became known as Wilson, Crain and Anderson and in 1975 it became Wilson, Crain, Anderson and Reynolds. He was President of Crain/Anderson, Inc. in 1978.

Ralph Anderson was an artist, book reviewer, lecturer and author. He took part in the 12th Annual Texas Painting and Sculpture Exhibit in 1951. He wrote Handcar White: The Battle History of 2nd Battalion, 328th Infantry Regiment WWII and Spain Today, plus numerous articles for architectural journals.

He was a registered architect in Texas, Indiana, Louisiana, the District of Columbia, Missouri, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Ohio, and designed both family residences and commercial buildings. The World Trade Center in Houston, the Astrodome, Kelsey-Seybold Clinic, the Houston Post Building, the Harris Court House Addition, and the Alice Pratt Brown Fine Arts Library at Rice University were among his many designs.

He won numerous awards, such as the Award of Merit, Texas Architecture, 1961, 1965; The Commendation Award, Houston Chapter A. I. A. 1962; Interior Certificate of Commendation, Municipal Art Commission, 1973, and many more. He became President of the Houston Chapter of the American Institute of Architects in 1966 and was elected a Fellow in the A. I. A., in 1967.

Ralph Anderson was a member of Allegro, The Tejas Club of Houston, and the Argyle Club of San Antonio.

He died February 3, 1990 in Houston.


11 Linear Feet (23 boxes)

Language of Materials



Houston-born Ralph Anderson Jr. (1923-1990) studied architecture at Rice Institute and earned a bachelor's degree in 1943. He was inducted into the U.S. Army in 1943 and fought in the Battle of the Bulge where he was wounded and awarded a medal for his bravery. After the war, he returned to Rice and continued his studies in architecture. He joined the architectural firm of Wilson, Morris and Crain and eventually rose to become a partner and later president of the company. The papers cover a broad spectrum of Ralph Anderson's life, including his family, school, university years, his combat service in World War II with the U.S. Army, and his professional life as an architect.


The collection is divided into eleven series:

Missing Title

  1. Series I: Family Documents, 1860-1965 - 2.5 inches Box 1
  2. Series II: Rice University, 1939-1988, 5 inches Box 2
  3. Series III: World War II, 1942-1947, 22.5 inches Boxes 3-7
  4. Series IV: General Correspondence, 1941-1989, 5 inches Box 8
  5. Series V: Family Correspondence, 1943-1950, 20 inches Boxes 9-12
  6. Series VI: Professional Practice, 1946-1989, 5 inches Box 13
  7. Series VII: Professional Affiliation, 1946-1989, 2.5 inches Box 14
  8. Series VIII: Personal, 1937-1989, 22.5 inches Boxes 15-19
  9. Series IX: Publications, 1948-1989, 2.5 inches Box 20
  10. Series X: General Photographs, 1929-1977, 5 inches Box 21
  11. Series XI: Oversize, 1900-1969, 20 inches Box 22

Acquisition Information

The papers were a gift from H. Russell Pitman, executor of the Ralph Anderson Estate. They were received in June, August, September, October 1990 and January 1991.

Guide to Ralph Anderson, Jr. papers, 1860-1989
Sharon Link & Lois Morris
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

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