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Alan Grob academic career records

Identifier: UA 413
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 collection contains teaching and class-related materials such as syllabi, lecture notes, course papers written by students, student evaluations of classes taught, and letters of recommendation for students. There are also materials pertaining to Rice University affairs, such as faculty records, papers about admissions and financial aid, president speeches, and texts and diary entries commenting on the Masterson Crisis. Also contained within the collection are writings by Alan Grob in the form of speeches, articles, and manuscripts for books he wrote, as well as personal items including correspondence, photographs, newsprint about his life, and awards he received. There are also a number of floppy disks containing backups of Alan Grob’s computer disk and manuscripts for his book “Wordsworth and his Adversaries: A Study in the Hermeneutics of Disparagement.”

The materials are in good condition and range in date from 1961 to 2007. Researchers interested in classes at Rice (particularly English Literature with a focus on Shakespeare, Victorian and Romantic writers, and Wordsworth), social and political shifts in the climate at Rice University, and the life and achievements of Alan Grob would find this collection helpful.


  • Creation: 1961 - 2007


Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research. Restricted materials are marked in the finding aid.

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

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from the Alan Grob academic career records, 1961-2007 must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

The Woodson Research Center use policy is that researchers assume sole responsibility for any infringement of privacy, literary rights, copyrights, or other rights arising from their use of the archival materials. In addition to any restrictions placed by donors, certain kinds of archival materials are restricted for the life of the creator plus 50 years. These materials include, but are not limited to, student grades, transcripts, and any job applications or recommendations.

Biographical / Historical

Alan Grob was born on March 12, 1932 in New York City and died on September 21, 2007 in Houston, Texas. He was the much-loved son of Jack and Ida Grob. He received his B.A. from Utica College and his M.A. and PhD in English from the University of Wisconsin. He served as an officer in the U.S. Navy aboard the U.S.S. General W.A. Mann from 1953 to 1956. In 1961 he joined the Rice University English department, serving as chairman from 1981 to 1987. He received the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching five times and in 1973 he received Rice's highest teaching award, the George R. Brown Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was a visiting professor at Texas Southern University, the University of Indiana, and the University of the Saarland in West Germany, where he held both a Rotary and a Fulbright Fellowship.

As a specialist in 19th-century literature, Dr. Grob was the author of the books The Philosophic Mind: A Study of Wordsworth's Poetry and Thought, 1797-1805 and A Longing Like Despair: Arnold's Poetry of Pessimism, as well as many scholarly articles. Dr. Grob served as the president of the Wordsworth-Coleridge Association of America, as a member of the executive committee for the English Romantic Period section of the Modern Language Association from 1973 to 1977, and as chairman of that committee in 1976. He was a faculty associate at Hanszen College of Rice University from 1962 until his retirement in 2002.

A leading voice at Rice for social justice and for racial integration, Dr. Grob organized and chaired a faculty committee for minority recruitment in the early years of desegregation at Rice. Upon his retirement, former students and colleagues honored him by establishing the Alan Grob Prize to be awarded annually to the Rice undergraduate who, in the words of the donors, "has demonstrated the most devotion to the needs of the economically and culturally disadvantaged. The recipient's activities shall exemplify the values of community and service that Professor Grob lived and so eloquently sought to teach." In addition, in 2003 the Rice-TMS board established a scholarship for an incoming undergraduate minority student in Alan Grob's name.

Dr. Grob taught a highly popular course in Shakespeare for almost thirty years and in recognition of that very pleasurable association with the plays of Shakespeare he and his wife Shirley established the Alan and Shirley Grob Endowment for Shakespeare in Performance, a fund created to assist in bringing performances of the plays of Shakespeare to the Rice campus.

Dr. Grob loved being a teacher. He was deeply committed to sharing his enthusiasm for literature with the students he loved, and he prized his long friendships with many colleagues that he admired. He loved travel, particularly to the Lake District of England, politics, reading, following sports, and going out to dinner. Perhaps his favorite hobby was to participate in lively debates on subjects that stirred his interest. He took a keen interest in the lives of his children and their families and cherished the time he spent with them.

--Taken from Alan Grob’s obituary in the Houston Chronicle


5 Linear Feet (5 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Alan Grob academic career records offer insight into the teaching and personal life of Rice University professor of English Alan Grob. Containing a large number of his lecture notes in addition to his writings, university related documents, and documents such as correspondence, photographs, and news articles, the collection helps preserve the memory of his impact at Rice.


The materials are arranged in five series alphabetically or by date where possible, as below:

Series I: Teaching Materials; Series II: University Affairs; Series III: Writings and Manuscripts; Series IV: Personal; Series V: Floppy Disks

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The materials were donated by Alan Grob’s estate in 2020.

Guide to the Alan Grob academic career records
Gabby Parker, Mary Tobin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

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