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William H. Masterson papers

Identifier: MS 0613
Finding aid note: Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via or call 713-348-2586.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the academic papers of William H. Masterson, former dean of Humanities for Rice University and the first Master of Rice's Hanszen College. Included are newsclips, photographs and the Cameron Service Award.


  • 1940s-1980s


Conditions Governing Access

This material is open for research.

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

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish from the William H. Masterson Papers must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

Biographical / Historical

Born in Houston, William H. Masterson recieved a Bachelor's degree from Rice Institute where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.; he holds masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He joined the Rice faculty in 1948 and served as assistant to the president (1957-66), first Master of Hanszen College (1957-66), Dean of Humanities (1959-64), managing editor of the Journal of Southern History and professor of History. He left Rice in 1966 to become president, later Chancellor, of the University of Chattanooga, a position he held until 1972 when he returned to teaching. Named by the Board of Trustees in Feb. 1969 as Rice's fourth president, Masterson declined the appointment after a week due to a flawed selection process. He retired from University of Chattanooga in 1979 and moved to Austin, TX to teach part-time at St. Edward's University and join the staff of the LBJ Library. Masterson died in 1983.


1 Linear Feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection contains one series of Masterson's academic papers and one series related to his wife, Orvetta Masterson. Correspondence, newsclips, photographs, certificates, Rice-related brochures and information on the Masterson Fund are included.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Masterson's daughter, Ailene Masterson Moodie on July 1, 2013.
Guide to the William H. Masterson papers, 1940s-1960s
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