Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center

The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center is a library and archive at the University of Texas at Austin, specializing in the collection of literary and cultural artifacts from the United States and Europe. The Ransom Center houses 36 million literary manuscripts, 1 million rare books, 5 million photographs, and more than 100,000 works of art. The Center has a reading room for scholars and galleries which display rotating exhibitions of works and objects from the collections.

Notable possessions

The two most prominent possessions in the Ransom Center's archive are a Gutenberg Bible and the first successful permanent photograph from nature, produced by Nicéphore Niépce. Both of these objects are on permanent display in the main lobby. Beyond these, the Center houses many culturally important documents and artifacts. Particular strengths include modern literature, performing arts, and photography.

Some notable holdings include:


*Three copies of the First Folio of William Shakespeare.
*A suppressed first edition of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", of which 23 copies are known to exist
*The personal libraries of writers such as Ezra Pound, Evelyn Waugh, Alice Corbin Henderson, and the Coleridge family.
*Extensive manuscript collections of Lewis Carroll, Aleister Crowley, James Joyce, T. E. Lawrence, D. H. Lawrence, Carson McCullers, Norman Mailer, Anne Sexton, Don DeLillo and Graham Greene.
*Edgar Allan Poe's writing desk
*A large collection of rare and valuable comic books
*A writing journal kept by Jack Kerouac in preparation for writing "On the Road"
*The Cardigan manuscript of Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales"


*A 16th century globe designed by Gerardus Mercator
*Kraus Map Collection, a 16th and 17th century cartographic collection
*An official declaration by Napoleon Bonaparte
*The love letters of the Mexican Emperor Maximilian I and his wife Carlotta
*Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's notes, interviews, manuscripts, and other documents relating to the Watergate scandal

Theatre and film

*The papers of Stella Adler, Robert DeNiro, David Mamet, Arthur Miller, David O. Selznick, George Bernard Shaw, Tom Stoppard, Gloria Swanson and Tennessee Williams
*Selected costumes, script drafts, storyboards, and audition tapes from "Gone with the Wind." These are part of the David O. Selznick Collection.
*Unused props designed by Salvador Dalí to have been used in the dream sequence in "Vertigo"
*The sunglasses worn by Gloria Swanson in "Sunset Boulevard"


*Two paintings by Frida Kahlo: "Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird" and "Still Life (with Parrot and Fruit)"
*A she-wolf statue carved in stone and coated with gold leaf (now worn off) by Eric Gill, creator of Gill Sans
*Busts of various writers (on display in the lobby and reading room)
*large holdings in art by writers and portraits of literary figures


*cite news
first=D. T.
publisher=The New Yorker
title=Letter from Austin: Final Destination
date=June 11, 2007

*cite news
title=Center offers literary sort of Ransom
publisher=The Daily Texan
date=March 7, 2006

*cite news

title=Ransom Center criticized abroad
publisher=The Daily Texan
date=March 8, 2006

*cite news

title=HRC holds cultural gems
publisher=The Daily Texan
date=October 30, 2007

*cite news

title=Ransom Center home to De Niro collection and other rare works
publisher=The Daily Texan
date=November 7, 2007

*cite news

title=Ransom Center leads in conservation
publisher=The Daily Texan
date=November 15, 2007

*cite news

title=Literary treasure hunt
publisher=The Daily Texan
date=December 4, 2007

*cite news
title=Harry Ransom Center Acquires Rare Plantin Polyglot Bible
date=April 29, 2008

External links

* [http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/ The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center]

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