Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Director's Note

The Harry Ransom Center is among the nation's finest research libraries and a place of unlimited discovery.

The collections assembled here document the work of some of our finest writers and artists and provide unprecedented access to the creative process while also helping us understand the historical moment out of which this work emerged.

In collecting and preserving this record, the Ransom Center is engaged in important cultural stewardship. We share these resources with students and teachers, with an intellectually curious public, and with scholars who come from across the nation and more than 25 countries to conduct research that simply could not be carried out anywhere else. Even as we support these present uses, we are mindful that we also hold these collections in trust for future generations who, for years to come, will visit here to advance this ongoing work.

We are continuing to seek new ways to support scholarship and new ways to share the Ransom Center's collections through exhibitions, readings, lectures, and other public programs. I invite you to visit often, either in person or online, and to take part in the intellectual life of this remarkable community.

Through this work the Ransom Center serves our common culture and, in doing so, helps The University of Texas at Austin fulfill its commitments as one of the leading teaching and research universities in the nation.

Steve Enniss


Dr. Stephen Enniss is Director of the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. Before his appointment in 2013 he held the post of Eric Weinmann Librarian at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., where he was responsible for the management of the world's largest Shakespeare collection and the largest early modern English collection in North America. He did his undergraduate studies at Davidson College, followed by a library degree from Emory University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Georgia. He previously served as Director of Emory University's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, where he was responsible for many major acquisitions, among them the archive of the late Poet Laureate of Britain Ted Hughes, the papers of Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, and the archive of Salman Rushdie. He was the principal negotiator of the gift of the Raymond Danowski Poetry Library, a 75,000-volume English language poetry library believed to be among the largest ever assembled by a single collector. In 2002–2003 he held a Leverhulme Fellowship at the Institute of English Studies at the University of London. In 2005 he co-curated the Grolier Club exhibition "No Other Appetite": Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the Blood Jet of Poetry. He is currently writing a critical biography of contemporary Irish poet Derek Mahon.


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