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In the News


2014


The New York Times

"Poet's Archive Goes To University of Texas"
January 21, 2014

The Ransom Center has acquired the archive of Billy Collins, a former United States Poet Laureate. The archive includes childhood writings, diaries, correspondence, audio and video recordings, notes, and drafts of poems.


Reuters

"In letters, J.D. Salinger bemoans trappings of fame"
January 18, 2014

Correspondence between author J.D. Salinger and former classmate Ruth Smith Maier and her son have been made available to researchers via this Ransom Center acquisition. In the letters, Salinger expressed his disappointment with the consequences of fame.


Fine Books & Collections

"Sangorski & Sutcliffe"
Winter 2014

The Ransom Center has four books bound by the famous British duo Sangorski & Sutcliffe of the early twentieth century. Sangorski and Sutcliffe were renowed for sumptuous bindings using jewels and manuscripts on vellum.

 

2013


Photo District News

"Magnum's Momentum Over the Years"
October 2013

A group of renowned photographers established Magnum Photos in 1947 as a photo cooperative, and 210,000 of its press prints are currently archived in the Ransom Center. In its exhibit Radical Photography: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age, viewers can appreciate images of historic events from as far back as the 1930s.


Time LightBox

"The Guide: 2013 September Edition"
September 2, 2013

LightBox presents a monthly compilation highlighting photographs, books, and exhibitions. In this edition, a photograph from the Ransom Center's exhibition Radical Photography: Magnum Photos into the Digital Age is featured.


The New York Times

"Ransom Center Acquires McSweeney's Archive"
August 1, 2013

The Ransom Center has acquired the archives of McSweeney's publishing company, founded by Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. McSweeney's produces the literary magazine McSweeney's, The Believer magazine, the food journal Lucky Peach, and the DVD-based magazine Wolphin.


Austin Monthly

"Ransom Notes"
August 2013

Austin Monthly speaks with incoming Ransom Center Director Stephen Enniss about his goals for his first year, his previous experience at the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C., and what collection he is most excited to peruse. The article also highlights the major collections outgoing Director Thomas Staley acquired during his 25 years at the Ransom Center.


Austin-American Statesman

"Sport and the Artist: UT exhibit shows how tales of athletes bare the human soul"
July 21, 2013

Written by Ransom Center Associate Director for Acquisitions and Administration Megan Barnard, this article explores the rich literary history of sport. Barnard focuses on works featured in the Ransom Center's exhibition Literature and Sport, including Bernard Malamud's The Natural and John Updike's Rabbit, Run.


The Austin Chronicle

"Contemporary Photographic Practice and the Archive"
July 19, 2013

Matthew Irvin of The Austin Chronicle writes about the connections between the Ransom Center archive and the works of the Lakes Were Rivers photographic collective, highlighted in the exhibition Contemporary Photograph Practice and the Archive. The pairings—described by Irvin as "simultaneously revealing evolutions in photographic methodology and demonstrating the lasting discoveries of early photographic work"—include such works as Adam Schreiber's Terrain Vague, a direct response to Giovanni Domencio Cassini's Map of the Moon (1679).


Glasstire

"Lakes Were Rivers: Contemporary Photographic Practice and the Archive"
July 13, 2013

Lee Webster of Glasstire explores the Ransom Center's exhibition Contemporary Photograph Practice and the Archive, highlighting Barry Stone's "elegant and cogent history of images that capture scientific phenomena," and Jessica Mallios's examination of the many layers of representation in photography.


Austin-American Statesman

"Archives inform modern photographers' work in the Ransom Center exhibit"
July 13, 2013

Photographer Jason Reed made his connection with the Ransom Center archive in a moment of coincidence. Austin-American Statesman writer Jeanne Claire van Ryzin explores Reed's story, as well as those of other photographers featured in the Ransom Center's exhibition Contemporary Photographic Practice and the Archive.


The New York Times

"Game On"
June 14, 2013

Michael Hoinski presents the Ransom Center's exhibition Literature and Sport as an interesting thing to do in Texas this week. The article highlights items in the exhibition, including David Foster Wallace's list of interview questions for Roger Federer, which became "Federer as a Religious Experience," his 2006 essay in The New York Times.


National Public Radio

"The Art of Photographing Artists: Portraits By Arnold Newman"
March 28, 2013

NPR's photography blog The Picture Show touts the Ransom Center's exhibition, Arnold Newman: Masterclass, and highlights Ransom Center Senior Curator for Photography Roy Flukinger's corresponding book, Arnold Newman: At Work. The piece features a slideshow of the photographer's portraits.


Slate

"George Bernard Shaw's Polite but Firm Autoreply Postcard for Unsolicited Mail"
March 28, 2013

Slate highlights a piece of ephemera from the Ransom Center's George Bernard Shaw papers. In a readymade response postcard, Bernard Shaw provided fans and critics with matter-of-fact and prescribed replies to solicitations. The pre-typed response postcard explains that Shaw "cannot deal with individual grievances and requests." In this instance, the playwright annotates the typed lines with more gentle, handwritten utterances.


Austin American-Statesman

"Into the Mind of a Master Portrait Photographer: Arnold Newman at Ransom Center"
March 21, 2013

Austin American-Statesman writer Jeanne Claire van Ryzin reports on the Ransom Center's exhibition Arnold Newman: Masterclass. The article chronicles Newman's life and features highlights of the retrospective exhibition.


The Austin Chronicle

"Figure in the Frame"
March 15, 2013

Austin Chronicle reporter Katherine Catmull writes about the development of photographer Arnold Newman's career and the techniques he employed to compose lyrical and powerful portraits. The full-page spread includes images from the Ransom Center's exhibition Arnold Newman: Masterclass.


Slate

"A Teenaged Charlotte Brontë's Tiny Little Romance"
March 13, 2013

Slate highlights Charlotte Brontë's unpublished juvenilia book Something About Arthur, which Brontë wrote in 1833 at the age of 17. The miniature book, which resides at the Ransom Center, is 25 pages long and only 2.25 by 3.6 inches in dimension.


Slate

"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Wants Nothing To Do With Your Proust Questionnaire"
February 21, 2013

Slate's The Vault shares Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's responses to a Victorian-era questionnaire. The questionnaire was a fashionable parlor game in the late nineteenth-century, and reveals a phlegmatic Doyle who answers the questions with little emotion. The questionnaire can be viewed in Doyle's papers at the Ransom Center.


Times Literary Supplement

February 15, 2013

TLS notes the Ransom Center's Robert De Niro archive. The piece quotes University of Texas at Austin Ph. D. candidate R. Colin Tait and includes an image of De Niro's make-up stills from the collection.


Slate

"Marlon Brando's Little Black Book"
February 6, 2013

Slate's The Vault shares how Marlon Brando's 1940s address book made its way to the Ransom Center. Inside the cover of the book, Brando pleas: "On bended knee I beg you to return this. I lost eight others already and if I lose this I'll just drop dead!" Unfortunately for Brando, the address book was picked up and kept by Robert Downing, the production manager of A Streetcar Named Desire, in which Brando was starring. Brando's misplaced address book resides at the Ransom Center in the Downing papers.


Architectural Digest

"People Person"
February 2013

Architectural Digest touts the Ransom Center's retrospective exhibition Arnold Newman: Masterclass. The piece highlights Newman's unconventional approach to photography as seen in portraits of Truman Capote, Pablo Picasso, and Salvador Dalí.


The Wall Street Journal

Famous Authors' Clutter, in the Right Hands, Is Very Bankable
January 3, 2013

The Wall Street Journal's Barry Newman reports on the archive acquisitions market. Newman takes a close look at some of the nation's top research libraries and highlights the Ransom Center's collections, including the archive of Norman Mailer and the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate papers. The piece shares an image of Woodward's notes about the Watergate break-in.

 

2012


The Daily Beast

"20 Literary Greats Gripe About Feliks Topolski's Portraits"
December 12, 2012

The Daily Beast highlights the work of Feliks Topolski, a Polish-born, London-based painter, caricaturist, illustrator, and muralist. Topolski, who painted some of the most significant people and events of the twentieth century, was commissioned by the Ransom Center in the 1960s to paint 20 portraits of some of the most celebrated twentieth-century British authors. The Daily Beast slideshow draws exclusively from the Ransom Center's Topolski portraits, and showcases the subjects' sometimes disgruntled responses to the caricatures.


The Austin Chronicle

"Don't Stop Thinkin' About Tomorrow"
November 2, 2012

Robert Faires of The Austin Chronicle writes about Norman Bel Gedddes's utopian vision of the future American landscape. Bel Geddes—who is painted by Faires as a perpetual optimist—"figured tomorrow ought to be better than today, and he designed objects to show how it could be." The article also highlights the streamlined beauty of Bel Geddes's designs in such pieces as Motor Car No. 9 on display in the Ransom Center's exhibition I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America.


The Daily Beast

"Letter Writing in the Digital Age: Emails and Correspondence of Russell Banks and Others"
October 11, 2012

The Ransom Center's Megan Barnard writes about the changing modes of correspondence of authors in the digital age. Barnard looks at the letter writing of Russell Banks, Norman Mailer, Denis Johnson, and David Foster Wallace to explore the changes and continuities between paper and digital correspondence.


Austin American-Statesman

"A Look Into the Past's Future"
September 22, 2012

Austin American-Statesman writer Jeanne Claire van Ryzin reports on the Ransom Center's exhibition I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America. Van Ryzin likens Norman Bel Geddes to a group of post-Word War I industrial designers—such as Raymond Loewy, Henry Dreyfuss, and Donald Deskey—who sought to redefine American style and imagine a brighter vision of the future. The article highlights Bel Geddes's best-known projects, such as Futurama, and mentions the companion book— Norman Bel Geddes Designs America—edited by the exhibition's curator, Donald Albrecht.


Wall Street Journal

"Future Perfect"
September 11, 2012

Wall Street Journal reporter Anne S. Lewis writes about the Ransom Center's exhibition I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America. The article, which quotes guest curator Donald Albrecht, focuses on the remarkable career of Norman Bel Geddes. Highlighting Bel Geddes's multifaceted talents, Lewis offers an overview of the industrial designer's life and contributions to the American landscape.


T, New York Times Style Magazine

"Ahead of His Time – Norman Bel Geddes"
September 7, 2012

T, New York Times Style Magazine reporter Pilar Viladas writes about the Ransom Center's exhibition I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America. The article focuses on Bel Geddes's contribution to industrial design and features photographs from the Ransom Center's Bel Geddes collection. Wall Street Journal


Texas Highways

"Legends of Texas Literature"
September 2012

Texas Highways writer Terri Schexhayder notes a visit to the Ransom Center as a "must do" experience while touring the Texas Hill Country. The article—which focuses on the breadth of literary archives in Central Texas—highlights the Ransom Center's attractions.


Elle Décor

"Dossier"
September 2012

Elle Décor's Dossier mentions the exhibition I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America. The piece highlights Norman Bel Geddes's futuristic vision as seen in the streamlined model of Motor Car No. 9.


Metropolis

"I Have Seen the Future"
September 2012

Reporter Shannon Sharpe's two-page spread includes images drawn from the Ransom Center's Norman Bel Geddes archive and highlights materials on display at the exhibition I Have Seen the Future: Norman Bel Geddes Designs America. The article quotes curator Donald Albrecht, who comments on Bel Geddes's multifaceted and dynamic vision of the future.


The Texas Tribune

"In University Collections, Entry to History and Culture"
August 17, 2012

Texas Tribune reporter Reeve Hamilton writes about archives in Texas and public university libraries. The article focuses on the ability of archives to bolster the national reputation of universities and attract scholarship to the area. The piece quotes Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley, who comments on the importance of humanities research centers and the benefit of preserving authors' manuscripts.


The Daily Beast

"Licensed to Write"
July 24, 2012

The Daily Beast shares images from the Ransom Center's collections, documenting the ways in which passports tell the story of the owner's journey. The seven passports—those of Sybille Bedford, Arnold Newman, Nancy Cunard, Lillian Hellman, Edith Sitwell, Norman Mailer, and Bernard Malamud—are stamped with memories and demarcations of sojourns.


The Daily Beast

"Librarians Who Hated Ulysses"
June 16, 2012

With the rising popularity of the contentious novel Fifty Shades of Grey, The Daily Beast discusses the controversy of public literary censorship. The article features items from the Ransom Center's Morris L. Ernst collection, specifically questionnaires in which librarians comment on the cultural value—whether favorable or unfavorable—of James Joyce's Ulysses. Ernst, a leading twentieth-century civil liberties attorney and counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union, defended Ulysses in court and protected the publication of the book in America.


The Daily Beast

"How Fifty Shades of Grey Is Like Ulysses"
June 16, 2012

Danielle Sigler, Curator of Academic Affairs at the Ransom Center, writes about literary censorship in the twentieth-century. According to Sigler, the ongoing debate about the censorship and literary merit of the novel Fifty Shades of Grey is similar to the case of James Joyce's Ulysses over half a century ago. While E. L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey might not join the literary canon of Joyce's work, the two books share similar plights against literary censorship.


The Daily Beast

"Last Letters from WWI Literary Heroes"
May 28, 2012

For Memorial Day, The Daily Beast highlights letters from the Ransom Center's collection in preparation for the Center's upcoming exhibition to mark the centenary of World War I. The exhibition—which will use letters, diaries, memoirs, poems, novels, photographs, propaganda posters, films, and avant-garde art to depict the point of view of World War I soldiers—is set to open in 2014. The final letters written by poet Wilfred Owen, Roland Gerard Garvin, and poet Edward Thomas before their deaths in the war are featured.


Los Angeles Times

"T.C. Boyle Archives go to Ransom Center at UT Austin"
April 15, 2012

Los Angeles Times reporter Carolyn Kellogg writes about T. C. Boyle's decision to have his writing materials stored at the Ransom Center. She explains his desire to keep his manuscripts safe, as well as Boyle's deep fascination with the manuscript boxes. Ransom Center Assistant Director of Acquisitions and Administration Megan Barnard is quoted on the cleanliness of Boyle's archive and the state of acquisitions since the advent of computers. The article focuses on Boyle's relationship to his archive, the history and acquisition activity of the Ransom Center, and the value of author manuscripts.


The Austin American-Statesman

"Ransom gets visual effects producer's archive"
April 13, 2012

Austin American-Statesman reporter Matthew Odam reports on the Ransom Center's acquisition of the Tom Smith archive. Odam specifically highlights Smith's work with seminal 1980s films Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Ransom Center Curator of Film Steve Wilson is quoted on the importance of Smith's collection for scholars and students. The article also quotes Tom Smith, who explains the nature of his collection and his decision to donate it to the Ransom Center.


The New Republic

"Mike Wallace 1918-2012"
April 10, 2012

Writer Timothy Noah of The New Republic reports on the influence of reporter Mike Wallace. The piece commemorates the death of a great American reporter and highlights Wallace's ability to ask hard questions and receive hearty, interesting answers from American celebrities. The article features quotes from several of Wallace's most famous celebrity interviews.


The New Yorker

"Boxing Up"
April 9, 2012

T.C. Boyle writes in this post for The New Yorker about his aversion for clutter and his subsequent decision to place his archive at the Ransom Center. The article begins with Boyle's analysis of the decision to say goodbye to his archive, and he then describes his experience at the Ransom Center in March. Boyle recalls seeing collection materials related to Evelyn Waugh, Thomas Pynchon, and Jorge Luis Borges.


The Austin Chronicle

"Harry Ransom Heads to a Galaxy Far, Far Away"
April 9, 2012

Richard Wittaker, writer for the Austin Chronicle, reports on the Ransom Center's acquisition of visual effects guru Tom Smith: "The [Center] has acquired 22 boxes from Smith, who headed up George Lucas' industry-shaking Industrial Light and Magic from 1980 to 1986." The article briefly sketches highlights of Smith's career including his work on the sets of Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. The article focuses on the interest of the acquisition to film scholars, and quotes Ransom Center Curator of Film Steve Wilson.


San Antonio Express-News

"History of the Bible"
March 18, 2012

Reporter Deborah Martin features the Ransom Center exhibition The King James Bible: Its History and Influence. Martin's commentary highlights specific bibles from the collection, including the "wicked bible," the Gutenberg Bible, and the "Finger New Testament." The article quotes exhibition co-curators Danielle Sigler and Ryan Hildebrand.


The Atlantic

"Cannon Fodder"
March 2012

Anne Trubek reports on Ransom Center Director Tom Staley and the Center's "role in literary-canon formation." While the article mentions the treasured collections of James Joyce manuscripts and archives of Edgar Allan Poe and Anne Sexton, it emphasizes the acquisitions of contemporary writers' archives, including Denis Johnson, Jayne Anne Phillips and J. M. Coetzee.

 

2011


Austin American-Statesman

"Ransom Center chronicles an age of censorship"
October 23, 2011

Austin American-Statesman writer Jane Sumner features the Ransom Center's exhibition Banned, Burned, Seized, and Censored: "Book burnings have been around since the ancient Library of Alexandria went up in smoke. But how many people know that between 1918 and 1941, hundreds of thousands of books were Banned, Burned, Seized, and Censored right here in the United States of America?" Sumner's commentary highlights what visitors will discover at the exhibition, from stories behind the major actors in the bout for and against censorship in the United States, to print and radio excerpts of banned or censored materials. Sumner also comments on the Ransom Center's other concurrent exhibition, The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door: A Portal to Bohemia.


Chronicle of Higher Education

"Nicholas Ray, Auteur"
October 21, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education writer Jean Tamarin reports on the Ransom Center's acquisition of notable film director Nicholas Ray: "The Ransom Center has acquired 35 years' worth of Ray's annotated scripts, video recordings, storyboards, photographs, journals, and notes, which give a firsthand account of his methods and ideas." The article features a brief sketch of Nicholas Ray's work, best known for his 1950's movies Johnny Guitar (1954) and Rebel Without a Cause (1955), comments on his personal and professional lives, and quotes excerpts of Ray's notes from that period found in the Ransom Center's archive.


Mail & Guardian Online

"Texan university holds JM Coetzee's past to Ransom"
October 10, 2011

The Associated Press reported on the Ransom Center's acquisition of Nobel Prize-winning writer J. M. Coetzee's archive: "The collection, purchased using private grants and university money, includes 155 boxes of manuscripts, notebooks, essays, speeches and letters to his publishers dating back to 1956...The collection will give scholars an intimate view of how he developed characters and story lines in his novels as well as conversations with agents and publishers." The article focuses on Coetzee's literary achievements, his connection to The University of Texas at Austin, and his collection as a noteworthy addition to the growing body of Nobel laureates represented in the Ransom Center's archive.


Times Literary Supplement

"Utopian turtletop"
September 30, 2011

James Campbell, a writer for Times Literary Supplement, including information about the Ransom Center's Banned, Burned, Seized, and Censored exhibition in his column, noting "A new exhibition at the Harry Ransom Center, Texas, reveals 'the rarely seen machinery of censorship in the United States' between the wars."


The New York Times

"Commentary Archive to University of Texas"
September 20, 2011

New York Times reporter Patricia Cohen writes about the Ransom Center's recent acquisition of Commentary magazine's archive: "The archive, which spans 1945 to 1995, includes letters by and to Bernard Malamud, Norman Mailer, Amos Oz, Elie Wiesel and Isaac Bashevis Singer, as well as the revisions of essays written for the magazine by George Orwell, Pearl S. Buck and Jean-Paul Sartre." The article highlights the significance of this acquisition as a notable addition to the Ransom Center's growing collection of materials from Jewish-American authors.


Fine Books Magazine

"Banned, Burned, Seized, and Censored"
September 6, 2011

Fine Books Magazine highlights the Ransom Center's unique approach to censorship in the exhibition Banned, Burned, Seized, and Censored. The article quotes Danielle Sigler, the Assistant Director and Curator for Academic Programs, "Traditionally, censorship exhibitions start with John Milton's 'Areopagitica' and then provide a list of banned books...This exhibition focuses on how censorship happens in one country, during a particular era."


Harper's Magazine

"Harper's Contributors at the Ransom Center"
September 5, 2011

Harper's Magazine highlights the contributions of their own writers to the Ransom Center's exhibition The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door: A Portal to Bohemia, 1920-1925 noting that, "All of the Harper's writers represented on the door...have superbly literary names."


The Wall Street Journal

"On Their Permanent Records"
September 3-4, 2011

The Wall Street Journal features several report cards in this article from the Ransom Center's permanent collection as a tribute to the beginning of the school year. The article claims that the report cards of the notable writers and artists featured "offer a peek into these young minds and, in some cases, might offer a bit of solace to struggling students."


The New York Times

"A Portal to 1920s Greenwich Village"
September 1, 2011

The New York Times highlights the Ransom Center's exhibition The Greenwich Village Bookshop Door: A Portal to Bohemia, 1920-1925, discussing the door's acquisition, rediscovery, and current display. The article explains the significance of the door and the New York writers and artists of the time, and says that the door, "[brings] back to life a corner of literary history where famous novelists rubbed shoulders with an eccentric cast of characters of the sort unlikely to be found stumbling around the highly gentrified Village of today"


Los Angeles Times

"Harry Ransom Center Acquires Nicholas Ray Archives"
July 28, 2011

Los Angeles Times writer Susan King covers the Ransom Center's acquisition of the archives of director Nicholas Ray. King explains the significance of Nicholas Ray's life and work as well as the significance of the acquisition for The Center.


Seattle Pi

"Iconic Gone With the Wind Dress Faded Forever"
July 21, 2011

The Seattle Pi explores the restoration work of the iconic dresses worn by Vivien Leigh in the movie Gone With the Wind. The article describes the Ransom Center's efforts to, "keep the dresses sturdy enough to endure in as close to their original form as possible, not to try to recreate their precise look on the silver screen."


The Chronicle of Higher Education

"U. of Texas Snags Archive of 'Cyberpunk' Literary Pioneer Bruce Sterling"
March 18, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education reporter Jennifer Howard writes about Austin native Bruce Sterling donating his archive to the Ransom Center. Howard interviews Sterling about the cyberpunk movement and about the archive materials, including manuscripts of Sterling's fiction. The article quotes Richard W. Oram, Associate Director and Hobby Foundation Librarian at the Ransom Center, that the cyberpunk movement "was really almost born in Austin, so it's good that the stuff is coming here."


The Independent

"The Problem with Tennessee: Too hot and Too cool"
March 13, 2011

The Independent highlights the Ransom Center's exhibition Becoming Tennessee Williams, discussing the conflicts over censorship between the American playwright and the Lord Chamberlain. The article quotes Cathy Henderson, Associate Director for Exhibitions and Fleur Cowles Executive Curator at the Ransom Center, "He [Williams] minded that his scripts were altered, but he did understand that he was pushing the envelope, and that sometimes compromises would have to be made."


Southern Living

"The South's Best Literary Archives"
March 2011

A recent article in Southern Living magazine profiles the best literary archives in the South, citing the Ransom Center's "strong modern fiction collection." Chip Brantley highlights the Center's David Forster Wallace archive and an extensive collection of Edgar Allen Poe manuscripts and letters, which are available online through the Center's digital collection.


Aperture

"The Meaning of the Twentieth-Century Press Archive"
Spring 2011

Aperture reports on the significance of archives housing press photos in our current digital age. The article discusses the Ransom Center's housing of the Magnum Photos collection, acquired by MSD Capital L.P. early last year. The article quotes the New York Times calling the archive a "collective photobank of modern culture."


Newsweek

"Tennessee Williams is Back for His Encore"
February 27, 2011

Newsweek highlights the Becoming Tennessee Williams exhibition at the Ransom Center, saying, "In an expansive new exhibit about his life and work at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin, visitors can trace his fights with the censors who wanted to conceal the homosexuality of Blanche's husband in Streetcar, among other battles."


The New York Times

"Man (In This Case, Picasso) Paints a Dog"
January 26, 2011

Arts Beat blogger David Itzkoff writes about a plate painted by Pablo Picasso that was donated to the Ransom Center by photojournalist David Douglas Duncan. The plate, dedicated to Duncan's dog, Lump, depicts a portrait of the dachshund. Visitors can see the plate in the Ransom Center's exhibition Culture Unbound: Collecting in the Twenty-First Century.


The Wall Street Journal

"Take Monday Off: Austin"
January 22, 2011

The Wall Street Journal includes the Ransom Center on its list of places to visit in Austin. Kate Bolick writes that the Center is "one of the best literary archives in the world, with 36 million leaves of manuscripts and one million rare books. Peek at the original Gutenberg Bible, set beneath glass in a wood-slatted enclosure."


Chronicle of Higher Education

"The Afterlife of David Foster Wallace"
January 6, 2011

The Chronicle of Higher Education explores scholarly interest in David Foster Wallace archives, especially among young researchers. Molly Schwartzburg, Cline Curator of Literature at the Ransom Center, says "He's been so influential on younger readers that we're really going to see the next generation of scholars come in to use our collections, starting with Wallace."

 

2010


The Wall Street Journal

"Stalking a Masterpiece"
November 26, 2010

The Ransom Center is mentioned in this article from The Wall Street Journal about an original edition of John James Audubon's Birds of America, anticipated to be one of the most expensive books ever auctioned. The article features the Ransom Center's Gutenberg Bible: "If a Gutenberg Bible were to come up for sale today, it would likely demolish all previous records for sales of rare books. The first significant book printed with moveable type, completed by roughly 1455 in Mainz, Germany, it has been sold on rare occasions before. In 1978, for instance, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin purchased a Gutenberg Bible at a private sale for $2.4 million."


Newsweek

"From the Mixed-Up Files of David Foster Wallace"
November 19, 2010

Newsweek covers the Ransom Center's David Foster Wallace collection, which contains over 20,000 of Wallace's papers and books, after it was opened for research in September 2010: "To the casual fan as well as the devotee, then, this archive offers a chance to take a sort of disembodied, intro-to-literature class from Wallace. For a man who regarded the written word as synonymous with nourishment, this is no small promise of intimacy." The article highlights a short story Wallace wrote when he was nine years old, teaching materials from classes he taught at Pomona College, drafts of Infinite Jest, and research notes for The Pale King, his unfinished novel set for publication next spring. The article links to a slideshow featuring items from the collection.


Austin American-Statesman

"Ransom Center rolls out historic photo exhibit"
November 13, 2010

The Austin American-Statesman highlights the Ransom Center's exhibition, Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection, and talks about how the collection reveals the fascinating story behind the Gernsheims and their interest in collecting photography.


The New York Times

"Spalding Gray Archives Acquired by University of Texas"
November 8, 2010

New York Times reporter Dave Itzkoff writes about the Ransom Center's acquisition of Spalding Gray's archives. Itzkoff quotes Helen Adair, Associate Curator of performing arts at the Ransom Center, about Gray's editing process using taped recordings of his performances.


NPR

"Cataloging Digital Documents"
October 29, 2010

All Things Considered host Michele Norris interviews Richard Oram, Associate Director at the Ransom Center, about how archivists deal with the shift towards digitized documents as opposed to handwritten documents.


The Austin Chronicle

"Wide-Angle Lens: The Ransom Center captures photography's history with striking breadth and focus"
October 1, 2010

The Austin Chronicle highlights the Ransom Center's exhibition, Discovering the Language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection, discussing the Ransom Center's dedication to photography.


NPR

"The First Photograph On Display"
September 13, 2010

NPR's The Picture Show highlights the Ransom Center's exhibition, Discovering the language of Photography: The Gernsheim Collection, which includes the First Photograph by Joseph Nicephore Niepce's View from the Window at Le Gras.


Reuters

"'Gone With the Wind' fans give gowns another day"
September 1, 2010

Reuters reports about the immediate response to the Ransom Center's appeal to raise $30,000 in order to restore Scarlett O'Hara's iconic dresses from Gone With the Wind held within the Ransom Center's David O. Selznick collection. The piece notes that with help from 600 people from 44 U.S. states and 13 countries, the Ransom Center met their goal in just three weeks showing that people "obviously do give a damn."


NPR

"Who Gives A Damn About Scarlett O'Hara's Dresses?"
August 14, 2010

Steve Wilson, Ransom Center Curator of Film, talks about the effort to raise $30,000 in order to preserve five costumes from Gone With The Wind, including Scarlett O' Hara's famous emerald curtain dress. The iconic costumes were all worn by actress Vivien Leigh. Wilson says, "there are just as many people who do give a damn about these costumes."


Austin American-Statesman

"Ransom Center's Making Movies takes visitors behind the camera"
May 7, 2010

The Austin American-Statesman highlights the Making Movies exhibition at the Ransom Center, saying, "If there is one sacred cow that's going to be tipped as you go through the Ransom Center's Making Movies exhibit, it's the auteur theory, the notion that the director is the "author" of a movie."


Austin American-Statesman

"A treasure hunter without equal"
April 27, 2010

The Austin American-Statesman editorial board writes about Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley's retirement, saying, "The city, the university and all of Texas owe Staley a debt of gratitude for his dedication and his zeal in putting the Ransom Center in the front ranks of renowned research facilities."


Austin American-Statesman

"UT Ransom Center's Staley says he will retire next year: Director's acquisitions helped build top-tier research archive"
April 26, 2010

Joe Gross writes about Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley's plans to retire in August 2011 and highlights major acquisitions that Staley spearheaded during his tenure at the Center


The Wall Street Journal

"A Magnum Opus for Ransom"
March 25, 2010

Wall Street Journal reporter Anne S. Lewis profiles Ransom Center Director Tom Staley and highlights the arrival of the Magnum photography archive at the Center.


The New York Times

"It Ain't Pretty No More: See Paul Schrader's Outline for Raging Bull"
March 15, 2010

Arts Beat blogger Dave Itzkoff writes about screenwriter Paul Schrader donating his archive to the Ransom Center. Itzkoff interviews Schrader about his outlining process and explores the outline for the film Raging Bull (1980).


The New York Times

"David Foster Wallace Papers Are Bought"
March 8, 2010

New York Times reporter Patricia Cohen covers the Ransom Center's acquisition of David Foster Wallace's papers, including handwritten notes for Infinite Jest.


NPR

"Iconic Magnum Photos Find A New Home"
February 16, 2010

NPR's All Things Considered reported on the Ransom Center's housing of the Magnum Photos collection: "perhaps the most monumental acquisition in photo history." According to the report, "Magnum's photography is often described in one word, iconic: that National Geographic cover of the Afghan girl with bright green eyes; James Dean walking through a rainy Times Square, hands thrust in his pockets; Martin Luther King sweating as he delivers his 'I Have a Dream' speech; D-Day landings, Marilyn Monroe, the Civil Rights Movement; photos by Cartier-Bresson, Eve Arnold, Elliott Erwitt."


The Austin Chronicle

"History in the Making"
February 5, 2010

The Austin Chronicle previews the Ransom Center's Making Movies exhibition: "This is kid-in-a-candy-store stuff for any serious movie buff, where every corner turned begs a fresh exclamation: the giant scissors from Spellbound's Dalí dream sequence! Ernest Lehman's brochure from Mount Rushmore, with stage directions for North by Northwest's precipice-scaling scribbled in blue ink!"


The New York Times

"News Photos, on the Move, Make News"
February 1, 2010

The New York Times covers the Ransom Center's housing of the Magnum Photos cooperative's collection: "It is one of the most important photography archives of the 20th century, consisting of more than 180,000 images known as press prints, the kind of prints once made by the collective to circulate to magazines and newspapers." The article quotes Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley as saying, "It catches so many of the world's great photojournalists in one fell swoop. These were the best of the best in their field. We want to make it a research collection. We want to bring scholars in to work in it, time and time again."


Associated Press

"UT Ransom Center acquires Jackie O letters"
January 22, 2010

The Associated Press covers the Ransom Center's acquisition of letters written by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to book publisher Ray Roberts. The report quotes one letter from Jackie O from Oct. 30, 1982: "You are so adorably generous and I am so grateful. The glories of my library are all presents from you."

 

2009


National Endowment for the Arts

"Roadshow and Tell"
November 2, 2009

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) featured the Ransom Center's efforts to encourage the Austin community to read Edgar Allen Poe's works during the NEA's "The Big Read" campaign.


The New York Times

"Texas Two-Step"
September 27, 2009

Austin based novelist Jim Lewis writes about the cultural growth of Austin since the mid-80's. Then, Austin was solely a place for the music monoculture, but now Austin has evolved into a place for cuisine, shopping and culture. Lewis writes that Austin cultural life is growing, "beginning with the grand reopening of the renovated Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, the country's greatest literary archive outside the Library of Congress


Media Bistro

"Edgar Allan Parody"
September 1, 2009

Media Bistro's GalleyCat blog touted the Ransom Center's Poe parody contest in anticipation of the Ransom Center's exhibition, From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe.


Spirit Magazine

July 2009

The Southwest Airlines inflight magazine Spirit highlights the exhibition From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe in its events calendar.


New York Times Style Magazine: T Magazine Blog

"In Focus: Fritz Henle"
June 26, 2009

T Magazine's senior photography editor Judith Puckett-Rinella highlights the Ransom Center's Fritz Henle exhibition, In Search of Beauty: "Henle once said, 'One thing an artist can do in this world is to remind people that there is so much beauty that you only have to see it.' Fitting words for someone whose work captures such a wonderful sense of optimism."


Museum

"Tales From the Crypt"
May/June 2009

The exhibition From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe is highlighted in the American Association of Museums Publication Museum.


Dagens Nyheter

"Legendernas arkiv lever"
May 16, 2009

 


BBC Radio

"The Manuscript Hunter"
May 13, 2009

BBC Radio 4 profiled Harry Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley in "The Manuscript Hunter." The piece includes interviews with Staley; University of Texas at Austin President William Powers; British writer Jim Crace, whose archive resides at the Ransom Center; and former British Poet Laureate Andrew Motion. The piece investigates how Staley has "revolutionized the market for the papers of contemporary British writers" and has helped make the Ransom Center into a "remarkable cultural force."


CNN

"De Niro on display"
April 30, 2009

Helen Adair, Ransom Center Associate Curator of Performing Arts, talks about the processing of De Niro's archive at the Ransom Center. Adair says "it took more than two years to do this project. There are more than 300 boxes of his papers and there are well over 1000 boxes of his costumes and props."


New York Times: ArtsBeat Blog

"Warning: Do Not Accept Cab Rides From This Man"
April 27, 2009

New York Times entertainment reporter Dave Itzkoff highlights the Ransom Center's Robert De Niro archive in the Times' ArtsBeat blog.


Investor's Business Daily

"He Had Designs On The Future"
April 8, 2009

The Ransom Center holds the collection of industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes. Read about his contributions, ranging from cocktail shakers to highways.


The Alcalde

"Oh, the Humanities"
March/April 2009

Alcalde writer Tim Taliaferro profiles Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley and delves into how Staley has shaped the Ransom Center over the past two decades and carried out Harry Huntt Ransom's vision of creating a Bibliothèque Nationale in Texas.


Western Interiors

"Points West"
February/March 2009

The Ransom Center's exhibition Fritz Henle: In Search of Beauty is highlighted with a back page spread of Henle's Freedom: Yucca Plant, New Mexico, ca. 1943.


U.S. Department of State

"Translation of medieval Persian poetry becomes famous book in West"
February 23, 2009

The U.S. Department of State published information about The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West exhibition in English, Persian, and Arabic.

Read in English
Read in Persian
Read in Arabic


News 8 Austin

"Harry Ransom Center tells a Persian poem's history"
February 23, 2009

News 8's Veronica Castelo profiles the Ransom Center's exhibition The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West. An interview with Molly Schwartzburg, the Ransom Center's Curator of British and American Literature and co-curator of the exhibition, reveals how this poem exploded in popularity in the late nineteenth century.


Harper's Bazaar

"Hot List"
February 2009

 


Associated Press

"Exhibit marks 200th anniversary of Poe's birth"
January 19, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe's enduring literary works, brief life and mysterious death will be marked by an exhibit at two universities in honor of the 200th anniversary of the writer's birth. From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe, opening March 7 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville then moving to the Harry Ransom Center, will feature manuscripts of "The Raven" and other works, books, letters and his writing desk. It will also explore Poe's romantic relationships, the decline and resurrection of his literary reputation, and his influence on the genre of mystery literature.


Fox News

"Mysterious 'Poe Toaster' Returns for Writer's 200th Birthday"
January 19, 2009

To mark the 200th anniversary of writer Edgar Allan Poe's birth, a mysterious visitor again placed three red roses and a half-filled bottle of cognac at Poe's grave in Baltimore before quietly slipping away. Poe's enduring literary works, brief life and mysterious death will be marked by an exhibit at two universities in honor of his 200th birthday. From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe opens March 7 at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville then moving to the Harry Ransom Center.


Tehran Times

The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West
January 15, 2009

The Tehran Times conducts an interview with Molly Schwartzburg, the Ransom Center's Curator of British and American Literature, about the exhibition The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West.


Payvand's Iran News

The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West
January 15, 2009

Payvand's Iran News highlights the Ransom Center's exhibition The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West, which explores how a translation of a Persian poem went from obscurity to celebrity in British and American culture.


MehrNews.com

The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West
January 14, 2009

A reprint of the interview conducted by The Tehran Times with Molly Schwartzburg, the Ransom Center's Curator of British and American Literature, about the exhibition The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West.

 

2008


Persian Journal

The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West
December 23, 2008

The Persian Journal highlights the Ransom Center's exhibition The Persian Sensation: The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám in the West, which explores how a translation of a Persian poem went from obscurity to celebrity in British and American culture.


The Paris Review

"Ezrologie"
Winter 2008

 


The Austin Chronicle

"A Cabinet of Drawings"
December 18, 2008

Chronicle writer Wayne Allen Brenner discusses the wonder at seeing the power of the original in the Ransom Center exhibition A Cabinet of Drawings. The exhibition contains initial studies and sketches for larger works by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Edward Burne-Jones, Norman Bel Geddes, Man Ray, and Jean Cocteau. These original preliminary pieces show nuances and shifts that a reproduction could never reproduce, and Brenner calls the cumulative effect "stunning."


International Herald Tribune

"School acquires Ezra Pound materials"
November 15, 2008


Artdaily.org

"A Cabinet of Drawings"
September 4, 2008

The website artdaily.org highlights the Ransom Center's exhibition A Cabinet of Drawings. The exhibition, which explores drawing as an art form, features 180 items from the Ransom Center's diverse collections and includes preliminary drawings, designs, book illustrations, illustrated letters, landscapes, and portraiture by internationally recognized artists, architects, designers, scientists, and literary greats.


ABC Radio National

"Documenting Writers' Lives: What Should Be in Their Archives?"
June 6, 2008

Ransom Center Curator of British and American Literature Molly Schwartzburg speaks on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National program "The Book Show." Schwartzburg discusses archives on a panel with Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Cunningham and biographer David Marr. The panel explores what makes an archive interesting and useful for scholars and discusses whether institutions should draw a line as to what is appropriate to preserve in an archive.


Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Beat writer's manuscript goes on...and on...at UT exhibit"
April 4, 2008

R.A. Dyer's article considers Jack Kerouac's scroll manuscript of On the Road as an "anchor" for the On the Road with the Beats exhibition. After describing it in detail, the article retells the story of how Kerouac wrote On the Road. It also explains how the scroll eventually found its way to the Harry Ransom Center as a highlight of the Beats exhibition.


The Associated Press

"Pre-'60 Minutes' Mike Wallace goes online"
April 3, 2008

Associate Press Television Reporter Frazier Moore highlights the absence of "muss or fuss" required to access the "treasury" of online postings of footage from the Ransom Center's holdings of The Mike Wallace Interview. The article cites the historical importance of the interview subjects, and the pertinence of their discussions to our modern world.


The Austin Chronicle

"Jess: To and From the Printed Page"
March 28, 2008

Reporter Rachel Cook explains the ways in which the exhibitions Jess: To and From the Printed Page and On the Road with the Beats are engaged in a dialogue concerning "how the written word sparked a cultural revolution." Cook reflects on the ways the art of Burgess "Jess" Collins depicts the historical and cultural context of his world. She also notes how this exhibition provides a stage for that presentation.


London Sunday Times

"Norman Mailer's honey-toned flirt with Madonna"
January 6, 2008


Washington Post

"Norman Mailer Archive Opens in Texas"
January 3, 2008

The Associated Press reports on the opening of the Norman Mailer archive, the largest collection of a single writer at the Ransom Center. Filling more than 1,000 boxes, the Mailer materials range from more than 40,000 pieces of correspondence to unpublished works.

 

2007


The Austin Chronicle

"The Master Builder"
October 18, 2007

Robert Faires of the Austin Chronicle talks with playwright Tony Kushner about Arthur Miller. Kushner speaks about his own interactions with Miller's plays and discusses Miller's life and work as "an absolutely indestructible link between the personal and the political." Kushner spoke about Miller in conjunction with the Ransom Center's exhibition Rehearsing the American Dream: Arthur Miller's Theater on October 18, 2007.


NPR Weekend Edition

"Famous Authors' Rejection Letters Surface"
September 16, 2007

NPR Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen interviews Associate Director and Hobby Foundation Librarian Richard Oram about rejection letters that publishing house Alfred A. Knopf Inc. sent to famous authors, including one to Jack Kerouac for On the Road. The Ransom Center houses the Alfred A. Knopf Inc. collection.


Weekend America

"America in the 1920s"
July 28, 2007

Weekend America, a National Public Radio show, profiles the Ransom Center's The American Twenties exhibition. Incoming Collections Curator Danielle Sigler discusses the exhibition and some of the changes that occurred during the 1920s. The piece contains audio excerpts from the museum theater program Voices of the American Twenties, short one-act plays that complement the exhibition by animating characters.


The New Yorker

"Final Destination: Why do the archives of so many great writers end up in Texas?"
June 11 & 18, 2007

The Harry Ransom Center is featured in the June 11 & 18 summer fiction issue of The New Yorker in D. T. Max's article, Final Destination: Why do the archives of so many great writers end up in Texas? The article explores how "The Ransom Center, under Staley's leadership, easily outmaneuvers rivals such as Yale, Harvard and the British Library." Complementing the piece is a slideshow of images shot by photographer Dan Winters.


USA Today.com

"University of Texas acquires David Mamet collection"
April 18, 2007

The Associated Press reports on the Ransom Center's acquisition of the papers of playwright, writer and film director David Mamet, author of more than 50 plays and 25 screenplays.

"Having an archive in the care of the Ransom Center, in the care, if I may, of intelligent and dedicated enthusiasts, fulfilled both the fantasy of the parent, and that of the artist, who now, though absent, might envision a cost-free colloquy with a perfect interlocutor," said Mamet in a statement.

Mamet's full statement concerning the acquisition is available.


KVUE News

"De Niro costume collection on display at Co-op"
March 19, 2007

KVUE News highlights the special De Niro exhibition featured at the University Co-op. The exhibition displays 13 costumes spanning De Niro's extensive Hollywood career from the Ransom Center's collection.


KUT

Joe Ely's "Bonfire of Roadmaps"
March 15, 2007

KUT's John Aielli provides listeners with a selection of audio of Joe Ely reading from his new book Bonfire of Roadmaps. In conjunction with the release of the book, the Ransom Center presented "Joe Ely: Bonfire of Roadmaps," an installation of Ely's verse, sketches and paintings drawn from his road journals. Ransom Center Art Curator Peter Mears provides information about the show.


C-SPAN Radio

"Humanism and Modernism: The Idea of American Art Deco"
March 2007

Kate Holliday, Assistant Professor of Art History at Southwestern University, presented "Humanism and Modernism: The Idea of American Art Deco" on Thursday, February 8, 2007, at the Ransom Center. Holliday's lecture explored how skyscrapers, the most American of buildings, were symbols of this humanist approach to architecture in the 1920s.

>

 

2006


The Austin Chronicle

"The HRC's Beckett Online: Googling for Godot"
December 22, 2006

This Austin Chronicle article delves into the Ransom Center's Samuel Beckett online exhibition, which allows access to "deeper layers of information, and more interactive and multimedia components" of Beckett's first edition books, drafts of plays, novels, and more.


The Austin Chronicle

"Out of Commission"
September 29, 2006

Robert Faires gives us the "lost saga" of Feliks Topolski's paintings, from its early beginnings to its current exhibit at the Harry Ransom Center. Faires notes about the paintings, "They seem about as improbable as lizard skin boots on Victoria Regina: 20 oil portraits of leading figures from the British literary scene at a university deep in the heart of Texas."


KUT

"U.T.'s Ransom Center Presents Woodward and Bernstein on Watergate"
September 19, 2006

KUT highlights "The Legacy of Watergate: Why it Still Matters," the two panel discussions hosted by the Ransom Center to celebrate the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate papers. "Watergate and Presidential Accountability" included professors from government, law, and public affairs while "Watergate and the Media: Did the System Work?" discussed the role of the media in the Watergate scandal. Links to the audio from each panel discussion are available.


American Photo

"Ransom Center Acquires Arnold Newman Archive"
September 19, 2006

American Photo highlights the significance of photographer Arnold Newman's archive. The article quotes Director Thomas F. Staley as saying, "With this acquisition we add to our collections not only the works and papers of a renowned photographer, but also important, revealing images of many of the 20th century's most celebrated figures in culture, science and politics."


Austin American-Statesman

"The exhibitionist's song"
September 5, 2006

Roger Gathman's article, "The exhibitionist's song" describes the Norman Mailer exhibit as portraying not only the man, but the America that inspired and shaped his life and works. The article details biographical information on Mailer, explaining the impact of serving in World War II on his works. Gathman highlights the decades of Mailer's life and the important works from these decades, now on display at the exhibit. From his description, Norman Mailer is a "radical, violent, brilliant" man. Even today, at age 83, Mailer will publish "The Castle in the Forest" in January. The article praises the Ransom Center for displaying all sides of the complex writer Norman Mailer.


Southern Living

"40 Reasons Why I Love Texas"
August 2006

"Texan adjectives . . . first, largest, [and] most" are used to describe the Harry Ransom Center in the article "40 Reasons Why I Love Texas." The Center appeared among Dr. Pepper, high school football, and South by Southwest. Gary Ford expresses his admiration of "the world's first photograph, a Gutenberg Bible, and 36 million literary manuscripts" residing in Texas at the Ransom Center.


BBC

"De Niro donates film memorabilia"
June 7, 2006

A recent article by the BBC detailed actor, producer, director Robert De Niro's donation of his archive to the Ransom Center. "We're all very excited about this archive," said the Center's Director Thomas Staley. "Students and the public are sure going to have fun with it."


Elle Décor

May 2006

A recent article in Elle Décor magazine that profiled Austin, Texas, cited the Harry Ransom Center as a 'must-see' and an Austin landmark.  As the author of the article notes, the University of Texas "can brag not just about its national champion Longhorns, but also its top ranked cultural institutions, such as the recently renovated Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center."


Texas Monthly

"75 Things We Love About Texas"
April 2006

The Harry Ransom Center appeared among the bluebonnets, barbeque and big ranches that Texas Monthly noted in its April issue entitled, "75 Things We Love About Texas." Contributor Kathryn Rodemann described her attraction to the Center: "...what keeps me coming back to the University of Texas's unplumbable cultural repository are its more intimate gems: John Steinbeck's original draft of East of Eden. Gertrude Stein's letters. E.E. Cummings's artwork.  All I have to do is flash a photo ID and the world is mine."


The Chronicle of Higher Education

"Memory, Reproducible and Revisable"
March 3, 2006

Lawrence Biemiller's article in The Chronicle for Higher Education, "Memory, Reproducible and Revisable" highlights the "wide-ranging" and global nature of "Technologies of Writing," including Sumerian cuneiform tablets, a 15th century Venetian manuscript that "must rank among the world's most beautiful books" and a newspaper dispatch filed by Ernest Hemingway. Biemiller's article reveals how these eclectic items are brought together in the exhibition to document the evolution of writing from a tool for accounting in ancient Egypt to a means of modern expression in the 21st century.


The Economist

"Unfrozen in Time"
February 2, 2006

Announcing "the daguerreotype is back," "Unfrozen in Time" highlights the rebirth of 19th century photographic processes featured in "The Image Wrought: Historical Approaches in the Digital Age." The article contrasts the "delightful" exhibition that is a "return to photography's roots" with the digitization that has pushed conventional photography into its "death throes." In cataloging the methods used in photographs featured in the exhibition, such as Deborah Luster's tintype of a female prisoner in Louisiana and Dan Burkholder's digitally enhanced platinum print of New York's flatiron building, the article also reveals that digitization, seen as the enemy of the conventional photograph, can enhance old forms. The article calls the juxtaposition of these new "enhanced" versions of processes to old work from the Harry Ransom Center's collection "one of the show's most notable aspects."

 

2005


Celebrating 25 Years

October 2005

The conservation department at the Ransom Center celebrates 25 years of service in the field of conservation and preservation. Since its inception in 1980 the Center's conservation department has remained a pioneer in the conservation of library materials. Charged with the care of the Center's collections, the department addresses ongoing challenges in the areas of treatment, preventive care, research and education. Conservation efforts are an integral part of the Center's mission to preserve and make accessible the creations of our cultural heritage through the highest standards of cataloging, conservation, and collection management.


Western Interiors

"Points West"
September/October 2005

The Ransom Center's exhibition "Ansel Adams: A Legacy" is highlighted with a back page spread of Adams's Self-portrait, Monument Valley, Utah, 1958.


The New York Times Book Review

"Literary Letters, Lost in Cyberspace"
September 4, 2005

Rachel Donadio's article concerns the millions of e-mails written by authors and editors that may someday have great value to archivists and biographers. The question is how many of the e-mails have or will vanish with the click of a mouse. The piece notes that the Ransom Center has begun to collect e-mail correspondence along with their collection of author's papers. Kris Kiesling, the center's associate director of technical services, laments that although many e-mails are printed, larger collections of them are still in their original form, and the sheer quantity makes it challenging to archive.


Associated Press

"Ransom Center Exhibit Highlights Soviet Sacrifices in WWII"
July 9, 2005

This review of the "The Battle for the Eastern Front: Photographs from the William Broyles, Jr. Collection" says the images "trace the war from the German invasion in 1941 through its retreat and the Soviet push into Germany in 1945. It culminates with a Soviet capture of Berlin, including the image of the red flag over the Reichstag and another famous shot of a Soviet tank at the Brandenburg Gate."


Austin American-Statesman

"'Sense of 'Place,' Real or Metaphorical"
July 3, 2005

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin critiques the "Place: Photographs of Environment and Community" exhibition, saying "curiosity is certainly evident... in the work of 18 photographers culled from the Ransom Center's vast collections." She singles out Sian Bonell's "Glowing No. 50" — "a whimsical, otherworldly landscape that's actually a close-up of two colorful dessert dishes placed upside down in tall grass" — as being the most "abstract," "artful," and "sincere" image in the show. She gives marks to Byron Brauchli, who "also goes for sheer beauty, though he doesn't use any artifice" and to Beth Block, whose cityscapes and portraits are ruled by "subtle drama."


CBS News Sunday Morning

"Trinkets & treasures: Ransom Center in Texas has many 20th century cultural artifacts"
July 2005

CBS News Sunday Morning's piece profiles the Ransom Center's holdings after the Center completed its $14.5 million renovation, a project that created 40,000 square feet of new public space. Sunday Morning takes viewers on a tour of the Center's galleries and reading room as well as behind the scene visits to view holdings such as Jack Kerouac's notebook for On the Road, screen tests from Gone With the Wind, and the Erle Stanley Gardner Study, a room that replicates the detective novelist's writing cabin.


Rolling Stone

"The Last Buccaneer"
June 30, 2005-July 14, 2005

Douglas Brinkley's profile of Norman Mailer uses the acquisition as an opportunity to assess the author's legacy. It mentions the recent acquisition of his collection. It also shows Mailer speaking at a university theater and touring the stacks: "'It's like being cremated,' Mailer quipped as he surveyed the rows upon rows of sterile-looking file boxes." It says that Mailer will turn over dozens of screenplays and short stories, an unpublished novel, scrapbooks, family photographs, precious keepsakes" and that his "his Ransom Center papers will now sit alongside those of American literary talents such as Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams and Don DeLillo."


The New York Times

"Mailer's Miscellany: The Author Sells His Archives to the University of Texas"
April 25, 2005

The New York Times Arts section covers the Ransom Center's acquisition of author Norman Mailer's life work. The acquisition consists of 20,000 pounds of materials associated with every one of Mailer's literary projects. Mailer said his decision to send his life's work to the Center "...grew out of the fact that the Ransom Center at The University of Texas has one of the finest, if not the finest, collections of American literary archives in the world."


The Dallas Morning News

"Famed Caricaturist Covarrubias was much more"
March 20, 2005

Janet Kutner examines the Ransom Center's exhibition on Miguel Covarrubias, a Mexican illustrator, author, muralist, historian and more, well-known for his place in Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera's circle. The young Covarrubias left Mexico for New York City in 1923, and quickly made a name for himself with his cheeky caricatures of celebrities that were featured in magazines such as Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. The exhibit showcases Covarrubia's various other talents, as well as works by his contemporaries. Nearly all of the treasures are taken from the Ransom's Nickolas Murray Collection of Mexican Art from 1925-1954.


EWTN Global Catholic Network

"Graham Greene: His Life and Letters"
March 11, 2005

The World Over, a production of EWTN Global Catholic Network, airs a piece on the Center's exhibition "Writing Among the Ruins: Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh." The World Over takes viewers on a tour of the exhibition, highlighting the Catholicity of both men through their diary entries, manuscripts, and personal letters. Host Raymond Arroyo also interviews Thomas F. Staley, the Director of the Ransom Center.


Austin American-Statesman

"Underword: Excavating the Writing Process of Don DeLillo"
February 6, 2005

Book critic Jeff Salamon previews an upcoming DeLillo lecture by exploring the author's recently acquired collection — "125 boxes of rough drafts, correspondence, research materials, reviews, ephemera and more." DeLillo quips that, since unloading his papers on the Ransom Center, "I've got a little more space that's no longer taken up by those boxes. They were good insulation. The house is colder now." Salomon digs into the collection itself to put together an annotation of the first page of 1985's White Noise. He drops some of the other titles considered for the novel, like Panasonic and Psychic Data, and traces the evolution of a single phrase, from its rough beginning ("vague and somewhat softer men") to a finished polish scarcely resembling the original ("content to measure out the time").


NBC Nightly News

"Reporter's Watergate Notes Released"
February 4, 2005

NBC reports the public opening of the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers at the Harry Ransom Center. Woodward and Bernstein's notes reveal how much of President Nixon's own party contributed to unraveling the affair. "The Republican Party came together, recognized what this president had done, and was really responsible for him leaving office," says Bernstein. The piece noted that the archives would continue to grow as important sources, such as Deep Throat, become revealed.

C-SPAN

"The Legacy of Watergate"
February 4, 2005

To celebrate the opening of the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate Papers, top scholars and journalists participated in the "Legacy of Watergate" symposium. Speakers such as Richard Ben-Veniste, Stanley Kutler, Richard Reeves, and John Taylor discussed the famous scandal uncovered by Woodward and Bernstein, along with other surrounding issues. The event was organized into two panels, "Watergate, Nixon, and the Presidency" and "Watergate, the Press, and the First Amendment."


Southern Living

"A Texas Treasure Hideout"
February 2005

The travel piece touches on such notable items as Arthur Miller's personal notebooks, Gertrude Stein's pens, and the "the 1929 letter from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Blanche Knopf where he conjugates the verb 'to cocktail.'" It ends with an enthusiastic quote from a Seattle resident who toured the Center while visiting his daughter at the University of Texas: "It's unbelievable. This is truly an undiscovered jewel — a real gem."


Fort Worth Star-Telegram

"Shooting Stars"
January 15, 2005

"Shooting Stars: the Golden Age of Hollywood Portraiture, 1925-1950," "demonstrates the collaborative nature of studio publicity," according to this exhibition review. Writer Art Chapman serves up some history on Hollywood promotions — "still photography was the primary tool in building a heightened status for the actors" — and decides this about the images: "Though most were taken in the 1940s, they still resonate with an admiring public."

 

2004


Austin Chronicle

"Photography's Turning Point: The Journal 'Camera Work'"
September 10, 2004

Barry Pineo, reviewing the an exhibition of photographs taken from the archives of the influential journal Camera Work, briefs the reader on the plan Alfred Stieglitz had when, in 1903, he launched the journal. The Pictorialists, whose philosophy Stieglitz advocated, "believed photography had more to offer than simply recording the 'facts' of everyday life. Pictorialists were interested in photography as art, in its ability to express mood, atmosphere, and emotion." But the journal survived long enough to record an important shift in photographic thinking: "from the 'photography as art' of the Pictorialists to photography as an art form in and of itself, capturing the events of life and turning them into art."


Austin American-Statesman

"Seeing the Soul of America"
June 6, 2004

Pat Beach writes about "Go Out and Look: the Photography of Russell Lee," a "sweeping" exhibition pulled together from the 800 or so prints Lee left the Ransom center. Beach says the images "have a strong sense of geometric composition, of order imposed by man-made shapes and angles" and that some are "are startlingly intimate shots, suffused with empathy but no patronizing pity." He offers a snapshot biography — Lee learned his technique from Walker Evans and was the U.S. Farm Security Administrations "most prolific and longest-lasting photographer" — and quotes old friends. One says Lee was good at convincing his subjects, many of whom had never before seen cameras, to let him take shots: "He had a broad smile and a friendly manner and it wouldn't have been hard for him to win people over."


Associated Press

"Ransom Center Acquires Stella Adler Archive"
April 26, 2004

The article announces the acquisition and mentions some of Adler's most famous students: Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro, Martin Sheen, Harvey Keitel, Melanie Griffith, and Warren Beatty. It says the collection includes "correspondence, manuscripts, video and audio tapes, photographs and other materials." Director Thomas F. Staley weighs in: "The Adler archive is a deep and rich source for the study of 20th-century American theater. This archive is a significant acquisition."


"Austin Now"

Produced by Austin PBS Affiliate KLRU
Ongoing

The station has produced a multi-part series about the Ransom Center. Episodes focus on such areas as the film collection, the art collection, rare books and performing arts. The opening segment is more general, exploring what the center is and what its 2003 renovations mean to the Austin community.


The New York Times

"A Fledgling Williams Play Flies to the Stage"
April 7, 2004

The article previews the New York premiere of the Tennessee Williams play "Spring Storm." Williams wrote it while a student at the University of Iowa, but his classmates received it poorly and he could not find a producer. He filed it away and it went unnoticed. "For years 'Spring Storm' was in the Williams archive at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. In 1996 it was unearthed and given a staged reading at the Ensemble Studio Theater in Manhattan." From there, the play was published individually, reprinted in a volume of Williams plays, and staged in regional theaters in Austin and Mill Valley, California.


San Antonio Express-News

"Into the New"
January 25, 2004

The review negotiates definitions of modernism and sizes up "Make It New: The Rise of Modernism," the "first major exhibit in the Ransom Center's newly remodeled galleries." It mentions such seemingly different items as Ulysses page proofs, The Theory of Relativity and quotes Kurt Heinzelman, executive curator for academic programs, on the underlying logic: "We wanted to show the whole spectrum of modernism as it cut across various media, including literature, opera, film, architecture and so on. Modernism wasn't singular or unilateral in scope." The ultimate verdict: the exhibition does not attempt a new definition of modernism but instead offers "a re-discovery."

 

2003


Associated Press

"1826 Image Gets Its Own Close-Up"
November 21, 2003

The piece centers on the results of scientifically examining the First Photograph. Undertaken in collaboration with the Getty Conservation Institute, the Ransom Center sought to determine the condition of the photograph. The testing also produced a new, unmanipulated image of the First Photograph, minus any manual retouching. Reporter Andrew Bridges notes that the photograph was "rediscovered" in 1952 and the Ransom Center acquired it in 1963.


Texas Monthly

"King's Ransom"
October 2003

Author John Spong's piece touts the holdings, and assesses the legacy of Director Thomas F. Staley, who "has pushed the HRC to take a chance on the first editions of contemporary authors like Jonathan Franzen and the McSweeney's crowd." It says the "the only university libraries consistently mentioned in the same breath are the Beinecke at Yale and the Houghton at Harvard" and calls the photography collection "one of the finest in the world." Ten shots of collection items accompany the story, among them: e.e. cummings' paint box, Napoleon's death mask, and a postcard from Jean Cocteau.


Los Angeles Times

"A Library Unlocks Its Attic"
August 5, 2003

The front-page story says the Ransom Center renovation "mirrors a trend by exhibiting its trove of literary papers and artifacts, both scholarly and mundane" and cites similar efforts undertaken by peer institutions like the Morgan Library, the Huntington Library and the Getty Research Institute. It includes images of such holdings as the Norman Bel Geddes automobile model, Gloria Swanson's "Sunset Boulevard" sunglasses and a certificate Napoleon signed conferring the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor on Camille Frederick Gaulieu in 1812. The article also hints at the creative trajectories captured in the archives: "The center's D.H. Lawrence files, for instance, show the novelist's three false starts in trying to title that book about Lady Chatterley: 'Tenderness," "My Lady's Keeper" and 'John Thomas and Lady Jane.'"


Associated Press

"Texas Puts Gutenberg Bible on Internet"
July 13, 2003

Joining a handful of other international institutions that have digitized rare surviving copies of the Gutenberg Bible, the Ransom Center has made theirs accessible on the web. Richard Oram, head librarian at the Ransom, has called this version, "the most interesting in the world." Digitizing began in June 2002, with the final product providing more than 7,000 images to the public.


The Guardian

"Britain specialises in the vandalism of heritage"
May 5, 2003

Columnist John Sutherland devotes his opening paragraphs to the looting of the Baghdad National Museum but says "there is more than one kind of vandalism. We, in Britain, specialise in the vandalism of indifference." The result is that the country is losing the papers of its contemporary writers to American institutions, the Ransom Center chief among them. Sutherland cites the Center's renovation and aggressive acquisitions as evidence of its clout. "There are those who cast institutions such as the Ransom Center as genteel brigands — looters with bulging wallets rather than AK47s. They are not. They do what we should be doing and they do it superbly well."


Washington Post

"Watergate Papers Sold for $5 Million"
April 8, 2003

The story focuses on the financial magnitude of the acquisition — "one of the largest such purchases in American history" — and says "it surprised some academic and archives directors, who could not cite a comparable price paid to a living author for written materials." Explains Director Thomas F. Staley: "We were offered a fair price, and we felt this was the range... This is a part of history." The piece reports that Woodward and Bernstein agreed to participate in symposia and fund a "$500,000 endowment at the university for the study of Watergate, journalistic ethics, and the archive itself."


Travel and Leisure

"Only in Texas"
April 2003

Writer Jim Lewis calls the Center "one of the best kept secrets in the nation" and says "its collection of literary and photographic artifacts is surpassed in size and quality only by those of the Library of Congress and the New York Public Library." He then delves into the means by which founder Harry Ransom acquired so many collections and the reactions his methods drew: "The British and the French complained that these Texans were pillaging their heritage."


The New York Times

"Lifting the Lid on a Treasure Chest"
February 4, 2003

The article leads with an anecdote about Marlon Brando's address book, which it calls "part of the collection of literary and cultural treasures" at the Ransom Center. It uses the renovations to profile a Center that Ferdinand Mount, former editor of the Times Literary Supplement, says is so preeminent "there's nowhere like it in the U.S.A. and its only rival for 20th century material in Britain is the British Library." The piece highlights the collection, quotes peer institution officials for context, and ends with Director Thomas F. Staley saying: "Acquisition never stops. The difference is that now we're finally going to be able to show off our collection in a real museum setting."

 

2002


Associated Press

"Johannes Gutenberg, Welcome to the Internet Age"
July 2002

The article, which ran in international newspapers, quotes Princeton scholar Paul Needham as saying the Ransom Center's Bible is among the most-used of the surviving Gutenbergs. "It's a remarkable copy. In its digital format it will be invaluable to researchers who want to compare it with other copies around the world." AP writer Jim Vertuno notes the Texas Gutenberg "bears a Jesuit stamp that was used in monasteries in southern Germany as late as the 1760s. It was marked up by monks who scratched out some passages and corrected others. Other markings indicate sections that were to be read aloud or reserved for church services."


National Public Radio

The Todd Mundt Show
April 25, 2002

Host Todd Mundt interviews Director Thomas F. Staley about all facets of the Ransom Center. Staley touches on the institutional history, the career of Harry Ransom, the renovation, the importance of collecting coherently rather than pell-mell, and the diplomacy of acquisition. Some insights are on the inflating prices of manuscripts and the challenge of convincing authors to part with their papers. "You are asking someone for his or her intellectual and imaginative outpouring. Some writers look at it simply as the detritus of the creative process and don't have a great attachment to it. Others find it deeply disturbing to part with it even though they haven't looked at it in 20 years... What we offer, and what great libraries such as this offer, is a great safe home where the material is conserved, where the material is protected, and in a way it gratifies the writer's position in the canon."


National Public Radio

Weekend All Things Considered: "Dusan Stulik discusses the first image photographed as preparations are under way to restore it in California."
April 7, 2002

Host Jackie Lyden interviews Dusan Stulik, senior scientist at the Getty Conservation Institute, which was then examining and constructing an airtight case for the Ransom Center's First Photograph, by Joseph Nicephore Niepce. Stulik talks about Niepce, his legacy, and the type of research the Getty team will be conducting: "So far, you know, people even don't know what was used as the metal plate on which that photograph was deposited." The segment ends with Stulik sharing his enthusiasm for the photograph: "When I entered the room where the First Photograph is exhibited now at the University of Texas, I felt the same as I felt when I was on scaffolding in the Vatican and was able to touch the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; really a magic moment."


NBC Today Show

Interview with Matt Lauer
March 14, 2002

Research Curator of Photography at the Ransom Center, Roy Flukinger, was interviewed on the Today Show before the First Photograph embarked on a two-week trip to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles. There, non-destructive tests were to be performed on the photograph to determine if historical evidence about the piece matched up with scientific results. Results from these tests performed at the Getty allowed the Ransom Center to build the best environment possible for this historical treasure, and design a new viewing case for it accordingly. This feature served as a case study for the preservation performed on millions of documents at the Center.



Austin American-Statesman

"Welcome to Wonderland"
February 17-19, 2002

This three-day series explores all aspects of the Center, from the "$1 billion collection" to the conservation department that has turned The University of Texas into "one of the country's top training centers for conservation of literary and photographic material." Other items include a timeline history of acquisitions, a rundown of past controversies, a survey of the construction, review of the current exhibition ("From Gutenberg to Gone with the Wind"), and profiles of leading Center figures: namesake Harry Ransom, current director Thomas F. Staley, and John Kirkpatrick, the longtime curator of British manuscripts. Reporter Michael Barnes says the Center is "ranked among the top three American cultural archives of its kind" but is "better known in London, Paris and New York than in Austin." He predicts that will change when the renovations are completed, then quotes Dr. Staley as saying, "We will open for business a transformed institution."

 

2001


The New York Times

"A Forgotten Twain Tale Finally Makes It Into Print"
June 23, 2001

The piece offers background on the Atlantic Monthly's impending printing of an unpublished Mark Twain novelette, A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage. "Twain scholars who have read the manuscript call it 'thin,' 'slight' and 'contrived,'" but it sheds light on the relationship between the author and his contemporaries, notably William Dean Howells, with whom he wanted to launch a writing contest in the Atlantic Monthly. Howells and others did not take to Twain's idea, so "the manuscript ended up at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center in Austin, Tex., where it languished." A lawyer with the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library — home to a substantial Twain collection — learned of the forgotten story and pursued it.


The Guardian

"Paper Chase"
February 7, 2001

The article argues that the British Library should pursue collections more aggressively. It says the recent purchase of Dickens materials suggests the institution wants to develop its holdings but still, Jon Sutherland writes, it should go a step further and follow the model of the Ransom Center, which is "very well endowed and...prepared to buy — and pay top dollar — while authors are still alive and in their prime."


"Antiques Roadshow"

Produced by Boston PBS affiliate WGBH
February 2001

The second of the two Austin-based episodes opens with a tour of the Ransom Center, which host Dan Elias calls "one of the great libraries in the world." The piece includes shots of such Center staples as the handwritten draft of Absalom, Absalom, Anne Sexton's typewriter, and the Gone with the Wind storyboards. Director Thomas F. Staley shares Harry Ransom's motivation for founding the Center: "He believed understanding the creative process was as important as studying the final works." Elias concludes thusly: "Today the Ransom Center continues to acquire items from contemporary writers and artists and to pass out grants and fellowships to scholars from all over the world."