Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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In the News


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."


Media Contacts for members of the press

Jennifer Tisdale
Director of Public Affairs
Phone: 512-471-8949
Cell: 512-921-0845
Fax: 512-471-9646
jentisdale@utexas.edu

Suzanne Krause
Public Affairs Representative
Phone: 512-471-6406
Cell: 512-348-4055
Fax: 512-471-9646
skrause@utexas.edu

Harry Ransom Center
The University of Texas at Austin
P.O. Box 7219
Austin TX 78713-7219

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