Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Capital Campaign

Strengthening Collections and Enhancing Curatorial Excellence

Collection Development

The core of the Ransom Center is its remarkable, evolving collection. Internationally recognized for its active acquisitions program, the Center works constantly to preserve our cultural heritage by acquiring important archives and collection materials each year. Through these acquisitions, which are largely funded through private support and endowments, the Center remains a vital resource for scholarship and enrichment in the arts and humanities. To maintain its preeminence in collection development, the Center must continue to raise substantial funds for acquisitions. These funds will enable the Center to act quickly when important collections and archives become available, bringing invaluable cultural materials to The University of Texas at Austin.

Curatorial Excellence

As the Ransom Center's collections grow and evolve, it is essential that the Center continue to enhance its curatorial excellence and ensure that an exceptional curatorial staff is available to interpret and present collection materials to the public in insightful ways. To this end, the Center is raising funds to assist with the recruitment, retention, and professional development of a well-informed and highly professional curatorial staff and to provide resources to bring visiting curators to the Center for collaborative exhibitions, programs, and other projects. These funds are all the more important because the Ransom Center is well below its peer institutions in the salaries offered to its curators. The Center must supplement these salaries with private funds to remain competitive and attract and retain top professionals in the fields of literature, photography, art, film, and the performing arts.

Endowed Curator of Romance Languages

As home to what has been described as the finest collection of modern French literature outside of France and an important collection of Italian literature, the Center will establish an endowment to support a Curator of Romance Languages. The curator will be responsible for enhancing these collections and for the preparation of exhibitions, publications, and programs related to them. The curator will promote research in the collections by engaging with the University's relevant graduate and undergraduate programs and through close contact with national and international scholars in the field.

Exhibitions and Programs

The Ransom Center's curatorial staff works actively to create and present an outstanding schedule of exhibitions and programs. Through its exhibitions and programs, the Center provides students, scholars, and the public an opportunity to learn from and enjoy our rich culture. Funds raised for exhibition underwriting provide critical support for preparation, research, and the many technical and conservation needs associated with the display of rare materials. Support for programs ensures that the Center is able to bring a diverse array of writers, artists, and scholars to campus for engaging lectures, readings, performances, and events. Through its exhibitions and programs, the Center is able to interpret and share its collections with thousands of visitors each year.


Fundamental to both collection development and curatorial work is maintaining excellent standards for the cataloging of collection materials. As the Ransom Center continues to build its collections, and as the nature of the collections grows to encompass different types of materials, it is imperative that the Center raise additional funds to ensure that its collections are cataloged in a timely manner. These funds will help alleviate the strain a large-scale acquisitions program places on cataloging resources by enabling the Center to engage additional staff to make its new acquisitions available as quickly as possible, while maintaining the highest standards in the field.


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For information on the capital campaign or to request a brochure, please contact Margie Rine at 512-471-9643 or margierine@austin.utexas.edu.

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Woman in boat with one arm in water

Fritz Henle. Frida Kahlo at Xochimilco, Mexico. 1937. © Fritz Henle Estate

Medieval Book of Hours

French and Italian Collections

The Center seeks to establish an endowment to support a Curator of Romance Languages.

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Book binding

First edition of Les Fleurs du mal by Charles Baudelaire. Paris: Poulet-Malassis et de Broise, 1857. Binding by Charles Meunier.

Man speaking to three women in exhibition gallery

Associate Curator of Art, Peter Mears, presents highlights of the art collection at a membership event. Photo by Pete Smith.

People in conservation laboratory

Stephanie Watkins, Head of Paper Conservation at the Harry Ransom Center, explains materials used in conserving paper documents and art in an educational program. Photo by Eric Beggs.