Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Director's Circle

The Director's Circle is the highest level of membership, offering unparalleled access to the riches of the Center. Director's Circle members support the Director's initiatives, providing the resources the Director needs to respond quickly to unique opportunities that support the core priorities of the Center.

Major acquisitions under former Director Tom Staley's leadership

An Invitation

The Ransom Center is considered one of the world's premier cultural institutions. Your participation is critical to its continued success. Your support of the Director's initiatives enables the Ransom Center to continue to collect, preserve, and celebrate our literary and cultural heritage. You provide the resources necessary for the Director to respond quickly to opportunities such as acquiring major archives, presenting special programs, or supporting scholarly research through fellowships. Your gift enhances the cultural legacy of the Harry Ransom Center. You are invited to be a vital part of this institution by joining the Director's Circle today.

 

Collecting the Imagination

The Gutenberg Bible, the first photograph, the Woodward and Bernstein Watergate papers, manuscripts from literary greats Geoffrey Chaucer to Norman Mailer—these are among the iconic works at the Ransom Center. The Center also houses Frida Kahlo's art, Charlie Parker's music, Robert De Niro's film archive, D.H. Lawrence's manuscripts, Samuel Beckett's doodles, and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's golf clubs. The holdings in the Ransom Center collections offer a rare view into the personalities, processes, and talent of great writers and artists.

"Because of the support of our donors, and especially our Director's Circle friends, we can act quickly when an archive becomes available. Many collections are offered to us because their owners know they will receive a prompt response. These opportunities help keep us at the top of the field," says Thomas F. Staley.

 

Preserving Culture

The Ransom Center is known for the care we give our collections. Combining the latest technologies with the great craftwork of the past, our conservators address all types of issues common to books, archives, artwork, and photographs. Because of the generosity of our Director's Circle members, our book, paper, and photograph conservators have the resources they need to ensure the materials left in our care will be accessible not only now but for years to come.

 

Inspiring Ideas

With the support of Director's Circle members, the Ransom Center established a vibrant fellowship program in 1990 and has provided stipends for more than 500 scholars to conduct research among our collections. The Center offers scholars the opportunity to study such diverse areas as thirteenth-century Italian verse, seventeenth-century English dramatic poetry, early developments in micro-photography, avant-garde theater design, modern French musical composition, the art of caricature, censorship in Hollywood, and the work of contemporary African novelists. More than 50 visiting fellows and thousands of additional scholars each year delve into the Center's holdings of rare books, manuscripts, art, film, photography, and the performing arts, and broaden our understanding of the humanities through their resulting books, dissertations, and articles.

 

Experience the Ransom Center

Sharing the Ransom Center is a vital part of our mission. Interpretive exhibitions, imaginative public programs, descriptive publications, and first-class research facilities ensure community engagement with the collections. The Center permanently displays the iconic Gutenberg Bible and first photograph and presents a changing roster of thematic exhibitions drawn primarily from our collections that expose more than 60,000 visitors a year to new ideas and ways of thinking about our cultural heritage. The Center also shares its resources globally through web exhibitions and an international lending program to other museums. A dynamic calendar of lectures, readings, and symposia allow the public to engage with prominent cultural figures. Director's Circle members make these unique opportunities possible through their annual gifts. They are also part of a special group invited by the Director to participate in intimate gatherings with authors, artists, and scholars visiting the Center.

 

Benefits of Membership

Members of the Director's Circle support the Director's initiatives by providing the resources necessary for the Director to respond quickly to unique opportunities—such as acquisitions, publications, fellowships, exhibitions, and programs—that support the core priorities of the Center.

Levels of annual membership include:

Associate      $1,000—$2,499
Advocate      $2,500—$4,999
Supporter     $5,000—$9,999
Contributor   $10,000+

Membership offers opportunities for greater involvement with the inner workings of the Center through the benefits listed below:

  • Invitations for two to periodic private events with the Director and special guests such as visiting authors, speakers, or scholars
  • Invitations for two to exhibition previews
  • Invitations for two, plus two guest passes, to special members only events
  • Invitations to book signings by featured authors or speakers
  • Opportunity to consult with a curator or conservator about personal collections
  • Private viewing of collection items by appointment
  • Personal staff liaison
  • Two complimentary Individual level memberships ($50 value each) or one complimentary Dual level membership ($90 value)
  • 20% discount in the Harry Ransom Center Online Store
  • Recognition on the Donors and Sponsors page on the Ransom Center website
  • Eligibility to join the Ransom Center's Friends of Photography group
  • Membership in the North American Reciprocal Museum Program
  • Complimentary valet parking at exhibition opening events
  • Subscription to the biannual print newsletter, Ransom Edition
  • Subscription to the monthly email newsletter, eNews
  • Personalized membership card for two

 

Lifetime Members

You can enjoy lifetime membership benefits by establishing a Director's Circle endowment, which will provide an annual distribution to the Center equivalent to your Director's Circle membership so that you can continue your support of the Director's initiatives in perpetuity. Donors participating in a five-year pledge period are asked to consider an annual gift to the Director's Circle until the endowment is fully funded. The minimum level to establish a named Director's Circle endowment is $25,000 payable outright or as a pledge of up to five years.

For more information on endowing your Director's Circle membership, please contact Margie Rine at 512-471-9643 or margierine@mail.utexas.edu.

 

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To reach the Director's Circle staff liaison, please contact Margie Rine at 512-471-9643 or margierine@mail.utexas.edu.