The Gutenberg Bible Harry Ransom Center Lobby
Gallery Hours (also Monday 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
The Gutenberg Bible is the first substantial book printed from movable type on a printing press. It was printed in Johann Gutenberg's shop in Mainz, Germany, between 1450 and 1455. Gutenberg's invention revolutionized the distribution of knowledge by facilitating the production of many copies of a single work in a relatively short amount of time. The Ransom Center holds one of five complete copies in the United States.
A video demonstrating Gutenberg's printing process, maps showing the spread of printing after Gutenberg and where other Gutenberg Bibles are housed, and an interactive copy of the Ransom Center's Gutenberg Bible are available in a web exhibition. Additionally, younger visitors can digitally color a page of the Gutenberg Bible and have the opportunity to use Gutenberg's process to print their own message.
This edition of the Ransom Center's copy from the University of Texas Press incorporates high-resolution and enlargeable "flattened" images of each page. The resolution permits easy viewing of such small details as the papermaker's hair embedded in the fibers of a page. The two-disk set may be used on both Windows and Macintosh computers with CD-ROM drives.
The First Photograph Maintenance of the conservation housing of the First Photograph will temporarily delay the photograph's return to permanent display. The reinstallation date will be shared as soon as it is determined.
The First Photograph, produced by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826, is the foundation of the Ransom Center's photography collection. The 8 x 6.5-inch heliograph depicts a view just outside the workroom window of Niépce's estate in Le Gras in east central France. The image, developed on a pewter plate, took a full eight hours of exposure to produce.
From the Outside In: A Visitor's Guide to the Windows
The physical renovation of the Ransom Center, completed in April 2003, included the addition of two glass-enclosed atria on the first floor. The atria are surrounded by windows featuring etched reproductions of images from the collections and offer visitors a hint of the cultural treasures to be discovered inside. These architectural elements literally take the "inside out" by showcasing materials from the Center's collections and making the images viewable from both the interior and exterior of the building.
This online guide identifies each image from the perspective of a visitor viewing the windows from the exterior of the building.
Celebrating the Imagination: The First Fifty Years of the Ransom Center Harry Ransom Center - Third Floor Hallway
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Founded in 1957, the Harry Ransom Center has evolved into a world-renowned cultural institution. This exhibition highlights the Center's history, which is chronicled in greater detail in the book, Collecting the Imagination: The First Fifty Years of the Ransom Center, available from the Center's online store.
Scholars at Work: Books Based on the Center's Collections Harry Ransom Center - Third Floor Hallway
Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Each year, more than 100 publications appear based on research informed by the Center's collection. This ever-changing exhibition features a sampling of these titles and highlights which Ransom Center collections contributed to the author's argument.
The Ransom Center is located on the corner of 21st and Guadalupe streets, on the campus of The University of Texas at Austin. The Flawn Academic Center is just west of UT's Main Tower and within walking distance of the Ransom Center. All facilities are wheelchair accessible.
To find where the Ransom Center and Flawn Academic Center are situated on the UT campus, see the UT Tower Area Map.
For accessibility information, see the UT Tower Area Accessibility Map.
To schedule a tour, please complete a tour request form or call 512-475-8086. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.