Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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News Release — October 2, 2001

Ransom Center Renovation Underway

Watercolor rendering of the Ransom Center renovations.

Watercolor renderings of the Ransom Center renovations.

Watercolor rendering of the Ransom Center renovations.

The Ransom Center's much anticipated renovation project to transform the first two floors of the Center into public spaces for the first time in its history began in late August and is now in full swing. In the spring of 2003, the Ransom Center's doors will open with 40,000 square feet of space devoted to our public. We eagerly look forward to a magnificent lobby with spacious exhibition galleries, a research wing, and an intimate state-of-the-art theater for readings, lectures, symposia, performances, and films.

The award-winning San Antonio firm Lake/Flato Architects, known for innovative and creative design, is the architect supervising design. Principal architect David Lake has said this about the Ransom Center project: "Our charge is to give the building a sense of openness, to express what the Ransom Center is all about. We hope to enhance the Center's position on campus and to enable it to take its place among the other cultural institutions in Austin." The company supervising construction is Browning Construction.

We want to assure the University community, scholars wishing to use our resources, and the public that the Ransom Center will remain open during the construction project. The Reading and Viewing Rooms and the administrative offices are open. Please check our Web site to find up-to-date information on entry changes, other important facts related to the project, and to watch our progress: www.hrc.utexas.edu.

Please continue to visit our exhibitions. Our blockbuster exhibition, From Gutenberg to Gone With The Wind: Treasures from the Ransom Center, remains at the LBJ Library and Museum through May 2002. We will continue to feature exhibitions in the Leeds Gallery on the fourth floor of the Flawn Academic Center on The University of Texas campus, including the current exhibition Henry Peach Robinson: Victorian Photographer on view through December 18, 2001. Please call the Ransom Center with any questions concerning exhibitions, the construction project, or hours and accessibility at 512.471.8944.

Although there is some dust and inconvenience associated with the construction, the overwhelming feeling at the Center is eager anticipation as we move toward our goal of increased opportunities to share the treasures of the Ransom Center.

Considered one of the world’s finest cultural archives, the Ransom Center houses 30 million literary manuscripts, 1 million rare books, 5 million photographs, and over 100,000 works of art. Highlights include the Gutenberg Bible (c. 1450), the world’s first photograph (c. 1826), important paintings by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and major manuscript collections of James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Tennessee Williams to name but a few. The Center is used extensively for research by scholars from around the world and presents numerous exhibitions and events each year showcasing its collections. Exhibitions and events are free and open to the public.

 

 

Media Contact for members of the press

Sheree Scarborough
Phone: 512.471.8944
Fax: 512.232.540

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

Photographs available

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