Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

email signup
Search Collections
Fall 2001 Newsletter

Director's Note

Thomas F. Staley

Thomas F. Staley

Holland House, London, bombed in July 1940.

Holland House, London, bombed in July 1940.

We have all been stunned and horrified by the human devastation of September 11. I believe we are also deeply moved by the way our country has come together. I am heartened by William Faulkner's words in his Nobel speech "we will not only endure, we will prevail."

As I write this column today, we are in a "post-modernist" era at the Ransom Center, that is to say we are in the middle of "deconstruction." In my annual talk to the staff last week, I made reference to Jane Austen. She writes in Pride and Prejudice that a library is a place of leisure and tranquility. Fortunately, she passed this life before she could see our plight during these recent weeks. It has been dusty, messy, and loud, but we are excited by the changes we are making.

This is a dynamic time for us. Our major initiatives include increasing our public role through integration of our public programs and affairs, enhancing our national position, building our public programs with the magnificent new building as background, and strengthening vital areas of research in all departments. The Ransom Center has maintained its competitive position among research institutions worldwide of course because of its great collections, but also because of the quality of its great staff.

I find inspiration from this famous photograph of the London library, Holland House, after a bombing during World War II. The values of civilization prevail. Keep reading.

- Thomas F. Staley


Table of Contents