Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Summer 2001 Newsletter

Moving the Treasures

Ransom Center's Chief Preparator John Wright places the Gutenberg Bible in its case.
Ransom Center's Chief Preparator John Wright places the Gutenberg Bible in its case. Photograph by Charles N. Bogel.

The press awaits the Gutenberg Bible and the World's First Photograph at the LBJ Library and Museum loading dock.
The press awaits the Gutenberg Bible and the World's First Photograph at the LBJ Library and Museum loading dock. Photograph by Charles N. Bogel.

Ransom Center's Senior Photography Curator Roy Flukinger and Barbara Brown unload the World's First Photograph from its transport case.
Ransom Center's Senior Photography Curator Roy Flukinger and Barbara Brown unload the World's First Photographfrom its transport case. Photograph by Charles N. Bogel.

An intent procession of Ransom Center staff and UT Police recently transported the Gutenberg Bible and the World's First Photograph — Joseph Nicéphore Niépce's heliograph View from the Window at le Gras — from the Ransom Center to the LBJ Library and Museum early one morning in April. The move was for the exhibition, From Gutenberg to Gone With The Wind: Treasures from the Ransom Center and the local media was there to record it (as well as Ransom Center and LBJ photographers). The World's First Photograph traveled in its own custom-made transport case, carefully packed to protect it from any physical shocks or damage, and to protect it from rapid fluctuations in temperature and relative humidity during transit. The Gutenberg Bible was likewise packed and transported in its own custom-made box. Upon arrival at the LBJ loading dock, the entourage passed through a phalanx of photographers and journalists. The two items were installed and secured in the display cases that had been prepared for them where they now are being viewed by hundreds of visitors touring the exhibition daily.

— Barbara Brown, Head of Photograph Conservation


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