Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Spring 2004 Newsletter

Director's Note


Thomas F. Staley

The past year was marked by change, including the retirement of Associate Director Sally Leach and the departure of Associate Director for Development Sue Murphy. These senior administrators made great contributions to the Center. Sally Leach, after her stalwart performance with the building renovation, has moved to Australia, not to be at a greater distance from our transformed building, but to be closer to her grandchildren. Sue Murphy accepted a position at the Library of Congress in conservation, her first love.

To accommodate these departures, we have instituted major changes in our organizational structure. Mary Beth Bigger, our remaining Associate Director, has been elevated to Executive Associate Director and second in the administrative line. We have appointed four new Associate Directors, three of them new positions. Rich Oram has been named Associate Director of the Library and the Photography and Visual Collections. Kris Kiesling has been appointed Associate Director of Technical and Digital Services. Jim Stroud has become Associate Director of Conservation and Building Management. We are pleased that Jeff Melton has joined us to take over as Associate Director for Development. These changes reflect the evolution of the Center and will allow us to better deploy our resources and communicate more effectively within our organization. They also place leadership closer to the daily activities of staff.

Because research is central to our mission, one of our primary goals is the acquisition of major archives. Last fall was an active period of acquisition, highlighted by the purchase of the archive of Raymond Queneau, an important French poet, novelist, and publisher. This archive enhances the prestigious French collections already housed at the Ransom Center; indeed, it will be regarded as an important research link between the Surrealists and Beckett.

Other significant acquisitions include the archive of British writer Iain Sinclair. The papers of actor and director Peter Glenville were added to our Performing Arts collection. We also acquired a small archive of a notable writer, Kay Dick, whose papers are significant for their depth, rich associations with other writers, and diversity. These archives bring considerable research value to the Ransom Center.  

-Thomas F. Staley

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