Although full archive acquisitions are signatures of the Ransom Center, few realize that they account for only a small percentage of our acquisitions each year. The majority of materials that come to the Center supplement and strengthen the archives and collections already housed here.
This summer, for example, the Ransom Center acquired new materials to add to the archive of British novelist Julian Barnes. In 2001, the Center acquired what was then the full archive of this acclaimed, three-time Booker Prize-nominee. Like many of the living writers whose works the Center acquires, Barnes has continued to write and publish since this initial acquisition. In the interest of keeping our archives complete, the Center frequently makes "gentlemen's agreements" with writers to acquire their future manuscripts, notes, and correspondence.
The newly acquired Julian Barnes materials include all drafts and other papers related to his novel Arthur and George, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize last year. Also included are papers related to his books Something to Declare, The Pedant in the Kitchen, and The Lemon Table; other writings and translations published since the original acquisition; and letters from Evelyn Waugh, Brian Moore, and Penelope Fitzgerald.
Other recent acquisitions include:
- An extensive collection of artwork and books by Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias, as well as research materials, photographs, and other items related to Covarrubias and his circle of friends. The collection was compiled by Covarrubias's biographer, Adriana Williams, and her husband Tom. It complements the Covarrubias holdings in the Ransom Center's Nickolas Muray collection of twentieth-century Mexican art.
- A cache of Tennessee Williams letters, including letters from Williams to Carson McCullers, Paul Bigelow, and Jordan Massee. These materials strengthen both the Center's Tennessee Williams collection and its Carson McCullers archive.
- A collection of letters written by novelist John Fowles, whose complete archive is housed at the Center.