Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Spring 2008 Newsletter

Director's Note

Portrait of Thomas F. Staley

Thomas F. Staley

The Ransom Center's 50th-anniversary year was by every account a remarkable one. In addition to the parties and celebrations, our memorable gala in front of the fully lighted tower, the publication of Collecting the Imagination: The First Fifty Years of the Ransom Center, and an ambitious schedule of successful events and exhibitions, we exceeded the goal of our capital campaign by raising more than $12 million to support the Center as we move into our next fifty years. We are grateful to everyone who helped celebrate this milestone with us and who supported us during our anniversary year. We are delighted to share with you one of the direct results of your support, our newly designed website, which we launched at the beginning of this new year.

The primary motivation behind our website redesign was to improve access to our rapidly growing constituency of online visitors. Five years ago, in 2002, we averaged approximately 750,000 web visits each month. In contrast, just this past September, we received nearly 6 million visits. Our web traffic has increased steadily each year, and our newly designed website will better meet the needs of visitors from all over the world who enter the Ransom Center virtually.

Our new website reflects the openness of our building that we sought to achieve in our architectural redesign five years ago—information about our collections is more readily available, there is easier navigation, and visitors will be able to find the information they seek quickly and accurately. Furthermore, the website better reflects our visual identity and more consistently demonstrates the mission of the Ransom Center.

Staff throughout the building contributed to this project, but I am particularly grateful to the members of our website redesign committee, whose strategic planning and thoughtful efforts are made immediately clear when you view the new site. The committee was chaired by our Webmaster, Daniel Zmud, and included Cathy Henderson, Associate Director for Exhibitions and Education; Christine Lee, Senior Marketing Associate; Mary Sue Neilson, Manager of Technology and Digital Services; Rich Oram, Associate Director and Hobby Librarian; and Jen Tisdale, Public Affairs Representative.  

—Thomas F. Staley


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