By Stephen Enniss
Governor Greg Abbott's recent announcement of a new research initiative aimed at recruiting Nobel Prize winners and other leading STEM researchers to The University of Texas at Austin faculty is a reminder that the Ransom Center holds the archives of more than a dozen Nobel Prize winners including Samuel Beckett, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Doris Lessing, J. M. Coetzee, and Gabriel García Márquez. These collections are a permanent resource for our students and faculty that also support new scholarship from an international research community.
This fall we open the most recently acquired of these archives with a three-day Flair Symposium celebrating the life and legacy of Gabriel García Márquez. Since the arrival of the archive almost a year ago, Ransom Center staff have been cataloging the collection, undertaking conservation treatments, and preparing the manuscripts for digitization. We have also been making important additions to the collection.
Among the newest items to be added are two working manuscripts of Noticia de un secuestro ("News of a Kidnapping"), García Márquez's correspondence with his close friend Plinio Mendoza, and the copy of his novel El general en su laberinto ("The General in His Labrynth") that he marked up and revised in preparation for a new edition. I'm particularly delighted by the addition of a bronze bust of García Márquez commissioned by his family and donated to the Ransom Center. It has now been installed alongside James Joyce and Jean Cocteau near the entrance of the Ransom Center where it greets visitors. For more about how the Ransom Center's collections grow over time, see the cover story of this issue of Ransom Edition (pages 8–10).
These collections are permanent additions to the intellectual capital of the University, and from this point on the Ransom Center will serve as the leading research center in the world for the study and greater understanding of García Márquez's life and work.
This work gets underway in earnest this October, and I invite you to join us and to be a part of the stimulating community these collections inspire.
I am also pleased to share with you that more details on the past year of the Ransom Center's activities and progress may be found in our first annual report, which is available on our website. It provides further detail on the Center's successes and efforts to engage the public, support and enhance the collections, and foster research and learning. Coupled with the Ransom Center's recently completed strategic plan, it provides a blueprint for how we hope to grow.