Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Fall 2015 Newsletter

Free Access to more than 22,000 Images of Collection Materials


Joseph Conrad's "Victory, an island tale." June 27, 1914.

To increase access to its collections, the Ransom Center has adopted an open access policy, removing the requirement of permission and use fees for a significant portion of its online collections that are believed to be in the public domain.

In conjunction with the release of the policy, the Center launched Project REVEAL (Read and View English and American Literature), a year-long initiative to digitize and make available 25 of its manuscript collections of some of the best-known names from American and British literature of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Some of the authors represented in Project REVEAL include Joseph Conrad, Hart Crane, Thomas Hardy, Vachel Lindsay, Jack London, Katherine Mansfield, Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sara Teasdale.

The Project REVEAL initiative generated more than 22,000 high-resolution images, available for use by anyone, for any purpose, and without restrictions or fees. "I am delighted that the Ransom Center has joined other world-class institutions such as Harvard University, Yale University, and Cornell University in opening up material,"says Peter B. Hirtle, fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society and senior policy advisor at Cornell University Library.

Future efforts will involve removing restrictions for other materials believed to be in the public domain and making them available through the Ransom Center's digital collections portal. "Removing barriers to the use of the Ransom Center's collections is one way we can extend the useful life of our collections," says Director Stephen Enniss. "We hold these collections in trust for students, researchers, and the public everywhere."

The Center hopes the project will facilitate and encourage creative re-use of these materials.

"I am pleased to be at the Center during this time of transformative change," says Liz Gushee, Head of Digital Collections Services. "Having the images of Project REVEAL freely available is a significant step toward enhancing the online experience of the Center's patrons who seek to explore and use its wealth of collection materials."  

Project REVEAL

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