Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Group Tours

Tours offer an in-depth guided experience of the current exhibitions and the Gutenberg Bible and the First Photograph, which are on permanent display at the Ransom Center. The public tours meet in the South Atrium and no reservations are required. For groups larger than 10 people, please contact the Ransom Center to make arrangements for a private group tour.

Admission and tours are free. Your donation supports the Ransom Center's exhibitions and public programs.

Public tours

Daily public tours will resume on September 11, 2017.

Private Group Tours and Field Trips

To schedule a prearranged tour or to alert Ransom Center staff of your visit, click here for a tour request form or contact hrctours@austin.utexas.edu.

Tours can be scheduled to take place between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Monday through Friday, and between noon and 5 p.m. on weekends.

Teachers: please view the useful education resources online at the Primary Source Education Modules page.


Please contact the Ransom Center's public programs staff at least two weeks in advance to schedule a tour and clarify any questions you might have. The Center will not be able to accommodate unannounced groups.

The Center's docent staff is prepared to enrich group tours and visitor experiences. Should you prefer to make a group visit without the help of a docent, please inform the Center's staff. If capacity becomes an issue, scheduled groups take precedence over unscheduled groups.

Guidelines for tours

  • Please allow 1 hour for your tour.
  • Plan to arrive 10 minutes before your tour is scheduled to begin. A docent will meet your group in the south atrium of our lobby and begin promptly at your designated tour time. If your group arrives more than 15 minutes after your designated start time we cannot guarantee a docent-led tour, but you can certainly tour our exhibitions independently. Our tours are tightly scheduled and our docents are volunteers, so your attention to this matter is greatly appreciated.
  • Cancellations: Please contact the Center's public programs staff at least a week in advance to cancel. The Center's docents are volunteers, who take time out of their schedules to guide groups through the exhibitions. Please be considerate of their time if you need to cancel. Providing advance notice of cancellations may also give another group the opportunity to visit. If you have a last minute cancellation or will be late for your tour please call our main number 512-471-8944. Note, this phone line is not answered on weekends.
  • The Ransom Center can accommodate tour groups up to 30 people. If your group is larger than 30, the Center's staff is prepared to offer logistical suggestions for your visit.
  • It is very important that there be one adult for every ten students.

On Arrival:

Please meet your docent in the south atrium of our lobby.

Your Ransom Center representative will confirm the number of visitors and review procedures with you. Groups of over 15 will likely be split into two groups.

The Ransom Center does not have a parking facility. There are public and private parking resources within a short distance of the Ransom Center. Groups with buses are advised to load and unload on the 21st Street side of the building; buses must then depart and return later to pick up the group.

Gallery Behavior for students (and adults)

  • Docents are experienced at what they do. They are also volunteers, and their time is valuable. Please respect your docent, stay close, and pay attention.
  • Your docent has been given the mandate to teach while your group is under his or her guidance. Unruly behavior will not be tolerated.
  • Self-guided groups must adhere to the same considerations. Please allow guided groups the right-of-way in the galleries.


  • No food, drink, or gum is allowed in the galleries.
  • Turn off all cellular phones while in the galleries.
  • No pens are allowed in the galleries. Please use pencils.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and works of art to avoid accidental contact and damage.
  • Backpacks, large bags, and umbrellas must be checked at the guard desk in the lobby.
  • Walk; don't run.


A map of the Ransom Center's location is available here.

Directions and Parking

Directions and parking information are available here.



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Please be aware that Ransom Center events may be photographed and/or filmed. Your attendance constitutes your authorization for the Center to use your photograph, voice, or other likeness for purposes related to the mission of the Ransom Center, including but not limited to marketing and promotion in both print and electronic forms.