Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Ransom Center is a unique and enriching location for events. When considering space use requests, the Ransom Center's top priority is to preserve and provide public access to the materials in its collections. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Who may reserve event spaces at the Ransom Center?

University of Texas departments and offices interested in hosting a reception, lecture, screening, or meeting at the Ransom Center may submit a request form. Every space reservation will require a University account number for payment. Non-University organizations may apply for space use only if they have a University sponsor.

What types of spaces are available?

For photos and capacities of meeting rooms and reception spaces available for University use, please see rental spaces and fees.

Does submitting the request guarantee my reservation?

No, the request must be approved by Ransom Center staff. You will receive an email approving or denying your request within two weeks of submission. You must respond to this email to confirm your reservation.

Will the Ransom Center close to accommodate my event?

The first and second floors are open to the public during regular business hours. The galleries will remain open during operating hours: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended Thursday hours until 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m. The galleries remain open during after-hours rental events pending prior approval.

Does the Ransom Center provide tables, chairs, and linens for receptions or dinners?

No, the Center does not provide tables, chairs, or linens for public use. If required, please request these items from your caterer or through the University. You or your caterer will be required to set up and take down any furniture you request for the event. The University of Texas Facilities Division provides event support for faculty and staff. The Center can provide a limited number of chairs and tables strictly as stage furniture in the Prothro Theater. You are encouraged to visit in advance of your event to confirm that the furniture provided will meet your needs.

Are food and beverages permitted?

Food and beverages are permitted in certain spaces available for University use with the exception of gallery spaces, second-floor seminar rooms and the Prothro Theater. Alcohol may be served if the sponsoring department obtains the necessary permission from the Provost's Office. If alcohol will be served, your caterer must provide a TABC-certified bartender to staff the event. Please see the University of Texas alcohol policies for more information.


If food is being served, a licensed, professional catering company must be hired. These caterers have previously worked events at the Ransom Center:

Bespoke Food LLC
Contigo Catering
Gourmet Gals
Lucky Lab
O's Campus Café
Pink Avocado
Spoon & Co
Word of Mouth


Mountain Laurel Floral
Rosehip Flora

Are there any restrictions on activities, decorations, or personal that may be brought in?

Balloons, candles, and/or confetti are not permitted inside the Ransom Center. No signage or paper may be taped on any wall. Floral arrangements are acceptable. Live music is acceptable in certain areas. Please contact Events for more information. The Ransom Center restricts the type of personal belongings that may be brought into galleries, teaching spaces and the Reading and Viewing Room. For details, see HRC policies Reading and Viewing Room Regulations, and Materials Use Policy.

Storage of handguns is not allowed in Ransom Center lockers or other areas. For questions concerning concealed carry on campus, please refer to the University Handbook of Operating Procedures, and the Campus Carry website.

Can I change my request after it has been approved?

Any desired changes in start/end time, required equipment, or location within the Ransom Center must be submitted for review no later than three (3) weeks before the scheduled event. The Ransom Center does not guarantee the accommodation of any additional request (even when made three weeks prior) aside from those listed and approved on the original request.

What is your cancellation policy?

Organizations canceling an event with less than one-week notice will be charged any applicable fees (including guard and custodian fees) that the Ransom Center incurs on their behalf.

What if the University closes?

If the University officially closes due to inclement weather or emergency, any events scheduled will be cancelled. The Ransom Center will work with organizations to reschedule events (if feasible) in a timely manner.

Can my reservation be cancelled by the Ransom Center?

The Ransom Center reserves the right to cancel a reservation if the President of the University or the Director of the Ransom Center schedules a conflicting event.


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