Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Frequently Asked Questions

Etched windows. Click to enlarge.

Etchings that depict holdings from the
Ransom Center's collections.
© Thomas McConnell Photography 2004

Where are you located, and what are your hours?

Location and hours for the Ransom Center Galleries and the Ransom Center can be found online.

Is there an admission fee?

The exhibitions are free and open to the public, but visitors are encouraged to make a donation at the visitor desk. Donations support the Ransom Center's exhibitions and public programs.

Where do we park?

There is paid parking in the Dobie Mall garage and in surrounding lots. Street parking is available in West Campus across from Guadalupe Street. There is also a paid garage located at 23rd and San Antonio Streets, behind the University Co-op. View a map and additional parking and transportation options.

What are the exhibitions, and where are they located?

Current exhibitions are on display in the Ransom Center Galleries on the first floor. The Gutenberg Bible and the First Photograph are on permanent display in the lobby.

How long does it take to see the exhibitions?

It is recommended that you allot about an hour to see the exhibitions.

Do you offer tours of exhibitions?

Free, docent-led public tours of exhibitions are offered Tuesdays at noon and Saturdays at 2 p.m. Information about scheduling large group or school tours is available on the website.

Can we take pictures in the exhibitions?

For reasons of copyright and preservation, photographing exhibition items is not permitted.

How can I learn about upcoming exhibitions?

Information about upcoming exhibitions is available on the website.

How can I find out about programs and events?

Calendars listing Ransom Center events are available on the website. Visitors can also sign up for eNews to receive the Center's monthly electronic newsletter and reminders about programs.

How often do exhibitions change?

Exhibitions change approximately every six months, typically opening in February and September. Web exhibitions are available year-round.

Do you have a gift shop?

Yes, the Ransom Center has an online shop.

How can I access materials at the Ransom Center, and where is the library?

All materials in the Ransom Center collections are non-circulating but can be accessed in the Reading and Viewing Rooms on the second floor. Read about the policies for working with the collections.

How can I search the Ransom Center's collections?

You can conduct an online search of the Ransom Center's collections on the website. However, there are many collections that are not accessible through the web. We suggest you contact a curator or librarian about your particular research needs.

How can I learn about conserving my own materials or conservation practices?

The Ransom Center's conservation department created a webpage of frequently asked conservation questions.

How do I offer collection material to the Ransom Center?

If you would like to offer collection material to the Ransom Center, please contact Megan Barnard, Associate Director for Acquisitions and Administration. Please provide a description or inventory of the material being offered. Given limited resources and the significant investment the Center makes to catalog, preserve, and make available collection materials, the Ransom Center cannot acquire all materials it is offered. The Center's Collection Development Policy offers helpful guidance about materials the Center considers for its collections.

What is located on each of the seven floors of the Ransom Center?

The first floor includes the Ransom Center Galleries, restrooms, lobby, and Prothro Theater. The second floor has the Reading and Viewing Rooms and library, along with classrooms and seminar rooms. The third floor houses administrative offices. Floors four through seven are accessible to staff only. The fourth floor houses cataloging, conservation, and exhibition services offices, while floors five through seven include storage for collections and the technology services department.

Where are the Gone with the Wind dresses, and can I look at them?

The actual dresses are too fragile to be handled, and replicas of the dresses are frequently on loan to other institutions. The dresses were featured in the Ransom Center's 2014 exhibition The Making of Gone With The Wind. The Gone with the Wind web exhibition includes photographs of the dresses.

There used to be classical sculpture (plaster casts) and modern art at the Ransom Center; where did they go? Are you the Blanton?

The Blanton Museum of Art displayed their permanent collection in the Ransom Center's building from 1972 through 2001. When the Ransom Center was renovated in 2001, the Blanton's collections were moved to their own building to make room for the Ransom Center Galleries.

Who is/was Harry Ransom?

Harry Huntt Ransom joined The University of Texas as an English Professor in 1934, became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in 1954, and, in 1957, was promoted to Vice President and Provost of the University. In 1957, Ransom founded the Ransom Center (then called the Humanities Research Center) and was deeply involved in its activities for the rest of his career. Ransom served as President of the University until 1961 when he became Chancellor of the University system. After his retirement from his position as Chancellor, Ransom assumed the title of Director of Special Collections at the Ransom Center.

How can I volunteer at the Ransom Center?

We ask that all prospective volunteers complete a volunteer application on the website.

How do I apply for a job at the Ransom Center?

All University of Texas at Austin job opportunities are posted online.


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