Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Exterior of Harry Ransom Center

Harry Ransom Center. Photo by Marsha Miller

Endowments provide institutional security for generations to come by creating a predictable source of income for key positions and programs of the Ransom Center, enabling the Center to recruit and retain the very best curators and staff in the field, and provide those curators with resources to sustain excellence within their collections. Endowment support provides resources for planning strategic growth initiatives and responding to unique opportunities.

All endowment funds are placed in long-term accounts managed by The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), where the principal remains intact. All funding from Ransom Center endowments is drawn from the earned interest. These annual distributions to the Center support the programs outlined by each endowment in perpetuity.

The established minimum amount to create a named endowment is $25,000, although it varies according to the aims set forth by the donor. You may take up to five years to fund an endowment, and once it is officially established, you or anyone else may continue to add to its principal at any time. Moreover, by selecting the title of your endowment, you can forever link your name, or that of a family member, friend, or organization, to scholarly excellence at the Ransom Center.

Donors may also contribute gifts of $10,000 or more to already existing endowments at the Center, ensuring those funds contribute sufficient resources on an annual basis to support key programs and projects of the Center.

Types of Ransom Center Endowments


Collection Development Endowments

Each year the Ransom Center adds key collections that represent the best of the arts and humanities. Through new acquisitions, the Center remains a vital source for education and research. The creation of endowed acquisition funds allows the Center to have resources quickly available with which to acquire key archives in each of our major collecting areas, including literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts. You can create a collection development endowment in a particular area of scholarly research or one for broader use by the Director. You may also contribute to one of several existing collection development endowments.


Curatorial Endowments

Curators are responsible for enhancing collections and for the preparation of exhibitions, publications, and programs that relate to the collections in their care. Curators promote research in the collections by engaging with the University's relevant graduate and undergraduate programs and through close contact with national and international scholars in the field. Endowments that support curatorial excellence ensure that an exceptional curatorial staff is available to interpret and present collection materials to the public in insightful ways. Endowment funds assist with the recruitment, retention, and professional development of a well-informed and highly professional curatorial staff and provide resources to bring visiting curators to the Center for collaborative exhibitions, programs, and other projects.


Exhibition and Program Endowments

The Ransom Center offers a vibrant program of exhibitions, lectures, performances, readings, and films to enrich visitors' knowledge of the humanities and highlight the Center's remarkable collections. The creation of endowed funds supporting exhibitions and programs ensures that the Ransom Center can continue to interpret collections and produce the highest quality of presentation over time. You may establish a named exhibition and program endowment or contribute to an existing endowment. Current exhibitions


Fellowship Endowments

The Center supports scholarly research among the collections through fellowship awards. Visiting scholars explore such diverse parts of the collections as thirteenth-century Italian verse, seventeenth-century English dramatic poetry, early developments in micro-photography, avant-garde theater design, modern French musical composition, the art of caricature, censorship in Hollywood, and the work of contemporary African novelists. The Center provides stipends to approximately 50 visiting fellows each year. They delve into the Center's vast holdings of rare books, manuscripts, photography, film, art, and the performing arts, and broaden our understanding of the humanities through resulting books, dissertations, and articles. Endowed fellowships provide stipends for travel and living expenses associated with visits of up to three months to the Ransom Center. Learn More


Conservation and Preservation Endowments

Conservation and preservation are essential to the Ransom Center's commitment to provide access to rare materials. The Ransom Center collections are maintained with excellent staff and care, ensuring both increased accessibility and public exposure of treasured works. Endowments in conservation and preservation ensure the skills acquired by our conservators through years of hands-on-training are passed to the next generation of conservators through a robust internship program. Conservation endowments provide funds for travel to conferences where conservators exchange ideas and discuss new techniques with their colleagues across the world. Conservation endowments also support equipment, materials, and supplies.


Technology Endowments

The digital revolution has influenced virtually every aspect of library and museum services, from the automation of internal recordkeeping systems to the digitization of physical collections, from the acquisition of new "born-digital" works to the use of technology to present traditional collections and engage audiences. Digital technology enables the full range of holdings—audio and video recordings, print materials, photographs, artworks, artifacts, and other resources—to be cataloged, organized, and combined in new ways, and made accessible to audiences in a variety of formats. Technology supports and enables nearly all Ransom Center initiatives. Technology endowments support the purchase of hardware and software, ongoing staff training and development, and endowed graduate internships in technology.


Director's Fund Endowments

In the tradition of the Center's founder, Harry Ransom, Director Stephen Enniss continues to build a renowned collection that offers a unique view into the creative processes and lives of writers and artists. In addition to acquisitions, the Director is deeply committed to preserving the collections and making them accessible to scholars, students and the public. The Director relies on the support of donors to accomplish these goals. Support of the Director's Fund with a named endowment provides the necessary resources, now and in the future, to respond quickly when a collection becomes available. The Director's Fund also provides resources for implementing strategic new initiatives across the Center.


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For more information please contact Maggie Gilburg at 512-471-9643 or mgilburg@utexas.edu