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  • Photograph of Robert De Niro
    Unidentified photographer. [Robert De Niro’s headshot]. Ca. 1963. Robert De Niro Papers. Harry Ransom Center.
  • Hat
    Hat worn by Robert De Niro as Johnny Boy in Mean Streets, 1973. Robert De Niro Costumes and Personal Effects Collection. Harry Ransom Center.
  • Photograph of two people in a doorway
    Barbara Crane (American, 1928–2019), Untitled, from the series People of the North Portal, 1970–1971. Gelatin silver print, 50.5 x 40.3 cm. Photography Collection, purchased with funds provided by the David Douglas Duncan Endowment for Photojournalism, and by the Charles and Elizabeth Prothro Endowment in Photography, 2020:0004:0007. © The Barbara B. Crane Trust.
  • Notebook page
    A page from Janet Sternburg's list of possible contributors to The Writer on Her Work, 1978. Janet Sternburg Papers for The Writer on Her Work, 1.2. Harry Ransom Center.
  • Typed draft
    First page of an edited draft of Lisa Alther's Kinflicks, ca. 1975. Lisa Alther Papers. Harry Ransom Center.
  • Book page
    Isaac Newton, Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (London: Joseph Streater, 1687). James M. Vaughn, Jr., Vaughn Foundation Fund Collection, Vaughn 1. Gift by The James M. Vaughn, Jr., Vaughn Foundation Fund; James M. Vaughn, Jr., Salle W. Vaughn, and Jan Werner, Trustees. Harry Ransom Center.
  • Book page
    Anne Harington's copy of Ambrose of Milan's Omnia quotquot extant…opera (Basel: Eusebius Episcopius and the heirs of Nicolaus Episcopius, 1567). Harry Ransom Center Book Collection.

Stories to Tell

Selections from the Harry Ransom Center

September 10, 2022 – January 29, 2023

The Harry Ransom Center houses some of the world's most significant collections relating to literature, art, photography, film, and the performing arts. More than 42 million manuscripts, 5 million photographs, 1 million rare books, and 100,000 artworks document our cultural history and the creative process.

Many stories can be told through the Center's collections. This rotating exhibition conveys stories of inspiration, innovation, collaboration, and frustration often associated with the creative work of leading writers and artists.


  • The Early Career of Robert De Niro
    This display draws on the extensive archive of Robert De Niro to examine the actor's early career, from his time at the Dramatic Workshop and Stella Adler's acting classes, to the plays and films that marked his initial successes and learning experiences, to collaborations and friendships that last to this day. The display highlights De Niro's work in films including Bang the Drum Slowly (1973), Mean Streets (1973), The Godfather, Part II (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), and Raging Bull (1980), among many others. What stands out is not only De Niro's talent but also his work ethic, his resourcefulness, and his devotion and dedication to his craft.
  • Recent Acquisitions
    The Ransom Center's collections are dynamic. They continuously grow through new acquisitions that advance our understanding of the humanities, the arts, and our culture. This display features more than 50 recently acquired items, including books once owned by Renaissance women, photographs by artist Barbara Crane, artworks by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, and materials from the archives of authors Lisa Alther and Oscar Cásares, theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg, actor and film producer Bonita Granville Wrather, and playwright William S. Yellow Robe, Jr., among others. These new acquisitions—many of which have never before been shared with the public—document the creative process, diversify our holdings, build on strengths, and create new opportunities for research and learning.

Admission is free.

Stories to Tell Map of exhibition

National Endowment for the Humanities
Any views, findings, recommendations or conclusions expressed in this exhibition do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.