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Costume Access Policy

The Ransom Center has a large collection of film and theatrical costumes, and we strongly encourage research and study based on these materials. However, because textiles are intrinsically fragile and sensitive to light, it is necessary for us to place certain limits on access granted to patrons.

Patrons may request to view costumes by appointment in the Reading and Viewing Rooms during regular hours. At least 3 business days notice is required. Staff will show up to 5 items per appointment, provided that the costumes are stored in the building. Due to the difficulty of handling particularly large and fragile costume items, up to 3 large/fragile costumes can be made available for an appointment. Please note that we are unable to accommodate groups in the Reading Room. All visitors must register at the reception desk and show a current photo ID.

Items will be displayed laid flat, on padded hangers, or in their boxes, as appropriate. We cannot mount costumes on mannequins for viewing in the Reading Room. All appointments to view costumes are supervised by a staff member. Visitors are not permitted to handle or touch costumes. If a visitor wishes to view a hidden detail of the costume, staff will handle the garment if additional manipulation will not harm the item. Some costumes are displayed “as is,” that is, the item is not removed from its box and additional manipulation is not permitted. In some cases a reproduction of the original costume may be substituted.

Robert De Niro costumes stored offsite are not available for viewing except for educational purposes (e.g., classes, student projects, etc.).

These provisions are in place to ensure the life and stability of the costumes so that future generations can continue to enjoy these cultural treasures.

Questions and appointment requests can be directed to performingarts@hrc.utexas.edu.

September 2021