News Release — June 14, 2004
UT's Ransom Center Receives National Endowment for the Humanities Grant
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded a Stabilization of Humanities Collections grant in the amount of $337,850 to the Harry Ransom Center at The University of Texas at Austin. The grant will allow the Center to improve and expand collection storage, greatly enhancing access to humanities materials for scholars and the general public, ensuring long-term preservation, and providing much needed housing for the future acquisition of books, manuscripts, and other important humanities-related materials.
In 2003, the Ransom Center completed a $14.5 million reconstruction of its first and second floors, following the relocation of the University's art collection, which occupied the majority of the basement, first and second floors. This reconstruction resulted in the consolidation of public spaces, moving the research wing of the institution to the second floor and establishing a vast public exhibition space on the ground floor. The goal of the current project is to reconstruct space in the basement to provide much-needed storage for the Center's vast and important collections.
The NEH grant makes it possible to undertake the first phase of a multi-year project for structural modification of basement spaces, including the installation of 15,000 linear feet of mechanized compact shelving for books and manuscripts and 7,000 square feet of movable racks for visual materials. The project will not only improve organization, but materials previously stored off-site due to a lack of proper storage space will now be readily available to researchers, and particularly sensitive materials can be better monitored by staff conservators.
The award of this highly competitive Preservation and Access grant by the NEH continues a long-standing relationship between the agency and the Ransom Center. Since 1981, the NEH has made awards to The University of Texas at Austin in excess $16 million, with over $850,000 presented to the Ransom Center. This grant is the single largest provided to the Ransom Center by the NEH.