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  • Reading Room
    PUBLIC ACCESS: Visitors watch a short orientation video and open a Research Account.
  • Reading Room
    RESEARCH SUPPORT: Fellowships are available to support residencies at the Ransom Center .
  • Reading Room
    CLASSROOM VISITS: Educators work with the Center to plan courses, seminars, and class visits.

Research and Access

How to research at the Ransom Center.

The Reading Room is open Monday through Saturday, 9am–5pm. Paging of materials is limited, and available from 9am to 4pm. Seating is socially-distanced and limited. We recommend that you complete our Reading Room Visitor Form to secure a reservation, help our staff prepare for your visit, and have some of your materials paged before you arrive. For questions about your requests or account, please email us at We also recommend that first-time patrons watch our Orientation Video listed below.

Reading Room Visitor Form Search the Collections Fellowships Your Research Account

Important Information about Access to Collections
Materials in the Harry Ransom Center are housed in closed stacks and when requested will be delivered to you in the Reading Room. Access to some materials requires advance notice or an appointment scheduled at least three days in advance of visiting (including costumes, personal effects, fine art, photography, and collections stored offsite). Contact Reference and Research Services for more information.

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  • Getting Started
    • Begin by telling us about the goals and timing of your visit. Our capacity, hours, and staffing are limited at this time so we are offering pre-paging if possible. Please complete the Reading Room Visitor Form whether you are a new patron or have visited in the past.

    • As part of the registration process, please create a research account if you have not already done so.

    • Please review the list of guidelines for what is and is not permitted in the Reading Room.

    • At your first visit you will be asked to view a brief informational video on using the facility and handling collection materials properly. You may watch the video before your visit below.

    • You will register at the Reception Desk outside the Reading Room daily before entering. Please be prepared to show a current photo ID (college/university, driver's license, passport, etc.) upon arrival.

    • We can provide lockers to stow your personal belongings.

    • After checking in at the Reception Desk, the Circulation and Reference Desk staff will be available to answer questions and orient you to Reading Room resources as needed.
  • Reading Room Guidelines

    View full Reading Room Guidelines (April 1, 2024)

    • Collection material is kept safest when handled with clean and dry hands. Nearby restrooms are conveniently located for hand-washing before entering the Reading Room.
    • Please finish all beverages (including water), food, gum, and cough drops before entering the Reading Room.
    • Please store the following items in your locker: sunglasses, bags, electronics cases, pens, index cards, sticky notes, and folders. Large coats and jackets may be stored in the coat closet.
    • Use only pencils in the Reading Room. Extra pencils, pencil sharpeners, and yellow paper are available.
    • Make any handwritten notes on yellow paper. Laptop computers removed from their cases are permitted. Patrons may complete identification slips for up to five personal books to be taken into the reading room. Reading Room staff reserves the right to further limit personal belongings on a case-by-case basis.
    • Please turn off the sound on all electronics and digital cameras and only take phone calls outside the Reading Room.
    • When leaving the Reading Room and planning to return the same day, you may leave personal items at your workspace. Please close books left at your workspace and return collection materials to their folder and box.
    • We are unable to page new materials after 4pm. By 4:45, please return to your shelf materials you plan to consult another day, and please return to the circulation desk any materials you have finished using.
    • We are pleased to keep items on hold for you for up to one week. Please speak with a staff member for more information.
    • All items taken out of the Reading Room are subject to examination.
  • Handling Collection Materials
    • All materials at the Harry Ransom Center are non-circulating. Rare books and manuscripts, born-digital collections, and audiovisual materials may be consulted only in the Reading Room.

    • Certain large format or visual materials (i.e. art, photography) may not be available for consultation on Saturdays unless prior arrangements have been made. Contact a staff member for more information.

    • Collection material is kept safest when handled with clean and dry hands. Oil from our skin, lotions, or other skincare products may damage material. Nearby restrooms are conveniently located for hand-washing before entering the Reading Room.

    • Particularly rare, fragile, or large collection material may not be available for consultation in the Reading Room. Please inquire at the Reference Desk about restricted materials.

  • Access & Policies

    All materials in the Harry Ransom Center collections are non-circulating. They are housed in closed stacks and will be delivered to your desk in the Reading Room.

    Access to some materials requires advance notice or an appointment scheduled at least three days in advance of visiting (including some oversized material, costumes, personal effects, fine art, photography, and collections stored offsite); these materials may not be available for paging on Saturdays, unless previous arrangements are made for materials to be placed on reserve.

    Curatorial staff are able to advise you regarding access to and availability of particular collections. We strongly encourage out-of-town patrons to contact us before arrival. It is important to note that the summer months are an extremely busy period and, if your schedule is flexible, we recommend visiting at another time of the year.

    Materials Use:   ENGESP
    Camera Use:   ENGESP
    Audiovisual:   ENGESP
    Costumes:   Access Policy

    Information Regarding Proxy Researchers: A patron may hire a researcher to work with Ransom Center materials on his/her behalf if a visit to the Center is not possible. The Center maintains a list (available on request) of such researchers.

    Statement on Language in Ransom Center Descriptive Records: The Harry Ransom Center aims to describe collection materials in a manner that is respectful to the individuals and communities who create, use, and are represented in its holdings.

  • Rights & Reproductions

    United States copyright law protects unpublished materials as well as published materials. If you wish to make more than fair use of an unpublished manuscript in a publication, you must determine whether the work has passed into the public domain and is no longer under copyright protection or find the copyright holder and get permission to use the manuscript. The links below can help you track down copyright holders of both manuscript and nonmanuscript materials, such as audio tapes, photographs, works of art, and motion pictures.

    Copyright Ownership & Fees for Certain Ransom Center Collections
    Locating UK Copyright Holders
    Locating US Copyright Holders
    Copyright Crash Course ➚
    Writers, Artists, and Their Copyright Holders (WATCH)

    Users may either request reproductions made for research of Ransom Center materials or make them themselves using a digital camera; the Center's Materials Use Policy recommends that any reproductions made for publication be produced by the Center's staff. The Center reserves the right to deny requests for copies based on condition or copyright status and to limit the size of orders or the number of copies made by those using cameras. Users who wish to order reproductions for research or publication should first consult the fee schedule and must complete a Photoduplication Order Form.

    Reproduction Formats
    A variety of reproduction formats are available, depending on the type of material. Those who wish to make their own research copies should familiarize themselves with the terms of the Camera Use Policy.

    Publication Fees
    Fees may be assessed for the use of Ransom Center materials in publications, performances, audio-visual productions, and exhibitions. Other fees may apply when the Center is also the copyright holder; details about payment methods are available.

    Intent to Publish
    With the exception of source material that is in the public domain, we require a completed Notification of Intent form for use in publication. Using public domain material? Although we waive forms and fees in that case, we'd love to learn about your project. Please consider filling out a Notification of Intent form.

  • Parking

    Metered parking is available on Guadalupe Street (free on Sundays).

    Visitors with Disabilities
    Parking for persons with disabilities is available in all garages (map) for a fee.

  • Accessibility


    A wheelchair available for public use. For American Sign Language or to request specific ADA accommodation, please contact us at least five business days in advance.


    Public spaces are ADA compliant, including restrooms on public floors. A campus guide to Gender Inclusive restrooms is available.

Contact a Curator or Research Associate

Hours - Reading Room

Monday–Saturday 9am–5pm
Sunday Closed

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