Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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Use of the Ransom Center Seminar Rooms

1. Who may use the seminar rooms?

Use of these rooms is limited to college and university classes requiring use of the Center's collections for instructional purposes. Priority is given to semester-long classes, which must use special collections materials on a regular basis. We are unable to accommodate elementary or high school classes except for a small number of Advanced Placement classes, subject to availability and administrative approval.

Seminar rooms are intended for classes and not for advertised events or conferences. The Center's staff reserve the right to limit the number of participants. The submission of a room reservation form is an acknowledgment that all participants will abide by all Ransom Center use policies. Please contact the Reading Room receptionist (512-471-9119) if you have any questions.

2. Which rooms are available for class use?

The Center has three rooms on the second floor available for class use: the Denius Seminar Room (seats 35) the Feldman Seminar Room (seats 20), and the Zarrow Family Seminar Room (primarily for visual materials; seats 20).

3. When are the seminar rooms available?

Seminar rooms are available, by reservation, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Classes using books and manuscripts must adjourn by 4:45 p.m.; classes using visual collections must adjourn by 4:30 p.m.

4. How do I reserve a room for my class?

Instructors should reserve rooms as far in advance as possible, and no less than four weeks in advance of the class date by contacting the Reading and Viewing Room Receptionist on the second floor (471-9119; fax 471-2899). Booking is on a first-come, first-served basis, and some days (Tuesday and Thursdays) are heavily booked. Please complete the form, "Application for Use of Ransom Center Seminar Rooms" and return it to the Receptionist. No reservations are final until we have received the completed form. An event will be created in your research account for your class materials requests. For technology support, please inform the Receptionist at least a week before your class meets.

5. How do I request specific materials for class use?

After your class event is set up in your research account you may begin submitting your requests. All materials requests for the class should be requested for the event. Instructions for event requests are available on the Policies, Fees, and Forms page. The request limit is 15 items. Your requests must be submitted at least one week prior to the class meeting. Late requests cannot be filled.

6. What should instructors and students do on the date of a class visit?

Your students should assemble in the second-floor lobby area outside of Reception before the class meeting. Once all students have arrived and checked their personal belongings, the instructor should accompany the students to the classroom. Please arrange for the class to arrive and leave on time in order to avoid conflicts with other classes. Instructors must be in the classroom when students are present.

7. What items may be taken into the Ransom Center seminar rooms?

You and your students are asked to bring only those items needed for instructional use. Only yellow paper and pencils (provided) may be used in rooms where classes meet. No food or drink is permitted. Students may use laptops, and upon request by the instructor and with staff approval, students may bring in one course textbook. Outerwear, hats, backpacks, bags, purses, laptop sleeves, and similar items must be left in the reception area in cubbyholes; one locker for valuables may be assigned to a class (the instructor will be given the key). All materials brought out from seminar rooms are subject to inspection. If you or your students have any special needs or considerations that Ransom Center staff should be aware of please inform us when making your reservation.

The Ransom Center restricts the type of personal belongings that may be brought into teaching spaces, and into the Reading and Viewing Room. Personal belongings must be stored outside these areas. For further details, see HRC policies Reading and Viewing Room Regulations, and Materials Use Policy.

Storage of handguns is not allowed in Ransom Center lockers or other areas. For questions concerning concealed carry on campus, please refer to the University Handbook of Operating Procedures, and the Campus Carry website.

8. What are the policies regarding the use of materials in class?

Only the instructor may handle collection materials in the classroom. This policy applies to all collection materials and includes moving items from the cart to cradles and turning pages. Photographs, works of art, and other objects may require specialized supports. Items must not be held up for display or passed from person to person. Instructors are encouraged to inform students that they may register for a research account online through the Center's website. This will allow them to return on their own to view materials in the Reading Room setting. If special handling is required for any materials, a Ransom Center staff member will inform you. If you are unsure how to handle an item in the classroom or need assistance, do not hesitate to contact the Reading Room staff. Photography of any sort is not allowed in the classrooms.

9. Will all materials I have selected be available for me to handle during the class?

A curator will review your selected materials before they are placed in the seminar rooms. In some cases fragile or especially valuable materials will be placed in exhibit cases. If you have a particular opening you wish to show, flag it, or note it on your request so we can prepare the item for the case if necessary. Please check with the Head of the Reading Room if you have questions.

10. Are staff members available to give talks about collection materials?

For semester-long reservations, we ask that you set aside time during the first class period for a staff member to introduce the class to the collections and to the proper handling of rare materials. Center staff members are available to give course-related presentations, depending on the subject of the class and scheduling. Please note this request on the seminar room reservation form. You must contact the appropriate staff at least three weeks ahead of time. The staff member will require a course syllabus and will work closely with you to plan class sessions.

11. Do I need to be present when a staff member is speaking to my class?

We ask that you plan to attend the sessions along with your students so that you will be able to elaborate on the relevance of the material.

July 26, 2016


The Reading Room Will Be Closed:

Monday, May 27
Thursday, July 4

Always closed on Sundays