The Harry Ransom Center at a Glance

atkins-bookshelf-booksThe Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin (UTA) is one of the world’s greatest research libraries. Founded in 1957 by Harry Huntt Ransom (an English professor who was later dean , provost, president, and chancellor of UTA), the Ransom Center’s mission is to advance the study of the arts and humanities through its literary and art collections. Through judicious acquisitions over six decades, the Center has amassed one of the finest collections of 20th- and 21st-century American and British literature. The Center’s collection is truly impressive, including an astounding 42 million literary manuscripts, one million rare books, 5 million photographs, and 100,000 works of art. Here are some of the Ransom Center’s most notable holdings:

The First Folio of William Shakespeare’s plays (3 copies)
The Gutenberg Bible (complete copy, 1 of 21 that exist)
Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales (Cardigan manuscript)
View from the Window at Le Gras (the world’s first permanent photograph)
Edgar Allan Poe’s writing desk
Jack Kerouac’s writing journal (the basis for On the Road)
The manuscript collections of famous authors including: J. M. Coetzee, Don DeLillo, Penelope Fitzgerald, John Fowles, Denis Johnson, Doris Lessing, David Mamet, Norman Mailer, Gabriel García Márquez, Jayne Anne Phillips, James Salter, Isaac Bashevis Singer, Tom Stoppard, and David Foster Wallace
The Watergate papers of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein

Read related posts: I Am What Libraries Have Made Me
If You Love a Book, Set it Free
The Library without Books
The Power of Literature

For further reading: