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Harry Ransom Center

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The Harry Ransom Center
Photograph: Courtesy The Harry Ransom Center

Time Out says

The mission statement of this humanities research library and museum located at the heart of UT Campus reads: “encourages discovery, inspires creativity, and advances understanding of the humanities for a broad and diverse audience through the preservation and sharing of its extraordinary collections.” It's a mission that has been handily achieved since opening in 1957 via 36 million literary manuscripts, 1 million rare books, 5 million photographs and more than 100,000 artistic works. A simpler way of putting that mission: the free (that’s right, free) institution is dedicated to keeping Austin weird by promoting arts of all sorts. Permanent exhibitions include the Gutenberg Bible (one of five complete copies in the U.S!) and the First Photograph (developed on a pewter plate for a full eight hours by Joseph Nicephore Niepce in mid-19th-century France!!), and past showings comprised pieces ranging from the whimsical artwork of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to photographer Eli Reed’s intense The Lost Boys of Sudan. Fair warning: the galleries will be temporarily closed through August 14, 2016 to upgrade the lighting system. In other words, don’t miss these works looking more brilliant than ever before under state-of-the-art illumination in the near future.

Written by
David Brendan Hall


The University of Texas Austin
300 W 21st St
Cross street:
at Guadalupe St
Opening hours:
Mon-Wed, Fri 10am-5pm; Thu 10am-7pm; Sat, Sun noon-5pm
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