University of Texas Libraries - Harry Ransom Center

300 West 21st Street
Austin, TX 78712

United States


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The Harry Ransom Center is a special collections/rare books library at the University of Texas. Highlights of the collection include: the world's oldest photograph, a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, an extensive Jack Kerouac collection, six metric tons of papers belonging to Arthur Miller, a copy of "Pride and Prejudice" owned and signed by Jane Austen's sister, the Cardigan manuscript of the Canterbury Tales, the curtain-dress from "Gone with the Wind", a lock of Christina Gabriel Rossetti's hair, Edgar Allen Poe's writing desk, a 1373 manuscript of Dante's Inferno in Italian with Latin glosses, a huge collection of Alice in Wonderland editions, and lots more.

The library is open to the public. The first floor of the building is given over to exhibition space, and the library routinely sponsors special events (poetry readings, lectures by visiting or resident academics, and so on). Because of the rarity and value of the collection, the stacks are closed, and you will need to have a librarian pull any materials you wish to see. The Reading and Viewing Rooms are normally open Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m.-12 p.m, except during the University's inter-session periods. When you first visit, you will be asked to register with the receptionist (bring a photo ID) and watch a 15-minute video on the proper handling of the materials. The books cannot be checked out, but photocopies are usually available at reasonable rates (library staff will do the photocopying, and some fragile items may not be up to it).
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Crud, the map pointer came out wrong - the library is at the corner of Guadalupe and 21st st, immediately across 21st from the Dobie Mall. The map pointer shows it several blocks further east.
Março 2008 por Selanit