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Harry Ransom Center eNews April 2010 eNews
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David Foster Wallace

Ransom Center acquires David Foster Wallace archive

The Ransom Center has acquired the archive of writer David Foster Wallace (1962-2008), author of Infinite Jest (1996), The Broom of the System (1987), Girl with Curious Hair (1988), and numerous collections of stories and essays. The archive contains manuscript materials for Wallace's books, stories, and essays; research materials; Wallace's college and graduate school writings; juvenilia, including poems, stories, and letters; teaching materials; and annotated books. LEARN MORE.


Screenwriter and director Paul Schrader donates archive to Ransom Center

Screenwriter and director Paul Schrader has donated his archive to the Ransom Center. Schrader wrote screenplays for such iconic films as Taxi Driver (1976), Blue Collar (1978), Raging Bull (1980), American Gigolo (1980), The Mosquito Coast (1986), and Affliction (1997). The collection consists of more than 300 boxes and includes outlines and drafts of scripts and screenplays, correspondence, production materials, videos, audio tapes, press clippings, photographs, and juvenilia. LEARN MORE and VIEW SLIDESHOW.


Before and After: Conservation department repairs a poster from the Houdini collection

A poster in the Ransom Center’s Harry Houdini collection arrived just like Houdini would’ve wanted: folded up to an eighth of its size. Stephanie Watkins, Head of Paper Conservation, and her team faced a daunting project: the brittle paper couldn’t easily be unfolded without causing damage to the item. Once they successfully opened the poster, they had to remove dirt, acid, and discoloration, and restore missing pieces. LEARN MORE and VIEW SLIDESHOW about how the conservation team performed some magic of their own to treat this damaged item.


Wall Street Journal profiles Ransom Center

Reporter Anne Lewis explores the Center and Magnum photo archive collection in this recent article.


David Mamet papers now open for research

The papers of David Mamet, author of more than 50 plays and 25 screenplays that have earned him a Pulitzer Prize, Oscar nominations, and a Tony Award, are now open for research at the Ransom Center. A FINDING AID for the collection is now accessible online. LEARN MORE and watch a short video of Mamet discussing his collection.



Making Movies
Through August 1

Making Movies

Featuring items from the Ransom Center’s extensive film collections, Making Movies reveals the collaborative nature of the filmmaking process and focuses on how the artists involved—from writers to directors, actors to cinematographers—transform the written word into moving image.


Highlights include original scripts, storyboards, production photos, and call sheets, in addition to screenplays from The Third Man, North by Northwest, and Shakespeare in Love, and costumes from Gone With The Wind, An Affair to Remember, and Taxi Driver. LEARN MORE or VIEW VIDEO PREVIEW.


¡Viva! Mexico’s Independence

The year 2010 marks the 200th anniversary of Mexico’s independence from Spain and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, pivotal events in Mexico’s struggle for self-governance. ¡Viva! Mexico’s Independence showcases materials from the Ransom Center’s collections, including the 1529 document appointing Hernán Cortés Captain General of New Spain; unpublished letters exchanged between Ferdinand Maximilian, Emperor of Mexico, and his wife Carlotta; documentary photographs of the Mexican Revolution; and period broadsides illustrated by José Guadalupe Posada. Sponsored in part by ViaNovo. LEARN MORE.


On display at the Blanton Museum of Art through August 1

Manuel Álvarez Bravo and His Contemporaries: Photographs from the Collections of the Harry Ransom Center and The Blanton Museum of Art

Manuel Álvarez and His Contemporaries features over 45 iconic images of Mexico from the “father of Mexican photography” as well as photographs by Edward Weston, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paul Strand and others, all drawn from the collections of The Blanton and the Harry Ransom Center.  To provide further context for the images, archival documentation from the Nettie Benson Library will be presented. A series of rare Mexican films, for which Álvarez Bravo served as cameramen, will illustrate the artist’s involvement with the international avant-garde. The film series includes: Que Viva Mexico! (1931) on Sunday, April 4, at 3 p.m.; Los Olvidados (1950) on Sunday, April 11, at 3 p.m.; and La Diosa Arrodillada (1947) on Sunday, April 25, at 3 p.m. Organized as part of the University of Texas’ celebration of the Mexican Bicentennial.


Manuel Álvarez Bravo and his Contemporaries: Photographs from the Collections of the Harry Ransom Center and The Blanton Museum of Art is organized by The Blanton in collaboration with the Harry Ransom Center. Funding for the exhibition is provided in part by the Susan Vaughan Foundation. LEARN MORE.



Poetry on the Plaza

READING Poetry on the Plaza: Spring into Love


READING British writer Iain Sinclair, whose archive resides at the Ransom Center, reads from London Orbital, his “compulsively detouring account of walking and writing across one small patch of ground over forty years.” A discussion, audience questions, and a book signing follow. This program will be WEBCAST LIVE.


FILM Peter Matthiessen: No Boundaries, a documentary film about the National Book Award–winning writer and environmental activist, written and directed by Jeffrey Sewald. Matthiessen’s archive resides at the Ransom Center.


READING Writer Angella Nazarian reads from Life as a Visitor, her account of fleeing Iran with her family and life as an immigrant caught between two cultures. A book signing follows. Co-sponsored by the Schusterman Center for Jewish Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. This program will be WEBCAST LIVE.


READING Poetry on the Plaza: Water, Air, Earth, and Fire


READING Booker Prize-winning author of Oscar and Lucinda and True History of the Kelly Gang, Peter Carey reads from his new novel, Parrot and Olivier in America. A book signing follows.  This program will be WEBCAST LIVE.


SCREENING Playwright Kenneth Brown, whose archive resides at the Ransom Center, introduces Another Glorious Day (2009), a documentary film exploring the history, context, and performances of the Living Theatre’s European tour of his play, The Brig (1963). A question and answer session follows.


Disks from TErrence McNally collection

Disks, Drives, and Data: Preserving Born-Digital Collections

Instead of setting pen to paper, many of today’s writers are increasingly turning to the computer. Almost 40 of the Ransom Center’s collections—including the papers of Norman Mailer, Terrence McNally, and Leon Uris—contain born-digital materials such as emails, manuscripts, and research notes. READ Ransom Center archivist Gabriela Redwine's recent article about this emerging preservation project.


April 2010


Learn more about the Conservation Department
Read Cultural Compass

Masthead image:
(Detail) Paul Schrader's outline for The Mosquito Coast.
News image:
Page from "Corrections of Typos/Errors for Paperback Printing of Infinite Jest" from David Foster Wallace to Nona Krug and Michael Pietsch.
Exhibitions image:
Identity image from Making Movies exhibition.
Public Programs image:
Cover of notebook in Iain Sinclair collection, ca. 1971.
Insider's Perspective image:
Photo of materials from Terrence McNally collection by Pete Smith.

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