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Harry Ransom Center eNews May 2010 eNews
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  NEWS

Photo of Thomas F. Staley by Eric BeggsRansom Center Director Staley announces retirement plans

Thomas F. Staley, director of the Harry Ransom Center for the last 22 years, will retire August 31, 2011. During his tenure, Staley has raised more than $100 million in donations and collection materials, expanded the Center's holdings substantially, increased awareness of the collections, and focused on making them more accessible to scholars and the public. LEARN MORE.

 

Ransom Center receives $1 million gift for conservation and preservation programs

The Ransom Center has received a $1 million gift from the Booth Heritage Foundation to support and enrich its conservation and preservation programs. The gift to Campaign for Texas, the University's capital campaign, will support a five-year initiative to enhance the Ransom Center's conservation and preservation programs for physical materials and to transform the Center's digital preservation program. LEARN MORE.

 

Author Jim Crace's archive open for research

The papers of British writer Jim Crace, author of such acclaimed works as Continent (1986), Arcadia (1992), Quarantine (1997), Being Dead (1999), and The Pesthouse (2007), are now open at the Ransom Center. A FINDING AID of the collection can be accessed online. The Center acquired Crace's archive in 2008. The collection is made up of more than 45 boxes of materials, including the research notes, early drafts, and edited page proofs of All That Follows (2010), Crace's novel that was released on April 20. LEARN MORE and view a video of Crace reading from All That Follows.

 

A small gem of negativity: the decline postcard

The "decline postcard" is a form letter used to decline all the various impositions on an author’s (or celebrity’s) time. Ransom Center Associate Director Richard Oram's recent blog post explores some humorous examples from this genre from the Evelyn Waugh and George Bernard Shaw collections at the Ransom Center. LEARN MORE.

 

Norman Mailer's "real" Harvard facebook

Everyone has heard of Facebook, but not everyone knows that the concept came from “freshman facebook,” a yearbook of sorts that many universities published and distributed to incoming freshman students. The Norman Mailer papers at the Ransom Center contain his copy of the 1939 Harvard facebook, which has handwritten comments next to Mailer's photo. LEARN MORE.

 

Ransom Center director to serve as emcee at "An Evening in Andalusia" fundraiser

Badgerdog Literary Publishing hosts its second annual fundraiser, "An Evening in Andalusia," on Wednesday, May 19, at 6:30 p.m. at the Mexican American Cultural Center. The Spanish-themed event will feature Sarah Bird reading from her novel Flamenco Academy, along with flamenco dancing and singing. Dr. Thomas F. Staley, director of the Ransom Center, will be the master of ceremonies. Tapas and sangria will be served. PURCHASE TICKETS.
 

  CURRENT EXHIBITIONS

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. VIEW VIDEO of Rosalba Ojeda, Consul General of México in Austin, discussing the value of seeing original materials that illuminate the 200th anniversary of Mexico's independence from Spain and the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution.

 

At the Blanton Museum through August 1

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

Organized by the Blanton Museum as part of The University of Texas at Austin’s celebration of the Mexican Bicentennial, the exhibition features 45 iconic images by “the father of Mexican photography” drawn from the Harry Ransom Center and the Blanton Museum—the University's two primary collections of cultural materials. The show also includes examples of important work by Álvarez Bravo’s contemporaries, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dorothea Lange, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Paul Strand, and Edward Weston. LEARN MORE.

 

  MAY PROGRAMS

Film still from "Cananea"

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, NOON
READING Poetry on the Plaza: Cinco de Mayo

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 5, 6 P.M.
LBJ AUDITORIUM
LECTURE John M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature, will speak about his time in Austin and the social and political background of his career as a writer in South Africa in the 1970s. Seating is limited, so please RSVP early to attend. On-site registration will also be available. Co-sponsored by the Graduate School and the Michener Center at The University of Texas at Austin.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 6, 7 P.M.
SCREENING Mexican Revolution Films of the 70s: El principio (The Beginning, 1972), directed by Gonzalo Martínez Ortega. Co-sponsored by Cine Las Americas.

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 12, 6 P.M.
RECEPTION Join us for a night of insider access to the Ransom Center at this welcome reception for members. Enjoy a sneak peak of our upcoming exhibition on American theatrical and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes; be among the first to see materials from the newly acquired David Foster Wallace archive during an after-hours viewing in the Reading Room; meet curators and volunteers and learn how you can get involved; and browse the latest offering of Ransom Center tote bags before they are available to the public. Open to members of the Ransom Center. RSVP requested to 512-232-3669 or rsvp@hrc.utexas.edu.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 13, 7 P.M.
SCREENING Mexican Revolution Films of the 70s: Cananea (1976), directed by Marcela Fernández Violante. Co-sponsored by Cine Las Americas.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 20, 7 P.M.
SCREENING Mexican Revolution Films of the 70s: La casta divina (The Divine Caste, 1976), directed by Julián Pastor. Co-sponsored by Cine Las Americas.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 27, 7 P.M.
SCREENING Mexican Revolution Films of the 70s: Cuartelazo (Mutiny, 1976), directed by Alberto Isaac. Co-sponsored by Cine Las Americas.


INSIDER'S PERSPECTIVE

Book of Hours

Books of Hours at the Ransom Center

Pestilence, famine, war, and death: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse were close companions to life in the fourteenth century. The Church was compromised by political corruption and worldliness, and the pope resided not in Rome but at Avignon, where he remained a virtual pawn to the king of France. During this calamitous phase of European history, a devotional text called the Book of Hours emerged as a medieval bestseller. Ten of these volumes reside in the Harry Ransom Center collections. LEARN MORE in the first of a three-part series on Books of Hours.

 

 
May 2010

IN THIS ISSUE


Learn more about the Conservation Department
Follow the Ransom Center on Twitter
Read Cultural Compass

IMAGE CREDITS
Masthead image:
(Detail) Miguel Covarrubias.
Illustration for an edition of Bernal Díaz del Castillo's The Discovery and Conquest of Mexico, 1517–1521 (Mexico: Printed by R. Loera y Chávez for the members of the Limited Editions Club, 1942).
Courtesy of the Miguel Covarrubias Estate. All rights reserved.
News image:
Photo of Ransom Center Director Thomas F. Staley by Eric Beggs.
Exhibitions image:
Exhibition identity image for Making Movies.
Public Programs image:
Film still from Cananea (1976).
Insider's Perspective image:
Hours of the Virgin. Matins. Annunciation.

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