Harry Ransom Center

The Harry Ransom Center is an internationally renowned humanities research library and museum. Its extensive holdings provide a unique record of the creative process of writers and artists, deepening our understanding of literature, photography, film, art, and the performing arts. Thousands of scholars, students, and cultural enthusiasts from around the world study materials from the collections each year. These collections also inspire original exhibitions and programs that offer visitors opportunity for enrichment, discovery, and delight. The Ransom Center advances the study of the arts and humanities and fosters an environment where culture thrives.

Noon Daily
6 p.m. Thursday
2 p.m. Saturday
2 p.m. Sunday

View upcoming tour schedule.

Book a group tour.


21st and Guadalupe streets (map)


10 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 10 a.m.–7 p.m. Thursday; Noon–5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday


Admission is free. Your donation supports the Ransom Center's exhibitions and public programs.


(512) 471-8944



upcoming events

September 29, 2016 | 7 PM

Naomi Shihab Nye Reading

Award-winning poet Naomi Shihab Nye reads from her work for the Ransom Center's 2016 Burnshaw Lecture. A former chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, she has written over 30 books of poetry and prose, including Transfer (2011), You and Yours (2005), and Fuel (1998). Co-presented by the Michener Center for Writers, where Nye is a visiting professor. A reception follows.

October 4, 2016 | 7 PM

The Grim Game Film Screening

Harry Houdini, the legendary stage illusionist, also made his mark in film. In the 1919 silent film The Grim Game, Houdini stars as a man who has been jailed for a murder he did not commit. He uses his talents to escape and find the real killers. Eric Colleary, Cline Curator of Theater and Performing Arts, introduces the film and the riches of the Center's Harry Houdini collection. Not rated, 71 minutes.

October 13, 2016 | 7 PM

Curator Lecture

Jessica S. McDonald, Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography, presents "Looking at Photographs: Visual Research in the Elliott Erwitt Photography Collection," a behind-the-scenes look at the visual detective work involved in researching photographs for the exhibition Elliott Erwitt: Home Around the World. She recounts how various tools—from contact sheets to Google Earth—helped shed new light on some of Erwitt's best-known works. Following the talk, McDonald will be available for questions in the galleries. A pre-lecture reception is open to current members at the Alliance level and above; RSVP required for reception; limited capacity.

October 18, 2016 | 7 PM

John Pipkin on The Blind Astronomer’s Daughter

Former Ransom Center research fellow John Pipkin, author of the critically-acclaimed Woodsburner, reads from his new novel The Blind Astronomer's Daughter and discusses how his research in the Center's Herschel family papers influenced the novel. Materials from the Herschel family papers will be on view during the reception and book signing that follow.

October 31, 2016 | 7 PM

The Hidden Room Performance

Austin-based theater company The Hidden Room conjures an evening of magic and mystery with Harry Houdini on the 90th anniversary of his death

November 29, 2016 | 7 PM

Films of Elliott Erwitt

Join Jessica S. McDonald, the Nancy Inman and Marlene Nathan Meyerson Curator of Photography, for an evening of Elliott Erwitt films: Beauty Knows No Pain (1971; 26 minutes), Red, White and Bluegrass (1963; 26 minutes), and The World Renowned Incomparable Marching 100 (1981; 23 minutes).