Tom Staley, who will retire next year after more than two decades as director of the University of Texas at Austin’s Harry Ransom Center, one of the country’s premier archival collections, said the role that such libraries played in the humanities was the equivalent of state-of-the-art science laboratories.
“You think of people in the sciences and the wonderful spaces they have the opportunity to do their research in,” he said, noting that it can attract top faculty members and students. “Here you are. You don’t have to travel all the way across the world to write a strong book or teach a seminar.” (The Texas State University System and the University of Texas at Austin are corporate sponsors of The Texas Tribune).
The Ransom Center’s holdings include a complete Gutenberg Bible; Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s “View From the Window at Le Gras,” the first permanent photograph; Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s Watergate papers; and manuscripts by writers including James Joyce, Anne Sexton and David Foster Wallace. Writers’ having their work in the Ransom Center, Mr. Staley said, “qualifies their place in the canon.”
Source: The New York Times