Ransom Center provides free online access to over 22,000 images of literary collections

Oscar Wilde. Ransom Center collections.

The Ransom Center — UT’s world-recognized rare book and manuscript library — is removing the requirement for permission as well as use fees for a significant portion of its online collections that are in the public domain, the university announced today.

Dubbed Project REVEAL (Read and View English and American Literature),  the year-long initiative digitized 25 of the center’s manuscript collections of American and British literature of the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Authors represented in the project include Joseph Conrad, Hart Crane, Thomas Hardy, Vachel Lindsay, Jack London, Katherine Mansfield, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sara Teasdale and Oscar Wilde.

Now, more than 22,000 high-resolution images are available for use by anyone for any purpose without restriction or fees. The Ransom Center does, however, ask for attribution alongside the use of its images.

Project REVEAL is an effort to lower barriers in using the Ransom Center’s archival material and thus encourage their use. UT now joins with archives at Harvard University, Yale University and Cornell University in making much of its public domain holdings both digital and free.

“Removing barriers to the use of the Ransom Center’s collections is one way we can extend the useful life of our collections,” said Ransom Center director Steve Enniss. “We hold these collections in trust for students, researchers and the public everywhere.”

Future efforts will involve removing restrictions for other materials believed to be in the public domain and making them available through the Ransom Center’s digital collections portal.

Julia Margaret Cameron, "The Kiss of Peace." Harry Ransom Center.
Julia Margaret Cameron, “The Kiss of Peace.” Harry Ransom Center.

Among the center’s current online materials are photographs by Julia Margaret Cameron and Lewis Carroll, the Frank Reaugh art collection of over 200 works by the Texas master, collections of circus and magic show materials as well as the manuscript of David Foster Wallace’s posthumous novel, The Pale King.

Ransom Center’s Project REVEAL:  http://hrc.utexas.edu/reveal

Ransom Center’s Digital collections portal: http://hrc.contentdm.oclc.org/

Author: Jeanne Claire van Ryzin

Jeanne Claire van Ryzin is the arts critic for the Austin American-Statesman. She writes about visual art, theater, dance, music, performance, public art, architecture and just about any combination thereof.

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