Welcome to the Harry Ransom Center. In order to provide an environment conducive to research, to preserve the collections, and to ensure ongoing access to them, patrons are expected to respect the rules and regulations concerning use of library materials and property. Please read the documents below and signify your acceptance of the Center's policies and regulations by clicking the button at the bottom of this page.
Materials Use Policy
The Ransom Center carefully regulates the use of materials in its collections. Policies governing access, photoduplication, and publication of these materials are established by the Director with the advice of the Center's Public Use Committee and the Office of General Counsel of The University of Texas System. This policy attempts to balance the needs of patrons, the exclusive rights of the copyright holder, and the Center's own rights and responsibilities toward its collections.
Any patron wishing to use the Center's materials is required to complete an online Research Account, give information about the research topic, and agree to Reading and Viewing Room (RVR) Regulations and this Materials Use Policy. Patrons requesting electronic files must agree to the Materials Use Policy for Electronic Files before accessing them. Patrons working onsite must show current photo identification; letters of reference are not required. We may require patrons of high school age or younger to be accompanied by an adult. The Ransom Center grants all patrons equal access to its collections, subject to uniformly enforced restrictions placed on materials by deed of gift or purchase stipulation, statutory authority, or by the Ransom Center itself for preservation, processing, or other administrative purposes.
All requests for unprocessed electronic files must be made in advance. Once a request is made, staff will supply the researcher with an estimate for material availability in the Reading Room. The turnaround time varies widely based on original file and media formats. Restrictions on a given collection, copyright limitations, or technology complications may hinder the Center's ability to provide access to unprocessed electronic files. To request access, please email email@example.com.
The Ransom Center restricts the type of personal belongings that may be brought into teaching spaces, and into the Reading and Viewing Room. Personal belongings must be stored outside these areas. For further details, see the HRC Reading and Viewing Room Regulations.
Storage of handguns is not allowed in Ransom Center lockers or other areas. For questions concerning concealed carry on campus, please refer to the University Handbook of Operating Procedures, and the Campus Carry website.
Patrons are allowed to take digital photographs of materials for reference purposes only, subject to the stipulations of the Digital Camera Use Policy. Digital copies may also be ordered, with fees assessed on a cost-recovery basis. The Center will consider requests for duplication of materials on a case-by-case basis. Rush orders are accepted at the Center's discretion and are subject to additional charges. The Center will not duplicate any materials that might be damaged by the duplication process, nor will it duplicate an entire archive. Patrons needing to use large quantities of materials should plan to conduct research onsite since the Center limits the total number of copies it will provide to any one patron for a single project. No materials may be duplicated that have had copying restrictions placed on them by purchase agreement, donors, depositors or by the Ransom Center for preservation, processing, or other essential purposes.
Copying electronic files, including screenshots and printouts, is not permitted but patrons are allowed to take digital photographs of the computer screen upon completing and agreeing to the Digital Camera Use Policy.
Generally, the Center provides research copies within the Fair Use and other provisions of U.S. Copyright Law, except for audio and moving-image materials. Copies in any format may not be further reproduced, sold, shared, or given to another person, company, or institution for any purpose without the written permission of the Ransom Center.
Patrons who wish to use Ransom Center original materials or images from printed material in a publication, performance, or broadcast must secure high-resolution copies from the Center for that purpose and complete and submit the appropriate notification form. In addition to notifying the Ransom Center and (if applicable) paying a use fee, patrons also must obtain any necessary permissions from a copyright holder, which in some instances may be the Ransom Center and The University of Texas at Austin. The Center maintains the online WATCH database identifying some copyright holders, as well as a guide to locating those not listed. Patrons having questions about copyright liability should seek legal counsel.
Independent of any fees that may be assessed by a copyright holder, it is the policy of the Ransom Center to assess a fee for some uses of materials from its collections. Such fees are intended to offset a small part of the Center's costs for processing, preservation, and servicing of its collections. Fees for the use of images are determined by the print run and distribution of the intended publication. The Center also reserves the right to assess a fee to quote from or publish manuscripts when use is deemed to be significant or extensive. Fees for the use of manuscripts are negotiated on a case-by-case basis. A complete copy of any publication (in any medium) that makes use of Ransom Center materials must be given to the Ransom Center for its collections.
NOTE: COLLECTION MATERIALS COVERED BY THE POLICY ON ACCESS TO DIGITAL REPRODUCTIONS OF WORKS IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN ARE EXCLUDED FROM REQUIREMENTS FOR DUPLICATION, NOTIFICATION, AND ATTENDANT FEES.
ARCHIVAL MATERIALS AT THE RANSOM CENTER MAY CONTAIN SENSITIVE OR CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION PROTECTED UNDER FEDERAL OR STATE LAWS AND REGULATIONS. RESEARCHERS ARE ADVISED THAT THE DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN INFORMATION PERTAINING TO LIVING INDIVIDUALS MAY HAVE LEGAL IMPLICATIONS.
PATRONS WILL DEFEND, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS THE RANSOM CENTER AND THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS SYSTEM, ITS BOARD OF REGENTS, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN, ITS OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS AGAINST ALL CLAIMS, DEMANDS, COSTS, AND EXPENSES, INCLUDING ATTORNEYS' FEES INCURRED BY COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT OR ANY OTHER LEGAL OR REGULATORY CAUSE OF ACTION ARISING FROM THE USE OF RANSOM CENTER MATERIALS.
January 24, 2017
Materials Use Policy for Electronic Files
The Harry Ransom Center carefully regulates the use of materials in its collections.
Policies governing access, photo-duplication, and publication of materials are established by the Director with the advice of the Center's Public Use Committee and the Office of General Counsel of The University of Texas System.
The following additional use restrictions apply to electronic files in Ransom Center collections:
1. Access to original disks and forensic disk images is restricted.
2. Copying files, including screenshots and printouts, is not permitted; taking digital photographs of the computer screen is allowed after completing and agreeing to the Digital Camera Use Policy.
3. Use of electronic files requires Harry Ransom Center authorization, separate from any applicable copyright permissions.
Reading and Viewing Room Regulations
1. The Ransom Center Reading and Viewing Room (RVR) is for use by patrons using collection materials. We may require patrons of high school age to be accompanied by an adult.
2. The Ransom Center does not allow materials to circulate outside the RVR. Patrons are not permitted in stacks areas.
3. Patrons must present a photographic identification card issued by a government agency or educational institution each time they visit the RVR. First-time patrons are required to complete a patron application form and to view a short orientation presentation. Returning patrons may be asked to view the presentation if it has been more than a year since their last visit. Upon registration, patrons will be issued a clearance slip; this slip must be given to the circulation desk attendant in the RVR. Access is on a first-come, first-served basis.
4. The Ransom Center restricts the type of personal belongings that may be brought into the RVR. Personal belongings must be stored outside of the RVR. For more details, see the HRC Materials Use Policy. Items not permitted in the RVR include, but are not limited to, the following:
backpacks or luggage
white paper (unless stamped by receptionist)
folders of any kind
pens or highlighters
5. Storage of handguns is not allowed in Ransom Center lockers or other areas. For questions concerning concealed carry on campus, please refer to the University Handbook of Operating Procedures, and the Campus Carry website.
6. All handwritten notes must be made in pencil on yellow paper or index cards. Laptop computers removed from their cases are permitted but must be inspected on departure. Patrons may take up to five personal books into the reading room, with an identification slip completed for each one. RVR staff reserves the right to further limit personal belongings on a case-by-case basis.
7. RVR staff reserves the right to limit users who do not have a specific research project to five folders or items, depending on the collection.
8. Each patron is legally responsible for all items requested through their research account; a permanent electronic record of each transaction is maintained in the system. Materials may not be transferred to another reader. A copy of the call slip must remain with the material at all times. Patrons are allowed to keep a limited number of materials on a desk at one time: seven books, one folder of manuscripts, three boxes of photographs, or one box of other visual materials. Upon request, items may be held on reserve for a limited period.
9. Please observe the instructions, set forth in the orientation presentation and available at each desk, about careful handling of materials.
10. Digital reproductions of collections materials may be ordered. Patrons who review the Materials Use Policy and who review and sign the Digital Camera Use Policy are allowed to take their own digital photos, for reference purposes only. Additional information concerning photoduplication is available in policies posted online.
11. No materials will be paged during the last half hour of the working day. All items must be turned in to the desk at least fifteen minutes before closing.
12. When exiting the RVR – except for trips to the bathrooms or reception area – patrons must return all materials to the circulation desk and retrieve their clearance slips. Slips must be initialed by the circulation attendant and presented to the receptionist before leaving. All items taken out of the RVR are subject to examination.
13. Some collections in remote storage must be requested at least three days in advance of anticipated use. Please contact the Ransom Center well in advance to request offsite materials.
Materials from Photography, Performing Arts, Film, and Art Collections may not be available on Saturdays unless previous arrangements have been made to place them on reserve. Because of limited staffing and access restrictions, some materials may not be available due to size, condition, preservation and handling concerns, storage location, or security reasons.
To ensure you are able to view the materials you wish to see, curatorial staff should be consulted regarding access to collections and their availability. We strongly encourage patrons to contact us before visiting.
July 26, 2016