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University of Texas University of Texas Libraries

Library Search

Harry Ransom Center

Searching the Ransom Center Collections

You can narrow down your search results to HRC holdings by selecting Harry Ransom Center on the left menu Library Facet.


Books and serials at the Ransom Center are considered cultural artifacts, in addition to their bibliographic value.This means that the evidence of former use and ownership is as important to the resource description as the title, author or publication date.

The following are some tips to get the most out of your search for HRC resources:

Book Collections

***Coming soon

Former owners

***Coming soon

Copy specific notes

Local notes indicate copy specific information including former ownership, related HRC collection, markings, physical condition and more. In case of multiple copies for a given resource, each local note is preceded by the copy number.

Examples of relevant local notes' keywords:

  • extra-illustrated
  • fore-edge painting
  • dust jacket
  • manuscript notations
  • binding
  • presentation copy
  • signed

Use the Advanced Search option in the Library Catalog to do a keyword search on the Local Notes field.


Archival Collections

Use the Advanced Search option in the Library Catalog to enter terms such as creator or subject of the archival collection, title of the collection, etc.. and select Archival Materials from the Resource Type dropdown menu. 

TIP: Titles for archival collections commonly include keywords such as Papers, Collection, Records and Files.

Once on the full bibliographic record, a link to the online Finding Aid and collection inventory is available on the LINKS Section by clicking the "Online Finding Aid" button.



Use the Advanced Search option in the Library Catalog to enter terms such as author, title, etc.. and select Manuscripts from the Resource Type dropdown menu. You can also filter by date range and language before launching your search.


Serial holdings

Ransom Center' serials holdings are described on a serials database outside of the library catalog. You can search for a serial title on the catalog using the JOURNALS tab in the top menu, and then filter your results by Harry Ransom Center using the Library Facet on the left menu. Once you have found the tile you are looking for, scroll down the bibliographic record to the LINKS section and click on the "Check HRC Holdings" Link.

This will open the HRC Periodicals database in a new tab, where you can repeat your search to find further information regarding existing holdings and copy specific information (former ownership, markings, physical condition, and more).

Holdings are requested on the volume level.

Once you have made your selection, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the "Submit Request" button.


Requesting HRC Books and Periodicals

The Ransom Center does not allow materials to circulate outside the Center's Reading and Viewing Room (RVR). In order to consult materials users need to create a researcher account remotely using this link. When you arrive to check in, let staff know you have made requests and they will be reviewed and brought to you in the RVR.

To request an HRC book you simply need to navigate to the Item record and click the "HRC Request" link, log in to your account, and submit the request.


This will open an new tab with your research account login.


Please logon to access the New Book Request Form.


As you can see, the title, author and call number fields will already be populated with the bibliographic information.

NOTE: If you want to request a specific copy, please indicate copy number on the volume/copy field. Copy information is registered on the "Local Notes" field and might include former ownership, markings, physical condition and more. To access this information, scroll down on the bibliographic record to the Details section.


Once the form includes all the information required to identify the specific book you are interested in consulting, click on the "Submit Request" button. Successfully submitted requests will show up in your research account.


NOTE: Researchers are encouraged to request HRC serials holdings through the the Periodicals database, instead of using the "HRC Request" button in the catalog. Please check Searching the Ransom Center Collections section above for further details on requesting serial holdings.

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