The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center acquired a significant collection of
books and manuscripts from the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in the
1980s. The seminary’s library was pressed for space to house its growing collection,
and the material transferred to the Ransom Center, generally of a rare and fragile
character, was not closely related to the current programs of the seminary.
The collection is organized in four series: I. Sermons and Religious Manuscripts,
1678-1914, II. Spanish Language Manuscripts, 1515-1841, III. Other Manuscripts,
1301-1928, and IV. Music Manuscripts, circa 1550-circa 1910. Within the first
series, items have been arranged alphabetically by author, or by title if no author
is discernible. In Series IV arrangement is chronological. Titles have been supplied
if none were present, and these are given within brackets. The range of languages
found among the manuscripts is broad: English, Spanish, Latin, Hebrew, German,
French, and Italian are all represented by multiple works.
Series I embraces collections of English-language sermons and lectures from the
seventeenth to the nineteenth century, along with several related manuscripts
other languages. The materials are, in the main, in their original bindings.
The manuscripts found in Series II are divided into two subseries. Subseries A.
Cartas Ejecutorias, 1515-1805, contains fourteen examples of these royal documents
confirming noble descent. The specimens held in the collection are on paper or
vellum; most of these are decorated with armorial devices, religious art, and
initials in color. Several are in contemporary leather, others in original vellum;
some bear tax stamps. Subseries B. includes other Spanish language collections
archival material and genealogical documents dating from circa 1600 to 1841.
Series III embraces an extremely variegated assortment of manuscripts, including two
seventeenth century British legal documents, a nineteenth century Italian treatise
on pyrotechnics, an eighteenth century work on disorders of the head, and a
two-volume sixteenth century history of Zurich, Switzerland. The oldest manuscript
found here is a royal privilege of King Ferdinand IV of Castile dating from 1301
written in Old Spanish.
Represented in the final series are several manuscripts of West European origin,
dating from the sixteenth to the early nineteenth centuries along with a substantial
group of Hebrew scores in Latin transliteration created in L’viv, Ukraine and
London. These latter were composed at least in part by Eduard and Herman