The personal papers of Harry Ransom comprise, in the main,
his preparatory school and college-level student papers (essays, tests, class
notes), photographs of family and school life, some correspondence, and a
deal of memorabilia. While the collection spans the years from 1895 to 1983
bulk of it is concentrated in the period 1924 to 1953 and appears to represent
items Marion Ransom kept to document her son's academic career. The papers
therefore give a fair idea of the nature of Harry Ransom's education--and
success as a student--but they are not otherwise especially informative.
The papers have been organized into several series: Academic
papers, 1924-47 (1 box); Correspondence, 1895-1983 (1 folder); Memorabilia,
1908-76 (1 box); Photographs, 1895-1975 (1 box); and Printed materials, 1924-75
Class notes, essays, graded examinations, and a commonplace
book are found in the Ransom academic papers, documenting his student life
Sewanee Military Academy, the University of the South, Harvard, and Yale.
is a small group of teaching notes and a grading book for his first year of
postwar teaching at the University of Texas. The materials are arranged
chronologically and clearly demonstrate Ransom's aptitude and diligence as
The small body of correspondence centers around Ransom's
student life in the 1920s and `30s. His own letters are few in number, and
of these were addressed to his mother. Apart from giving some idea of his
scholarly and extracurricular interests as a student and his relationship
his mother the series is slight.
Materials as different as Harry Ransom's baby book (with
verse by his mother and notes by Ransom upon her death) and the tape recording
of the 1976 commemorative assembly held to mark his passing are found in the
Memorabilia series. Documents touching upon Ransom's early academic career,
together with numerous diplomas are present, as are some materials relating
his editorial work in wartime military service and to Marion Ransom's 1953
funeral. A small group of miscellaneous manuscripts and printed matter and
clippings are also housed in the series.
Apart from several family photographs made between 1915 and
1930 and a few photographs dating from after the Second World War the great
majority of the images in the Photographic series depict Ransom's school and
early professional life. A number of photographs of Hazel Ransom dating from
1938 into the 1960s, as well as photographs of various campuses complement
series. A considerable number of negatives is found in the series for which
prints are not present. Additional photographs are present in the Memorabilia
series in folders 2.3 and 2.9.
Minor printed materials relating to Sewanee, a group of
unused stationery, envelopes, and postcards from the bulk of the final series.
Also to be found here is a number of art prints and ephemera.