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Authors’ door reflects breadth of collections

By Jennifer Tisdale

In 1973, visiting authors and authors began signing one of the Harry Ransom Center’s doors between two manuscript stack rooms on the fifth floor. At the suggestion of a staffer, the authors’ door was inspired by the signed Greenwich Village Bookshop door in the Center’s collection. When one side of the Ransom Center’s door filled up a few years ago, the other side was sanded down so that it could be used as well. To date, more than 150 visitors have signed the door, from American writer Alice Adams to Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko.

ESPN’s Longhorn Network recently explored the history of the door with the Ransom Center’s Danielle Brune Sigler, assistant director and curator for academic programs.

The “new” side (left) and “old” side (right) of the authors’ door at the Ransom Center. Photos by Pete Smith.
The “new” side (left) and “old” side (right) of the authors’ door at the Ransom Center. Photos by Pete Smith.

Comments

Amber Abbas
Reply

I read the article about this in the Alcade, and I noticed that one of signatures identified as “graffiti” because it was not legible appears to be written in Arabic or Persian. Perhaps the HRC could consult one of Arabic, Persian or Urdu scholars at UT to decipher it.

Alicia Dietrich
Reply

Amber, you are absolutely correct that the signature is in Persian. The signature belongs to writer Azar Nafisi, who signed her name on the door in both English and Persian during her visit in 2009.

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