UT’s Ransom Center opens Gabriel García Márquez archive

Updated Oct 21, 2015

The archive of Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel García Márquez opened Wednesday for research at the Ransom Center at the University of Texas.

The humanities research center agreed to pay $2.2 million for the archive of the late Colombian author last year and announced the acquisition last November.

The author, who lived in Mexico City during his later years, is best known for such acclaimed novels as “One Hundred Years of Solitude” (1967) and “Love in the Time of Cholera” (1985). He died in April 2014 at the age of 87.

“This archive, strengthening UT’s world-class humanities collection, not only offers research opportunities to our students and to Texans, but will attract a global research community to Austin,” UT President Gregory L. Fenves said.

The archive contains more than 75 boxes of documents, and researchers will have access to draft manuscripts of published and unpublished works, correspondence, 43 photograph albums, 22 scrapbooks, research material, notebooks, newspaper clippings, screenplays and ephemera.

“Like a character in one of his own novels, (García Márquez) has entered a place outside of time,” said Stephen Enniss, director of the Ransom Center. “Somewhere among these papers Florentino Ariza still waits outside the house of his first love; somewhere a colonel waits patiently for the weekly post. An archive is a timeless thing, and for years to come the materials that have been collected here will give up, to those who are patient, insights into the art of García Márquez.”

The Ransom Center has started supplementing the archive by acquiring other materials, including 48 letters written by the author to Colombian writer Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza between 1961 and 1971.

The archive is supported by the university’s LLILAS Benson Latin American Studies and Collections, a partnership between the Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies and the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection. LLILAS and the Ransom Center will commemorate the opening of the archive with the symposium “Gabriel García Márquez: His Life and Legacy” Oct. 28–30.

Scholars, journalists, filmmakers and former colleagues of García Márquez’s will speak about his global influence. Registration is full, but the symposium will be webcast live in English and Spanish via www.hrc.utexas.edu. Author Salman Rushdie will deliver the opening keynote address Oct. 28, while journalist and author Elena Poniatowska will provide the closing keynote Oct. 30.

A selection of materials from the García Márquez archive is on display in the Ransom Center’s lobby through Nov. 1.