UTPD investigates vandalism at Harry Ransom Center

Reagan Ritterbush

An unidentified suspect threw a rock at a window on the eastern side of the Harry Ransom Center around 3 a.m. on Saturday.

According to Cindy Posey, associate director of communications for University Operations, the UTPD guard at this location heard the sound of glass shattering and checked the exterior of the building. He located a decorated window that had been broken, but found no one there, Cindy said.

After receiving a call from the UTPD guard, Arthur Martinez, at 3:05 a.m., officers arrived at the scene and found a rock located near the shattered window inside the building, according to the official UTPD crime report.

Posey said the incident is still under investigation and UTPD officers will review security footage from Saturday night to find the suspect.

According to the UTPD campus watch report, there are no official suspects and the estimated cost of repairs is unknown. There was no mention of stolen items in the crime report.

“The UTPD is investigating this as they would any other vandalism,” Posey said. “As far as I know, there was nothing stolen.”

At the time of publication, Jennifer Tisdale, the director of public affairs at the Harry Ransom Center, said the center does not have any comment on the matter.

History professor William Louis said this incident is not only vandalism, but an “atrocity” for the center’s reputation. “The Harry Ransom Center is a renowned humanities research library and takes pride in being more distinguished than other museums and libraries around the country,” Louis said. “Since it opened, the University has always been afraid something like this would happened.”

Since its opening in 1957, the Center has preserved a number of artifacts, including the Gutenberg Bible and one of the earliest photographs ever taken. According to the Center website, its extensive collections provide unique insight into the creative process of famous writers and artists, and deepens people’s appreciation of literature, photography, film, art and the performing arts. Currently, the center is exhibiting the photographs of Elliott Erwitt and Frida Kahlo’s artwork.