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Member Lyndsee Nielson is hooked on the Ransom Center

By Marlene Renz

Members are an essential part of the Ransom Center community and provide us with vital support. In this member spotlight, meet one of our most dedicated members. Lyndsee Nielson chose to become a member because of her interest in the collections. This profile originally appeared in the Spring 2015 Ransom Edition newsletter.

Lyndsee Nielson earned her bachelor’s degree at The University of Texas at Austin and works in the Cockrell School of Engineering. She has lived in Austin for five years, where she continues to establish roots. When she’s not working, Lyndsee cozies up in her apartment to read, watch movies, and listen to Elton John and Louis Armstrong on vinyl. She frequents the Alamo Drafthouse and the Paramount Theater, where she recently saw An American in Paris for the first time. Lyndsee has been a member and volunteer at the Harry Ransom Center since the fall of 2013.

What drew you to the Ransom Center?
I first encountered the Harry Ransom Center as a freshman at The University of Texas at Austin. After seeing some original materials in the Reading Room, I was hooked. I lived on campus, so I continued to attend exhibitions for the rest of my college career, falling more and more in love with the Ransom Center each time. I attended the Cabinet of Drawings exhibition, and of the numerous pieces present, I was drawn to a small, peculiar sketch. It stuck with me, and after further research and a continued connection with the sketch, I ended up getting the image as a tattoo. Needless to say, it is very meaningful to me.

Why did you become a member?
Because I absolutely love this place! Being a member extends access further than what is on the first floor—private member gatherings, collection viewings, additional hours in the exhibitions, and member-only tours. It is a great way to learn more about some of your favorite subjects while also discovering new ones. Not only that, but I also have the chance to meet other individuals from the community who share my passion for the humanities and all that the Ransom Center has to offer.

What’s a favorite Ransom Center memory?
The day I took a tour of the Ransom Center spanning the basement to the upper levels of archives! It was a comprehensive view of everything that is housed at the Ransom Center. We saw collections of paintings, motorized shelves full of manuscripts, and stacks filled with rare books. The history that is preserved through these collections is astounding, and I was so excited for the opportunity to access this behind-the-scenes view. I was like a kid in a candy shop and had goose bumps the entire time.

Find out more about becoming a member today. If you have a story you’d like to share, please contact us at

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