Ransom Center Opens Coetzee Archive

Coetzee Archives

In the 1960s, J. M. Coetzee was a UT graduate student, poring over Samuel Beckett archives at the Harry Ransom Center. Today, he’s a Nobel Prize-winning author with his own Ransom Center archive.

The University announced this week that the Coetzee archive, acquired last year, is now officially open for research. The archive contains more than 140 document boxes filled with drafts, notebooks, letters, and other materials.

Originally from South Africa, Coetzee, PhD ’69, is the author of 13 books. The only author to win the Man Booker Prize twice, he now lives in Australia.

In a UT statement, he pointed out that the area where he lives is prone to wildfires—making him glad his archives are now housed elsewhere. “Even if this house itself goes up in flames, the work of my hands will have been whisked away to a place of safety in the vaults of the Ransom Center,” Coetzee said.

He also marveled at how his link with The University of Texas has come full circle. “It is a privilege to have graduated from being a teaching assistant at The University of Texas to being one of the authors whose papers are conserved here,” Coetzee said.

Photo: J. M. Coetzee signs the authors’ door of the Ransom Center during a visit in May 2010. Photo by Pete Smith, courtesy the Harry Ransom Center.


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