When the papers of a renowned author like Gabriel García Márquez arrive at the Ransom Center, there’s always a sense of excitement among staff, who take great pride in being able to preserve and make accessible materials that are unavailable anywhere else and that offer students and scholars entirely new insights into the author’s life and work.
When the acquisition of such a notable archive makes a splash in the news, the Ransom Center’s work with the collection is just beginning. In the months since the García Márquez archive arrived at the Center, archivists and conservators have been hard at work to catalog and prepare the collection for research use. Ransom Center staff have also been seeking out and acquiring original materials from other sources to enhance the archive and offer researchers a fuller spectrum of resources to study. In recent months, the Ransom Center has acquired several important materials that enrich the archive, and we remain dedicated to continuing to support the growth of our holdings related to Gabriel García Márquez.
Among the recently acquired materials is a collection of 48 original letters by Gabriel García Márquez to his friend and fellow writer and journalist Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza, dating mostly from the 1960s and 1970s. Early letters between trusted friends are often quite important, but this collection is especially rare because García Márquez favored phone communication over written letters, and it’s unlikely that correspondences of this depth and extent exist elsewhere.
The Center acquired another, smaller group of letters by García Márquez to his longtime friend, Colombian photographer Guillermo Angulo. Accompanying these letters is the only known typescript draft of the 1961 novella, El Coronel no tiene quien le escriba (No One Writes to the Colonel), a work not represented in the papers García Márquez retained for his archive.
The Ransom Center also acquired García Márquez’s annotated copy of the Mondadori edition of his 1989 novel, El general en su laberinto (The General in His Labyrinth). The book contains more than a dozen notes and revisions written by hand in black ink or pencil by García Márquez, and supplements the extensive research materials and drafts of the work that can be found in the archive.
Visitors to the Ransom Center are greeted as they walk in our doors by another important addition to our holdings, a striking bronze bust of the Nobel Laureate created by artist Kate Murray and generously donated to the Center by García Márquez’s family. The bust is a recasting of a sculpture the family originally commissioned in 2012 as part of a pairing of busts of García Márquez and his wife that stands in their home. The edition donated to the Ransom Center was cast in 2014 and is now displayed proudly in an alcove in the Ransom Center’s entry, alongside the busts of several of Gabriel García Márquez’s literary peers.
The Ransom Center invests substantial time, energy, and resources to build its collections thoughtfully and with great depth. We are delighted to make these recently acquired materials available for study alongside Gabriel García Márquez’s papers at the Ransom Center, and we look forward to the fruitful work that scholars and students will create based on their research with these materials.