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The University of Texas at Austin


Briscoe Gift Kicks Off Sid Richardson Hall Renovation Project

March 2012

Architects conceptual drawing of new Sid Richarson Hall.

The late Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe loved history, so much so that in 2008, he pledged a substantial estate gift to the then-named Center for American History. Shortly thereafter, the Board of Regents voted to rename it the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History in his honor. The Governor’s passion for history continues to shape the future of the Briscoe Center, thanks in part to his family’s directive that $1 million of the Governor’s planned gift be allocated to the Briscoe Center’s next major endeavor: the renovation of our forty-year-old first-floor space in Sid Richardson Hall. The $1 million advance from the Governor’s estate gift reduces the amount needed to fund the renovation to approximately $5 million.

The Briscoe Center has a storied past. From our origins as the official repository of materials related to early Texas history and of the University’s own archives, we’ve emerged as an internationally known history research center. The Briscoe Center has amassed in excess of 6,000,000 photographs, 84,000 linear feet of manuscripts and archives, 160,000 books, and 17,500 film and video recordings – including such historically significant collections as the Stephen F. Austin Papers, the Exxon Mobil Historical Collection and the Walter Cronkite Papers. The Center also generates its own projects, from world-class exhibits to books and documentary films. The renovation and revitalization of our public service space will create a new cultural hub worthy of the Briscoe Center’s rich trove of historical material. Our researchers and visitors can look forward to a new, state-of-the art Reading Room, an inviting exhibit gallery and a space for public programs such as film screenings, book talks and lectures.

The Briscoe Center has convened a group of Renovation Project Advisors to consult with Executive Director Don Carleton and Associate Director for Development Ramona Kelly. Advisors are: Dan and Penny Burck, Jo Anne Christian, Ray Farabee, Jane Periman Hilfer, Judith Garrett Segura, Sheila Wojcik and Amy Villarreal. All share a passion for history and enthusiasm for the Briscoe Center's Renovation Project vision.

To learn how you can help support the Briscoe Center Renovation Project or to explore donor recognition opportunities, contact Ramona Kelly at (512) 495-4696.