McSweeney’s publishing archive acquired by Austin’s Ransom Center

Dave Eggers' McSweeney's publishing empire will be archived at the Harry Ransom Center in Austin.
(Deborah Vankin)

For 15 years, Dave Eggers’ McSweeney’s publishing enterprise has helped readers discover all things cool and quirky. On Wednesday, the Harry Ransom Center, the humanities library at the University of Texas, announced that it has acquired the archive of McSweeney’s publishing company, which includes McSweeney’s books, DVD journal Wholphin, the Believer, the food magazine Lucky Peach and the center’s flagship literary journal first published in 1998, Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern.

“The Ransom Center is a world-class institution, and we’re honored to be included among their holdings,” said Eggers in a statement. “We thank the Ransom Center for taking on our archive and cleaning out our basement.”

There are treasures to be found in the McSweeney’s basement: According to Ransom, the collection includes book manuscripts, essays and short stories, as well as correspondence with notable writers such as David Foster Wallace, Michael Chabon, Zadie Smith, Heidi Julavits, Nick Hornby and William Vollmann. (McSweeney’s publications have won many accolades over the years, including the National Magazine Award, the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle award.)

There are also award-winning design materials -- McSweeney’s books are often boundary-pushing works of art -- and first editions of all its publications. There will also be a digital copy of every file relating to McSweeney’s work.


The McSweeney’s archive will be available for viewing once the contents are processed and cataloged.

And when casual viewers are finished with the McSweeney’s archive at the Ransom Center, they can move on to more papers: The center also holds the archives and materials of McSweeney’s-related writers such as David Foster Wallace, T.C. Boyle and Denis Johnson.


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