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Science and History Come Alive on Campus

Explore these campus destinations to learn about monumental moments in history and scientific discoveries.

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Explore these campus destinations to learn about monumental moments in history and scientific discoveries.

LBJ Presidential Library

Photo courtesy of with an eye.

The LBJ Presidential Library will close Dec. 25 and Jan. 1 for the holidays but is open all other days during winter break from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for all UT Austin students, faculty and staff and costs $8 for adults, $5 for seniors, $3 for children ages 13 to 17 and college students and is free for children 12 and younger and active duty military members. More information about library is available online.

At the LBJ Presidential Library on campus, visitors can celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by learning about the civil rights movement, its leaders and the laws passed during the Johnson administration that still impact us today.

Visitors can also step inside the White House with a replica of the Oval Office that duplicates President Johnson’s office at 7/8th scale.

The library’s displays go beyond just presidential history. Sixty from the ’60s, an original exhibit on display until Jan. 4, features iconic photographs, historic objects and documents, books, clothing, posters and artwork related to 60 Americans who made an impact on this seminal era and whose work continues to be relevant today. Among the many cultural icons displayed, the groovy exhibit includes original lyrics written by Bob Dylan, a Telstar satellite, a dress worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin’s communications headset, a boxing glove worn and signed by Muhammad Ali and an original Peanuts comic strip.

Texas Memorial Museum

Photo courtesy of Emmanuelle Bourgue.

The Texas Memorial Museum is closed on Sundays and Mondays and will close Dec. 24, 25 and 31 and Jan. 1 for the holidays. The museum is open regular hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., on Tuesday through Saturdays until Dec. 20 as well as Dec. 23, 26, 27 and 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free for active or retired UT Austin faculty, staff and students, and admission costs $4 for adults, $3 for children ages two through 12, $2 for non-UT Austin college students, $1 for active or retired military members and free for children two years old or younger. More information about visiting the museum is available on its website.

The Texas Memorial Museum’s exhibits focus on dinosaurs and fossils, Texas wildlife, gems and minerals, and a working Paleontology Lab where visitors can interact with scientists as they prepare fossil finds. Spotlighted in the exhibits are spectacular specimens found in Texas, including the largest flying creature ever found the Texas Pterosaur, with a wingspan of nearly 40 feet and the 30-foot Onion Creek mosasaur that swam the shallow sea once covering most of the state 80 million years ago.

If the dinosaurs don’t pique your interest, then check out the giant, 1,778 carats blue topaz gemstone that weighs more than a full can of a soda or the 140 mineral and gem specimens collected across the world by a former Texas legislator who served under General Douglas MacArthur during World War II.

Harry Ransom Center

Photo courtesy of of the Harry Ransom Center.

The Ransom Center will close Dec. 24 and 25 for the holidays but is open the rest of winter break on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Additional member-only hours will be available from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Admission is free, and additional information about visiting the museum is available here.

At the Harry Ransom Center, behind-the-scenes history is on display in The Making of Gone With The Wind. The exhibition highlights the classic film of Hollywood’s Golden Age with more than 300 rarely seen and some never-before-exhibited materials, drawn entirely from the Ransom Center’s collections.

The exhibition includes on-set photographs, storyboards, correspondence and fan mail, production records, makeup stills, concept art, costume sketches, audition footage and producer David O. Selznick’s memos. The green curtain dress and other gowns worn by Vivien Leigh are displayed together for the first time in more than 25 years.

This insider view, on display until Jan. 4, reveals why Gone With The Wind remains influential and controversial 75 years after it was released.

For information about parking, visit the Parking and Transportation Services website, check out the campus parking map and check for special-events parking updates