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The manuscripts in this collection largely came from a gift by the Harry Ransom Center to the Tarlton Law Library in 1999. The Center had received the manuscripts from a variety of sources -- including several separate purchases in the 1960s from Major Paul Payne and the Royal Meteorological Society. In the late 1970s, Professor Eric Poole, a visiting law professor, inventoried the documents before 1603, and later foldered and arranged the rest by location and date. A selection of manuscripts was put on exhibit by the then Humanities Research Center in the summer of 1979, at which time a number of the manuscripts were conserved and fully described.