Michael Dell is buying one of the most valuable modern photographic archives for the university where he started his eponymous computer company in a dormitory room in 1983.

Almost 200,000 original press prints from the New York collection of Magnum Photos, the documentary photo co-operative responsible for some of the defining images of the past seven decades, will be preserved, catalogued and made available to the public at the University of Texas in Austin.

The founder, chairman and chief executive of Dell, who acquired the prints through MSD Capital, his private investment firm, did not disclose what he paid.

The archive has been valued for insurance purposes at well over $100m.

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