The International Anthony Burgess Foundation

The collections

What I have done in the making of a book is nobody’s business. The rest is just waste paper. - Anthony Burgess

The International Anthony Burgess Foundation has an extensive and varied library and archive of rare books, manuscripts, correspondence and photographs relating to the life and work of Anthony Burgess. We also have a wealth of audio and visual material, paintings, drawings, objects and furniture from Burgess’s various houses, including musical instruments and antiques.

The collection is notable for its variety and richness, telling the story of the working life of a writer from beginnings in 1930s Manchester, through the 1939-45 war, colonial service in Malaya and Brunei, and a peripatetic international career around Europe, the US, and elsewhere.

The library and archive contains a wealth of material including:

  • extensive research materials for novels and other projects
  • important annotated and proof copies of contemporary novels, many of which Burgess reviewed
  • an unusual collection of dictionaries and books on linguistics
  • many books in other languages including Italian, German, French, Spanish and Russian
  • family photographs and related personal items, including some relating to pre-war Manchester and wartime in Gibraltar
  • an extensive vinyl and audio-cassette collection, often including conversations and readings that provide a new slant on the literary and musical material elsewhere in the archive
  • audio-visual material, including rare interviews and home videos
  • extensive business and legal correspondence, which tells a number of hidden stories about the processes of artistic production in the twentieth century
  • correspondence between Burgess and major writers and artists
  • drafts and manuscripts of major novels and plays, including Earthly Powers, The Pianoplayers and Napoleon Symphony
  • manuscript scores for orchestra, chamber, and many other ensembles, many of which have never been performed
  • a considerable quantity of unpublished material, including short stories, non-fiction books, journalism, plays and film scripts

Our Reading Room is open by appointment only on Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 4pm.

Casual visitors to the Engine House are very welcome to visit the exhibition area in which items from the collection are on display on Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 2pm, and in the evenings during events.

If you have an enquiry about the collections, or would like to make an appointment to visit the Reading Room, please contact Anna Edwards (Archivist) on [email protected] or 0161 235 0776.

Further information about what is here can also be found by clicking the links below, or searching the blog and the categories to the right.


Unlocking the Anthony Burgess Archive

Anna Edwards joins the Burgess Foundation as our Archivist.

14th March 2014 , Collections entries , Heritage Lottery Fund , Highlights , New finds

Researching the Burgess collections: Amaury Garcia, Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro

A report from a visiting scholar.

20th January 2014 , Collections entries , Highlights , Inside Mr Enderby , Poetry

Burgess Foundation Podcast: Episode Five

Episode Five of the International Anthony Burgess Foundation Podcast examines Burgess's most famous novel, A Clockwork Orange.

4th January 2014 , A Clockwork Orange , Highlights , Podcast

'On Christ's Nativity': sonnets by G.G. Belli, translated by Anthony Burgess

Poems for Advent.

1st December 2013 , Abba Abba , Belli , Collections entries

Call for papers: Anthony Burgess and France

The 5th international symposium on Anthony Burgess to take place at the University of Angers, France, 5-6 December 2014.

25th November 2013 , Angers , Anthony Burgess Centre , Collections entries , France , Highlights