As art is a mirror of oneself and oneself is one’s life, so it is right to want to know about the life. – Anthony Burgess
- Burgess Archive
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Welcome to the Anthony Burgess archive
The archive of Anthony and Liana Burgess stands at the heart of the Burgess Foundation’s educational work.
The archive is an extensive and varied collection of items including books, audio cassette recordings, furniture, artworks, VHS and Super 8 films, typewriters, manuscripts, notebooks, letters, objects and smoking paraphernalia.
Some of the furniture in the archive made an appearance in the stage production Anthony Burgess: A Life In Pieces (2018), which re-imagined Anthony Burgess’s living room during a radio interview. One of Burgess’s Olivetti typewriters also appeared in the exhibition No End to Enderby, shown at the Whitworth Art Gallery in 2017 and revived the following year at Film City in Glasgow.
Anthony Burgess’s second wife, Liana Macellari, played an active role in his professional life. For many years she acted as Burgess’s translator and literary agent, and she was instrumental in preserving his possessions following his death in 1993.
Liana Burgess was instrumental in assembling the archive that we see today. She donated the collections — from her properties in Bracciano, London and Monaco — to the newly-formed Burgess Foundation in 2003.
Writing in the Guardian on Liana’s death in 2007, Christopher Hawtree said that, without her, Burgess’s best work ‘might not have found its place among the most exhilarating postwar writing.’
The Burgess Foundation employs a full-time archivist, Anna Edwards, who has been working to catalogue the collection, to preserve it, and to discover the stories behind the manuscripts and objects.
Finding new ways to engage with the collection is an important part of the Foundation’s charitable mission to widen public understanding of Anthony Burgess’s life and work.
The archive is open to researchers by appointment.
To make an enquiry and plan your visit, please click here.