The Foundation

Reading Room

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

in this section

About the collections:

The International Anthony Burgess Foundation aims to make its collections as accessible as possible to readers, scholars, and anyone interested in the life and work of Anthony Burgess. Plan your visit here.

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, drama and theatre, music and poetry
  • many books in languages other than English, including Russian, French, Italian, Spanish and German
  • family photographs and related personal items, including some relating to pre-war Manchester, wartime in Gibraltar (1943-1946), and colonial Malaya and Brunei (1954-1959)
  • an extensive audio collection, including commercial recordings of music and of spoken word (primarily on audio-cassette and vinyl) owned by Burgess and his family; recordings of public lectures and seminars by Burgess; and unique home-recordings of Burgess and his family in conversation, playing instruments, reciting poetry and other literature, or discussing professional projects with other artists with whom they were collaborating
  • 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 other notable 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  • a considerable quantity of unpublished material, including non-fiction books, journalism, plays and film scripts

We have embarked on an ambitous programme of conservation, cataloguing and digitisation. Parts of our collection are catalogued online and can be viewed at the Archives Hub.

We have received very generous advice and support from a number of organisations, including the John Rylands Library, Chetham’s Library, North West Sound Archive and MMU Library Services.

We occasionally offer opportunities for people wanting to gain experience of working with museums and archives. Please contact anna@anthonyburgess.org with your CV if you are interested in helping with our work.

A Clockwork Orange (1962)