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

Planning your visit:

Planning your visit

Opening hours

Our Reading Room is open by appointment only on Mondays to Fridays from 10:00am to 4:00pm. We ask readers to make their initial appointment in writing, rather than by telephone, if possible. Readers should include their full contact details (name and permanent address), details of the nature and purpose of their research and of their institutional affiliation if applicable. Readers may also be required to supply a letter of recommendation in support of their request to use the collections.

Those wishing to consult material in the Reading Room are required to formally register as archive users and to observe our Reading Room regulations and handling guidelines in order to help us to safeguard the unique material in our care.

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 or at:

International Anthony Burgess Foundation
Engine House
Chorlton Mill
3 Cambridge Street
M1 5BY

Casual visitors to the Engine House are welcome to visit the exhibition area in which items from the collection are on display on Mondays to Fridays from 10am to 3pm, and in the evenings during events.

The Burgess Foundation is closed on Bank Holidays and for a short period over Christmas.


A maximum of 4 desk-based researchers may be accommodated in the Reading Room at any one time and the exhibition space accommodates approximately 20 people.

The Reading Room is equipped with power points for readers to use their own laptops.

Upon registering as a camera user, readers are permitted to use their own hand-held digital camera without charge to photograph items in the collection for their own private research purposes under certain conditions and at the discretion of archive staff.

The Engine House has a café for the purchase of a selection of coffees and light refreshments.

Wireless internet access is available in the café and Reading Room without charge.

Lockers are provided on the ground-floor for the storage of all coats, bags and umbrellas. All items are left at the user’s own risk.

The Engine House is fully accessible. If you have any particular access requirements you would like to tell us about, please do contact us in advance.

Reading Room Regulations

On their first visit all readers will be required to complete a Reader Registration Form  and to provide two forms of identity: one to prove their name, the other to prove their address.

All readers are also required to sign the visitor’s register each time they enter and leave the Reading Room. Signing constitutes an undertaking to abide by the following rules and regulations:

  • Coats, bags, briefcases and umbrellas are not permitted in the Reading Room.
  • All work must be done in graphite pencil (or laptops)
  • No eating or drinking (including water) is permitted in the Reading Room.
  • Upon registering as a camera-user, readers are permitted, free-of-charge, to use their own hand-held digital camera to photograph items in the collection for their own private research purposes under certain conditions and at the discretion of archive staff: please ask a member of staff for further details.
  • Mobile phones may be used in the Reading Room but must be switched to silent mode, and only used for texting and still photography.
  • Documents, books and objects may not be removed from the Reading Room.
  • Readers are responsible for all material issued to them and must handle all items with care. All users are asked to adhere to our Handling Guidelines (on display in the Reading Room).
  • Archive staff may prohibit access to material within the collection when access would be detrimental to the records’ physical condition, where material is unprocessed, or for reasons of confidentiality. To minimise wear or tear on original documents and help preserve them for future generations, surrogates or alternative formats should be used where available. Book-rests, weights and cotton gloves are also available: please ask staff for advice on how to use them if you are unsure.
  • The number of documents, books or objects issued at any one time to a reader is limited. If these limitations cause you inconvenience, please speak to a member of staff.
  • By registering with the Archive, a Reader agrees to observe the provisions of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988.
  • By registering with the Archive, a Reader agrees to abide by the terms of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA 2018) and to ensure that any information obtained relating to living persons is used in accordance with the Act. The Reader recognises that in further processing the data for research purposes they become the Data Controller in respect of that data and must use that data ethically and in compliance with the law. (Guidance on the consultation of records subject to the DPA 2018 exemption for research purposes is on display in the Reading Room.)
  • No publication rights are vested in any reader through the issue of a document, book or object. No documents of images may be published or distributed in any form (including online) without the written permission of the copyright holder.
  • Researchers are required to supply the Archive with a copy of any publication resulting from work on the collections.
  • Archive staff may exclude or cause to be removed any person who contravenes these regulations or whose exclusion from the Reading Room is, in their opinion, necessary for its proper use and regulation.