Scope and Content

Correspondence between Alec Guinness and his family, friends and business contacts. He also corresponded with religious guides, such as Dame Felicitas Corrigan. There is an extensive series of correspondence between Alec and Merula Guinness, throughout the war period and beyond. Many of Alec Guinness's correspondents were influential or important in the literary, film and theatre world, significant correspondents include Laurence Olivier, David Cornwell (Le Carre), and John Gielgud. Other longer correspondence series reflect Guinness' longstanding friendships, for example with Jehane West, Leueen McGrath and Anne Kaufman Schnieder. There are also some letters between Merula Guinness and family and friends, and a typed description of her childhood written for Alec Guinness.

Administrative / Biographical History

Piers Paul Read used the correspondence files for research while writing his authorise biography, many letters may have a typed sheet of details, notes and/or transciptions which he typed out.


The files of letters written by Alec Guinness to others, followed by the files of received letters. The original files have been preserved as far as possible.

Conditions Governing Access


Not Public Record(s)