Personal archive and library of Anthony Burgess

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection consists of an archive of Anthony Burgess's personal, literary, music and business papers and over 7000 review copies and reference books from Burgess's private library, including annotated and proof copies of contemporary novels; books on linguistics and literary criticism, drama and theatre, music, art and poetry. It also includes a collection of paintings, engravings, furniture, typewriters, musical instruments, medals, rugs and other objects from Burgess's houses in Bracciano, London and Monaco.

Although the majority of the collection was created by, or belonged to, Anthony Burgess, it includes books, items and papers belonging to other individuals, particularly Burgess's widow, Liana, and son, Andrew Burgess-Wilson. For example, the collection contains items relating to Andrew Burgess-Wilson's varied life as an aspiring musician and chef, including a childhood diary, catering books and musical instruments, and also to Liana Burgess's work as an Italian translator and literary agent.


The original arrangement of Anthony Burgess's private library and of his personal literary, music, and business papers (if any existed) has been disrupted over time. Prior to creating this catalogue, Burgess's papers had been partially listed by previous Archivists and arranged according to type or format, e.g. literary typescripts and manuscripts, audio, poetry, music scores, and translations. Records have subsequently been rearranged into 10 sub-sections.

A Guide to the Library in Burgess's house in Bracciano survives and, as the cataloguing project progresses, this Guide will be used to inform the system by which books and periodicals are arranged.

Conditions Governing Access

Records are made available to researchers in accordance with the International Anthony Burgess Foundation's Collections, Acquisitions, and Disposals Policy:

Acquisition Information

Most items within the collection were transferred to the International Anthony Burgess Foundation by Liana Burgess between 2003 and 2005, with further accruals and donations being made between 2007 and 2011.


The upper date range (of 2010-2011, 2015) refers to the estimated date of a copies (of original manuscripts/typescripts by Burgess) included within AB/ARCH/A: Literary papers and music scores, written or adapted by Burgess, or by Burgess in collaboration with another author.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

The majority of the collection is in a good condition. A small amount of material is, however, in a fragile state and access to such records may be granted in consultation with the Archivist (as indicated in the catalogue on a file-by-file, or item-by-item, basis).

Archivist's Note

Following the award of a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the International Anthony Burgess Foundation appointed an Archivist in March 2014 as part of a two-year project which would focus in part on the development of a comprehensive catalogue to the collection. Priority was given to cataloguing the archival collection of Burgess's personal literary, music, and business papers, and work began on the retrospective conversion of existing lists of literary manuscripts and poetry (in Microsoft Excel format) into a full catalogue. A collection of journalism, audio, and audio-visual material, and music-scores, currently exists in Microsoft Excel - as does a fairly comprehensive list of Burgess's private library. These lists will be retrospectively converted as the cataloguing project progresses.

Custodial History

Most items within the collection remained in the custody of Liana Burgess, Anthony Burgess's widow, until they were transferred to the International Anthony Burgess Foundation (founded 2003)


The International Anthony Burgess Foundation seeks to extend and develop its collection in line with its Collections, Acquisitions, and Disposals Policy:

Thus further accruals to the collection are expected.

The catalogue itself will also continue to grow as an increasing amount of the collection is catalogued.

Related Material

The following organisations also hold collections relating to Anthony Burgess:

1) Harry Ransom Center: The University of Texas, Austin. Catalogue available at:

2) The Anthony Burgess Centre: University of Angers. Further information available at:

3) McMaster University, Canada. Finding aid available at:

4) L'Institut mémoires de l'édition contemporaine (IMEC). Further information available at:

5) Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri. Finding aid available at: