Harold Pinter Archive

Scope and Content

Papers and correspondence of Harold Pinter (b. 1930, d. 2008), playwright, director, actor. CBE 1966; CLit 1998; CH 2002; FRSL; 1943-2008. Mostly English but including items in many other languages. Typescript and photocopies. Partly drafts: Autogr.

The collection is comprised of his literary papers - plays, dramatic sketches, film scripts, poetry and prose works; professional and personal correspondence; scrapbooks relating to Pinter's productions, other literary works and his political interests; photograph albums; appointments diaries; miscellaneous works about Pinter.

Audio visual materials from this archive are held at The British Library Sound Archive under the reference C1350.

Email correspondence in digital format was also acquired as part of this archive.


The original order of the archive has been maintained where possible. Arranged as follows:

  • Plays: Add MS 88880/1
  • Film Scripts: Add MS 88880/2
  • Dramatic Sketches: Add MS 88880/3
  • Prose: Add MS 88880/4
  • Poetry: Add MS 88880/5
  • Correspondence: Professional: Add MS 88880/6
  • Correspondence relating to productions: Add MS 88880/6/1-25.
  • Correspondence relating to film scripts: Add MS 88880/6/26-28.
  • Correspondence relating to poetry: Add MS 88880/6/29-32.
  • Correspondence relating to the arts world: Add MS 88880/6/33-53.
  • Correspondence relating to political causes, issues and organisations: Add MS 88880/6/54-68.
  • Correspondence relating to 'The Pinter Review': Add MS 88880/6/69--71. Correspondence: Personal: Add MS 88880/7
  • 'Special' Personal Correspondence: Add MS 88880/7/1-13.
  • General Personal Correspondence: Add MS 88880/7/14-23.
  • Scrapbooks: UK and International Productions: Add MS 88880/8
  • Scrapbooks: UK and international: Add MS 88880/8/1-40.
  • Scrapbooks: USA: Add MS 88880/8/41-47.
  • Scrapbooks: Australia, Canada, New Zealand: Add MS 88880/8/48.
  • Scrapbooks: France: Add MS 88880/8/49-52.
  • Scrapbooks: Germany, Switzerland: Add MS 88880/8/53-56.
  • Scrapbooks: Italy: Add MS 88880/8/57-60.
  • Scrapbooks: various international: Add MS 88880/8/61-74.
  • Scrapbooks: miscellaneous: Add MS 88880/8/75.
  • Indexes: Add MS 88880/8/76-79.
  • Scrapbooks: Arts, Poetry, Personal and Political: Add MS 88880/9Scrapbooks: Arts world: Add MS 88880/9/1-5.
  • Scrapbooks: Poetry: Add MS 88880/9/6-7.
  • Scrapbooks: Political causes, issues and organisations: Add MS 88880/9/8-13.
  • Scrapbooks: Personal: Add MS 88880/9/14-15.
  • Indexes: Add MS 88880/9/16.
  • Photograph Albums: Add MS 88880/10
  • Albums: Add MS 88880/10/1-15.
  • Indexes: Add MS 88880/10/16.
  • Nobel Prize for Literature Papers: Add MS 88880/11
  • Appointments Diaries: Add MS 88880/12
  • Miscellaneous Works about Pinter: Add MS 88880/13

Access Information

Available for research unless otherwise stated

Not Public Record(s)

Acquisition Information

Sixty boxes of Harold Pinter's literary papers deposited on loan to The British Library in 1993 and twenty further boxes deposited between 1994 and 2005 were held as Loan 110A. Prior to 1993, the archive had been in the custody of Harold Pinter. The entire archive, including the material previously on loan, was purchased in 2007 with the aid of grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund, Friends of The British Library, Friends of the National Libraries and contributions from other generous donors. The cataloguing project was supported by the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements

Paper and photographs

Conditions Governing Use

Relevant copyright permissions must be obtained before any reproductions of documents can be made. The British Library does not hold copyright for any items in this collection. Please address all copyright enquiries relating to Harold Pinter to Judy Daish Associates, 2 St Charles Place, London, W10 6EG.

Related Material

The British Library holds the papers of Harold Pinter's associates and contemporaries. These collections include Laurence Olivier [Add MSS 79766-80750], Peter Nichols [Add MSS 78944-79198], Ralph Richardson [Add MSS 82038-82369], John Gielgud [Add MSS 74288-74587], Terence Rattigan [Add MSS 74288-74587], George Barker [Add MSS 71696-71699], Lady Antonia Fraser [Loan 110B/1-19] and Ronald Harwood [cataloguing to be completed in 2009]. Further material relating to Pinter is held in The British Library Sound Archive and includes recordings of performances of his own plays and plays he directed; interviews with Pinter and actors and directors he has collaborated with; recordings of speeches and poetry readings. The Lord Chamberlain Plays (LCP) collection includes copies of Pinter's plays submitted for licence before 1968 and reader's reports relating to the licensing of the plays. LCP references have been listed with the relevant play in this catalogue.


G L Watkins (editor) ‘Fortunes Fool’: The Man Who Taught Harold Pinter, A Life of Joe Brearley (Aylesbury: TwigBooks, 2008), includes correspondence between Pinter and Brearley.