Encompassing over 150 boxes of manuscripts, scrapbooks, letters, photographs, programs and emails, the collection – purchased for £1.1 million – now completes the archive of Pinter's work that has been on loan to the British Library since 1993.
Included in the Pinter archives are hand-written manuscripts; correspondence with Samuel Beckett, Joseph Losey, Philip Larkin, Simon Gray, David Hare, David Mamet, Arthur Miller, John Osborne, Tom Stoppard, Sir John Gielguid and Sir Peter Hall; material relating to Pinter's 2005 Nobel Prize in Literature; personal photographs; as well as a draft of the playwright's unpublished memoir "The Queen of all the Fairies."
Jamie Andrews, Head of Modern Literary Manuscripts for the British Library stated, "It is thrilling for the British Library to have acquired the archive of our greatest living playwright. This is a wonderful collection that sheds new light on each stage of Harold Pinter's unparalleled career over the past fifty years, and we look forward to making the material accessible to researchers, and to playing our part in celebrating his life and work."
The British Library intends to complete its catalogue of Pinter's work late in 2008. In the meantime the temporary exhibit "His Own Domain: Harold Pinter, A Life in Theatre," will be on display from Jan. 11-April 13, 2008. The collection will feature a selection of manuscripts, letters, photographs and recordings documenting Pinter's work as an actor, director and playwright.
Pinter, known for his enigmatic pause-laden work, created dramas exposing the danger and darkness beneath the ordinary façade of human life. Considered to be one of the most influential playwrights of his generation, Pinter's work for the stage includes Old Times, No Man's Land, Betrayal, The Birthday Party, The Caretaker, The Homecoming (Tony Award), A Kind of Alaska, The Room and Celebration.