BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 December 2007, 16:21 GMT
Library acquires Pinter archive
Harold Pinter
Pinter has written 29 plays including The Birthday Party and Betrayal
The archive of Britain's leading writer and playwright, Harold Pinter, has been acquired by the British Library.

It includes more than 150 boxes of manuscripts, scrapbooks, letters, photographs and emails from the 2005 Nobel Laureate for Literature.

The British Library said it offered an invaluable resource for researchers and scholars of Pinter's work.

The entire collection, including items that have been on loan to the Library since 1993, was purchased for 1.1m.

It was bought thanks to a grant of 216,000 from the National Heritage Memorial Fund (NHMF), existing British Library funds, and donations from other private trusts and donors.

'Wonderful collection'

Pinter, 77, is an influential playwright, director, actor, poet and political activist. He has written 29 plays, 21 screenplays - including The French Lieutenant's Woman - and has directed 27 theatre productions.

He is also the recipient of the Shakespeare Prize, the European Prize for Literature, the David Cohen British Literature Prize, the Laurence Olivier Award and the Moliere D'Honneur for lifetime achievement.

Highlights of the archive include an affectionate run of letters from Samuel Beckett, letters and hand-written manuscripts revealing Pinter's close collaboration with director Joseph Losey, and an exchange of letters with poet Philip Larkin.

The papers - together with material relating to the award of the Nobel Prize, cuttings books, and photographs - form one of the most significant post-War literary archives.

"It is thrilling for the British Library to have acquired the archive of our greatest living playwright," said Jamie Andrews, head of modern literary manuscripts.

"This is a wonderful collection that sheds new light on each stage of Harold Pinter's unparalleled career over the past 50 years.

"We look forward to making the material accessible to researchers, and to playing our part in celebrating his life and work."

The archive is to be catalogued and will be completed at the end of 2008.

A small temporary display, His Own Domain: Harold Pinter, A Life in Theatre, will run at the British Library, in London, from 11 January to 13 April.

Pinter to appear in his own play
22 Feb 07 |  Entertainment
French PM honours Harold Pinter
18 Jan 07 |  Entertainment
Pinter wins Nobel literary prize
13 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
'Political element' to Pinter prize
13 Oct 05 |  Entertainment
EastEnders' Martin to leave soap
15 Apr 06 |  Entertainment
Pinter 'to give up writing plays'
28 Feb 05 |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific