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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Restrictions on Access
  • Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
  • Provenance/Source of Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Biography/History
  • Organization and Arrangement
  • Scope and Content
  • UCLA Catalog Record ID

  • Title: Aldous and Laura Huxley papers
    Collection number: 2009
    Contributing Institution: UCLA Library Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 50.5 linear ft. (110 boxes, 4 cartons, and 5 oversize boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1925-2007
    Abstract: Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894-1963) was a prolific writer of novels, essays, poetry, criticism, and screenplays. The Aldous Huxley Papers portion of the collection consists correspondence between Aldous Huxley and publishers Harper & Row, personal correspondence, holographic notes, literary manuscripts and personal effects. Laura Archera Huxley (1911-2007) was a musician, author, psychological counselor and lecturer. The materials in the collection that comprise the personal papers of Laura Archer Huxley include personal correspondence, holographic and typewritten notes, manuscripts, collected articles and clippings and interviews. As well, there are photographs and audiovisual recordings of both Aldous Huxley and Laura Archera Huxley.
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
    Selected digitized images from this collection.
    Creator: Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963
    Creator: Huxley, Laura Archera

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to UCLA Library Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Collection partially assembled by the UCLA Library Special Collections staff by purchase and gift.
    Gift of Harper & Row, 1972.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Aldous and Laura Huxley papers (Collection 2009). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.


    Aldous Leonard Huxley was born on July 26, 1894 in Surrey, England; a disease of the eyes permanently weakened his vision at age 16, disrupting his plan to enter the medical profession; BA, Balliol College, Oxford, 1916; employed by the British government during World War I; schoolmaster at Eton College, 1917-19; staff member of Athenaeum and Westminster gazette, 1919-24; published his first novel, Chrome yellow, in 1921; went on to write Point counter point (1928), Brave new world (1932), Eyeless in Gaza (1936), and Island (1962), among others; was a prolific writer of essays, poetry, criticism, and screenplays; received D. Litt. from University of California in 1959; died on November 22, 1963 in California.
    Laura Huxley was born on November 2, 1911 in Turin (Torino), Italy. Laura studied violin since the age of ten, and as a teenager, continued her studies of the instrument in Berlin, Paris, and Rome. She eventually toured Europe and the United States, performing at Carnegie Hall and further pursuing her music study at the Curtis Institute of Philadelphia.
    During World War II, Laura decided to remain in the United States and live with her close friend --- sister to Ernest Hemingway's second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer Hemingway --- Virginia Pfeiffer. Laura Huxley's study in psychotherapy, health, and nutrition was prompted by Virginia Pfeiffer's diagnosis of cancer in 1949. Before her studies and career in well-being, psychology, and health, Laura Huxley worked in Hollywood. Aldous Huxley and his first wife, Maria, met Laura Archera in 1948 while living in Wrightwood, California. In 1955, Maria Huxley died of breast cancer. One year after Maria's death, Aldous and Laura were married in Yuma, California. Together, they moved into a home in Hollywood Hills on Deronda Drive. After their house and most of Aldous's personal manuscripts and library were burned in a fire on May 12, 1961, the couple moved in with Virginia Pfeiffer and her two adopted children.
    In 1959, before the fire, Aldous Huxley presented a series of lectures at the University of California, Santa Barbara called "The Human Situation." In 1961, Huxley repeated a variation of "The Human Situation" in a lecture series he presented at M.I.T. when he was the Carnegie Visiting Professor in Humanities. Huxley also spoke on "Human Potentialities" at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California. In 1960, Aldous Huxley was diagnosed with laryngeal cancer. Aldous Huxley wrote and published his last novel, Island, in 1962. He died on November 22, 1963, the same day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
    In 1963, Laura published her book, You Are Not the Target. She also offered psychological health and well-being guidance in the form of workshops and seminars to various groups and individuals in Southern California. Laura went on to publish a personal account of her life with Aldous in a book titled This Timeless Moment in 1969. Her later publications include Between Heaven and Earth: Recipes for Living and Loving (1974), Oneaday Reason to be Happy (1986) and The Child of Your Dreams (1987), co-authored with her nephew, Piero Ferrucci. In 1977, she founded a non-profit organization called, "Our Ultimate Investment" (OUI) which later became "Children: Our Ultimate Investment." The organization sponsored conferences on the topic of "the nurturing of the possible human" in 1978 and 1994. Among the awards and acknowledgments given to Laura Huxley in her life are an Honorary Doctorate in Human Services from La Sierra University and the Thomas R. Verny Award from the Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health in December of 2003. Laura Huxley died of cancer on December 13, 2007 in her Hollywood home.

    Organization and Arrangement

    The Aldous Huxley papers are arranged in the following series:
    1. Correspondence (Box 1).
    2. Literary manuscripts and interviews (Boxes 2-4,7-9)
    3. Harper & Row correspondence (Boxes 5-6)
    4. Correspondence and holograph of children's story (Box 10)
    5. Novels, Essays and Articles (Boxes 16-21, 45-47, 50, 51, 56-59, 60-62, 64)
    6. Lectures and Speeches (Boxes 22, 23, 46, 50, 56, 91-94, 97-99, 107, 114)
    7. Writings About Aldous Huxley (Boxes 15, 41, 44, 46-47, 53, 64)
    8. Retrospectives (Boxes 94-95, 98-100)
    9. Writings Based on the Work of Aldous Huxley (Boxes 23-24, 47, 56)
    10. Interviews (Boxes 4, 91-92, 94-95, 99, 101, 111, 112)
    11. Personal (Boxes 41, 46, 48, 50, 55, 58, 63, 74-76, 82-86, 88-91, 97-101)
    12. Psychedelics (Boxes 27, 85, 98, 100)
    13. Contents of Grey Metal Box (Boxes 45, 80-81)
    14. Photographs (Boxes 65-73, 77)
    15. Safe Contents (Boxes 78-79)
    16. Music (Boxes 85, 98, 99, 106)
    The Laura Huxley papers are arranged in the following series:
    1. Aldous Huxley Related Material (Boxes 42-44, 55-53)
    2. Interviews (Boxes 85, 101-102, 106, 114)
    3. Lectures and Speeches (Boxes 84, 99-100, 103-106, 113-115)
    4. Music (Boxes 106, 114)
    5. Novels, Essays and Other Written Works (Boxes 30, 33, 39, 51, 54, 107)
    6. Research / Professional / Projects (Boxes 31-32, 37, 38, 40, 52-55)
    7. Personal (Boxes 25-26, 34-36, 39, 55, 65, 69, 71, 75, 85-88, 111-112, 101-105, 108-110 )
    8. Photographs (Boxes 65, 69-72, 77)
    9. Psychedelics (Boxes 28-29, 52, 103, 105, 109, 115)

    Scope and Content

    The first 10 boxes of this collection consist primarily of business correspondence between Aldous Huxley and publishers Harper & Row, personal correspondence, and literary manuscripts. Correspondents include Jacob Zeitlin, Lawrence Clark Powell, Gerald Heard, Lewis Mumford, Hugh Trevor-Roper, and Lionel Trilling. Literary manuscripts include The devils of Loudon and Time must have a stop.
    Boxes 11-15 include the books from Aldous Huxley's personal library. These items are catalogued in the UCLA online library catalog.
    Following the first 15 boxes, the additions to this original acquisition (added between 2009 to 2011) consist of personal papers, handwritten notes, typed drafts of articles, essays and novels, galleys, day calendars, sketchbooks, drafts of previously unpublished essays, collected clippings, journal articles, off-prints, magazines, personal effects such as pens, eyeglasses, eye patches, memberships cards and a passport.
    The collection contains audio-visual materials such as sound recordings in reel and cassette tape formats as well as recorded film reels and VHS videos. The collection also contains photographs and assorted negatives.
    The first level of organization of the additions has been arranged into two record groups according to their creator, either Aldous Huxley or Laura Huxley. The series under each record group reflect the materials and intellectual content of the material therein. The materials organized under the record group "Aldous Huxley Papers" are organized into series that are slightly different from the series organizing the "Laura Huxley Papers," reflecting the slightly different nature of the materials within the record group. The first 10 boxes of the collection were arranged and assigned series at an earlier time than the additions. For this reason the series organizing these first 15 boxes do not fall within the organizational schema applied to the additions to the collection. Therefore the correspondence in this record group "The Aldous Huxley Papers" can be found under a few different series: 'Correspondence' (Box 1) and 'Personal: Correspondence' (Boxes 48-49). Within a series there are often subseries categories that further organize the material. For example, under the 'Personal' series of "The Aldous Huxley Papers" are the subseries: Correspondence, [last writings on deathbed], Family Related, Personal Effects, Recordings, Research Related and Sketch. The subseries under the series 'Personal' in the Laura Huxley Papers section of the collection include: Collected by, Correspondence, Early Life, Film, Personal Effects, recordings, Video Recordings and Virginia Pfeiffer. The other series in the collection also have subseries categories, some of which are by media type such as 'Recordings,' while other subseries are the title of a work or lecture or the name of a correspondent.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 1720639 

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963--Archives.
    Huxley, Laura Archera--Archives.
    Authors, English--20th century--Archives.
    manuscripts for publication.