Department of Special Collections and University Archives
McFarlin Library. University of Tulsa.  2933 E. 6th St.  Tulsa, OK.  74104-3123 (OKT - OkTU)

V.S. Naipaul archive

Collection   1993-003



Level of Description:  Box and folder level.

Name of creator(s):  V.S. Naipaul

Date of creation:  On-going.

Scope and Content:   This collection is the life archive of Nobel prize winning author V. S. Naipaul. Sir Vidia was born in Trinidad, educated at Oxford, and author of A House for Mr. Biswas and 20 other volumes of fiction and non-fiction reporting. The collection also includes manuscripts, correspondence files and personal and family memorabilia.

Administrative/Biographical History:  V.S. Naipaul and The University of Tulsa have agreed that Mr. Naipaul will retain for his current working purposes the most recent ten years of his personal papers, with the oldest materials transferred to the University about every two years. The agreement was signed in 1993, and materials dating prior to 1984 were transferred immediately. An addendum transferred in 1995 brings the correspondence files now in Tulsa to about 1986. The papers of Patricia Ann Hale Naipaul were added to the Archive in August 1996.

The University permits access to the Naipaul Archive under the policies and procedures which govern access to other collections held by the University. Mr. Naipaul retains any and all copyrights; he permits the University, however, to provide photocopies requested by scholars in the normal course of their work and to approve requests to publish brief quotations from materials in the Archive in scholarly journals or books. Scholars must obtain from Mr. Naipaul's literary agents advance written approval of any request for large numbers of photocopies (including whole manuscripts) or for publication exceeding the brief quotation typical of scholarly writing.

Mr. Naipaul has made all of his pre-publication notes, drafts, manuscripts, and typescripts-- described here as Series I: Writings -- open to scholars under the University's usual policies for access to unpublished materials, restricting only a few notebooks for INDIA: A WOUNDED CIVILIZATION, A TURN IN THE SOUTH and INDIA: A MILLION MUTINIES NOW so that the identity of persons interviewed cannot be easily established. Mr. Naipaul has asked, however, that access to family and professional correspondence files (Series II in the outline of this guide, but not yet fully described) be restricted for the time being to scholars who have obtained his prior approval. Series III, Photographs and Sound and Video Recordings, is open (but note that we do not have appropriate equipment to play the video tapes and one sound recording). Series IV, Financial Records, is not yet been organized and is also restricted.

Scholars who wish to use restricted files or to request extensive photocopying should make their request to Mr. Naipaul's literary agents, The Wylie Agency, Inc. 250 West 57th Street, Suite 2114, New York, NY 10107 Tel #1-212-246-0069 Fax 212-586-8953 , or The Wylie Agency (UK), Ltd. 17 Bedford Square,  London WC1B 3JA Tel + 44-(0)20-7908-5900 Fax 020-7908-5901  email:

Scholars are asked to cite items in Series I descriptively, not by document box and folder numbers, as these numbers are not yet stable: the 1995 addendum, for example, added three boxes of early notes, drafts, and research materials to the materials inventoried earlier, including more than a box of materials relating to the 1973 Michael X Black Power killings in Trinidad. It is possible that early materials will continue to be discovered and for that reason the current organization can not be regarded as final.

Access and Copyright:

Language and Scripts:  English.

Finding aid/Inventory:  Finding aid is available online.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition:   V.S. Naipaul via his then agent, Gillon Aiken.

Date(s) of description:   Sidney F. Huttner, last rev. Jan 2002.

Access Points:

Subject Headings 

Personal names 

Corporate names


Outline of the Guide

Chronology of Vidia Naipaul's Life
Series I: Writings
  A:    Seepersad Naipaul Materials.  
  B:    Vidia Naipaul (VSN) Writings. Arranged by order of composition in so far as possible; projects sometimes overlap and have been kept together, so "order of composition" is not perfectly consistent.  
  C:    Patricia Ann Hale Naipaul (PAN) writings; political activities files; journals; notebooks; and address books.  
Series II: Correspondence Files
  A.    VSN's professional and personal correspondence. Originally filed in letter boxes, each representing one or two years; now alphabetized by correspondent.  
  B.    Letters to and from PAN. To be arranged chronologically.  
  C.    PAN correspondence files. alphabetized by correspondent.  
  D.    Correspondence with VSN's family. Arranged by family member(s), then chronologically.  
Series III: Memorabilia
  A.    Photographs.  
  B.    Sound Recordings and Video Tapes.  
Series IV: Financial Records
Andre Deutsch Naipaul Files
Copyright 2008 McFarlin Library - The University of Tulsa. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06/23/10.

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