A call for Isaiah Berlin’s letters etc.

The four-volume edition of Isaiah Berlin’s letters is now complete. The editorial team would be very grateful not only to see any correspondence with IB that readers of this page are able to supply, but also to hear of the whereabouts of any other correspondence that readers may know of. IB often did not keep copies of his letters, even when they were typed, and we are dependent on the generosity of owners of his correspondence for the chance to select from the widest possible range of letters those which may eventually be published, either in a possible one-volume selection, or online.

We undertake to treat whatever we are shown with the greatest discretion; and we should of course respect any preference on the part of those who supply correspondence that particular letters or passages should not be quoted or published within a particular time-limit, or at all.

We should be glad to receive photocopies of letters if their owners prefer not to lend originals. Any originals sent on loan can be copied and returned quickly.

IB was an incomparable letter-writer, and a secondary purpose underlying this request is that as complete an archive of his correspondence as possible should be accumulated, now, before it is too late. Already many of his letters have been lost, with the passage of time and the death of some of his correspondents.

Please contact Henry Hardy, at Wolfson College, OXFORD, OX2 6UD, email henry.hardy@wolfson.ox.ac.uk


Recordings and other material

We should also be grateful for other material relevant to the overall project – for example, tape recordings of lectures not listed in the catalogue on this site, and anecdotal information about Berlin’s life.