British Library acquires only authorized Beatles biography collection

The British Library has acquired the private archive – containing notebooks, videos and photos – of Hunter Davies, author of The Beatles’ only authorized biography to date.

avies spent 18 months with the Fab Four and had unprecedented access to John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Sir Ringo Starr as he wrote his 1968 book.

He was present at key moments in the band’s nearly decade together, including their performance of All You Need Is Love in Our World in June 1967, the worldwide live TV link. first demand.


A letter to Brian Epstein proposing the idea of ​​an authorized biography of The Beatles (Hunter Davies/British Library/PA)

The collection includes Davies’ notebooks containing never before seen sketches of Harrison and Lennon by Sir Paul, his typed drafts of The Beatles: The Authorized Biography with handwritten commentary by Sir Paul. Lennon’s aunt Mimi and the Super 8 video of his family vacationing in Portugal with Sir Paul and Linda McCartney.

Also included in the acquisition were typed notes from Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager, from 1962 about how the band should present themselves, including what they should wear, when in public add.

The items will be displayed alongside other Beatles related things at the Sir John Ritblat Gallery at the British Library in London.

Davies, also a journalist and broadcaster, said: “The further we got from The Beatles, the bigger they became.

“I never thought in the years that followed my crude notebooks would receive so much attention – and I’m glad they’ll be made available to a wider audience than Beatles fans and academics alike. research through the British Library.”


Hunter Davies’ notebook opens at the page where he talks to John Lennon about the costumes The Beatles wore in their early years (Hunter Davies/British Library/PA)

Greg Buzwell, curator of contemporary literature at the British Library, said: “We are delighted to have an archive of Hunter Davies’ biography.

“His collection of notebooks, ephemera and photographs gives us a fascinating glimpse into the Beatles’ career at their peak.

Video of the day

“The archive also provides a unique record of how Hunter wrote what remains as the group’s only authorized biography.

“With great access to John, Paul, George and Ringo, along with other influential figures in their lives, Hunter’s research notes for his book are an important addition. important to the Library’s collection and provides a raw firsthand look at how the Beatles became an icon of the 1960s counterculture and changed the face of popular music forever.

To mark the acquisition, Davies will recall writing a biography and providing details about his archives at an event at the British Library and online on 11 November. British Library acquires only authorized Beatles biography collection

Fry Electronics Team

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