I am so excited. The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has acquired the “Vivien Leigh Archive,” from her family.
November will mark the the centenary of Vivien Leigh’s birth, a two-time Oscar winner and the second wife of Laurence Olivier. Though she played countless roles, she was best known for playing Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind.
This archive, purchased from her family, contains scrapbooks, photos, diaries and letters that all belonged to Vivien Leigh.
Vivien was a prolific letter writer and wrote thousands of letters during her lifetime.
From the V&A website: The archive also contains more than 7,500 personal letters addressed to both Leigh and Olivier from the likes of TS Eliot, Arthur Miller, Sir Winston, Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother who thanks the couple for remembering her.
Professional correspondence includes letters from Tennessee Williams, including one from 1950 about Leigh’s role as Blanche in the film adaption of his play A Streetcar Name Desire, in which he writes: “It is needless to repeat here my truly huge happiness over the picture and particularly your part in it. It is the Blanche I had always dreamed of and I am grateful to you for bringing it so beautifully to life on the screen.”
The Victoria and Albert Museum will have a “revolving” display this autumn. Hopefully, sometime soon, maybe in 2014, the V&A Museum will allow persons (such as myself!!!) in to view the entire collection for research purposes. The British Library in London houses the Laurence Olivier Archive, which is availabe to researchers.