Photograph of Richard Harris in Pirandello’s Henry IV with a note from Peter O’Toole. ©The Richard Harris Estate.
University College Cork (UCC) and the Richard Harris Estate are delighted to announce that the archives of Richard Harris have been donated to UCC.
Richard Harris was one of the most iconic film actors of the late twentieth century. Nominated for two Academy Awards for This Sporting Life (1963) and The Field (1990), his other leading roles included the parts of King Arthur in Camelot (1967) and Marcus Aurelius in Gladiator (2000).
The Richard Harris Archive span over 50 years and are an extensive collection of manuscripts, letters, photographs, literary works, artefacts and professional and personal documents which belonged to the late actor. The Richard Harris Archive gives a unique insight into one of Ireland’s legendary actors who starred in some of the most celebrated pieces of cinema of the last half century, who won or was nominated for the most prestigious awards in film and theatre.
Among the archives are Richard’s personal creative writing manuscripts including poetry, publicity and location photos from his screen and stage performances including Camelot, The Field, Pirandello’s Henry IV and as Professor Albus Dumbledore in the first two Harry Potter films. In addition, the archive includes private memos, items from film sets, Young Munster rugby plaques and pictures as well as letters and wire communications from family and friends, arts critics, and co-performers. Harris’s personal documents reveal a man whose skills as a gifted athlete and talented rugby player not only served him in practical ways for his performance in This Sporting Life, but for the duration of his career on stage and screen, and as a writer, director and producer of universal acclaim.
Research by Dr Barry Monahan, Lecturer in UCC's Department of Film & Screen Media in the School of Film, Music & Theatre, focuses on the relationship between Irish film and theatre, and the work of Richard Harris, particularly his contribution with his contemporaries to defining a national style of performance on stage and screen.
University College Cork’s acquisition of these archives marks a new stage in the development of contemporary cultural collections at the university. Crónán Ó Doibhlin, Head of Collections at UCC Library said, “The Richard Harris Archive will be of great benefit to the arts and culture industry to Richard Harris’s home province of Munster, where his legacy as a loved and internationally respected actor continues to be celebrated and cherished.”
UCC has plans to develop a UCC Treasures Gallery which will be a fully secure and serviced space which will provide for public display and interpretation of a variety of artefacts.
The first public exhibition of the archives will take place in Richard Harris’s birth city of Limerick at the Hunt Museum in 2024.
Further details of University College Cork Library’s Richard Harris Archive exhibition at the Hunt Museum, Limerick will be released at a later date.
For any further enquiries please contact Crónán Ó Doibhlin, Head of Collections. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org