Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Harwell mss., 1943-1944, 1948, consist of letters from various writers, journalists, etc., to astrologer Pierce Harwell, 1916-1985. Harwell was a young college dropout who took up the study of astrology and subsequently developed a reputation in Los Angeles during the 1940s as someone very adept at doing astrological charts. Anaïs Nin introduced Harwell to Henry Miller who in turn introduced him to other friends for the purpose of doing their astrological charts. The letters present in this collection include astrological questions, descriptions of dreams, birth dates of friends for the creation of astrological charts, and topics of a personal or social nature. By far the largest of the correspondence files is that of Henry Miller, including the one letter that dates from 1948 and that is not to Harwell but to Lafayette Young. Also present in the Henry Miller file is a copy of his "Open Letter to All and Sundry," which he sent to friends and associates in March 1943, explaining his art and love of painting, offering his watercolors for sale, and asking for support in the way of painting supplies and old clothing; as well as a 10-page carbon copy of "Excerpt from chapter on prison - 'The Soul of Anaesthesia'."

Correspondents in the collection are: James Cooney, Savington Crampton, Bravig Imbs, Henry Miller, Melpomene Niarchos, Dudley Nichols, Anaïs Nin, Eduardo Sanchez. The final letter, dated September 12, 1943, is from an unknown correspondent but type signed "Dee."

The collection is arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Purchase. 1999

Collection size: 72 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.