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Aleister Crowley Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Crowley, Aleister, 1875-1947
Title: Aleister Crowley Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1911-1944
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the English occultist and author. Correspondence, incoming and outgoing, with Frieda Harris, Cordelia Sutherland, and others; handwritten and typescript essays, poems, and notes; drawings, and printed advertisements.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), born Edward Alexander Crowley, was an English occultist, writer and mystic. His interests and accomplishments were wide-ranging: among other things he was a poet, painter, astrologer, and social critic; he experimented with various drugs and was an excellent chess player. He attended Trinity College, Cambridge where he read English literature and became interested in the occult, investigating alchemy, mysticism, and magic. He was involved in several occult organizations, including the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn and Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.).

Crowley is perhaps best known today for his occult writings, especially The Book of the Law which laid out the central tenets of Thelema, a religious philosophy he developed. Thelema's often-misunderstood emphasis on the sovereignty of the individual will, famously phrased as "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law," was later adopted in various forms by many Wicca, Pagan, and Neo-Pagan groups.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Aleister Crowley Collection consists of six series. Artwork contains three drawings in an oversize package. Correspondence includes incoming and outgoing. Writings comprises manuscripts of various articles, essays, etc written by Crowley. Writings of others contains letters from the "Clear Crowley's Name" campaign and, more interestingly, a typescript (in red and purple) of 180pp of Leah Hirsig's journal. Hirsig was a Swiss-American who, with Crowley, founded the Abbey of Thelema in Sicily and had a child with him. Most of the journal is set in Paris and mentions some conflict with Crowley which she refers to as "the 207 affair."Printed material includes advertisements and songs, and finally there is some little Miscellaneous material.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Because of the deleterious effect on the life of the paper caused by continual handling, the original documents in this collection are completely closed. Researchers may refer to Microfilm #4636, or request photocopies for reproduction costs plus postage and handling. (30 Jun 1982)

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

The entire collection is also available on microfilm (Microfilm #4636).

Special Collections Research Center also has a set of microfilm reels comprising "The Aleister Crowley Papers: The Microfilm Edition," released by Ordo Templo Orientis in association with the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Studies, University of London (2002). This consists of notebooks, manuscripts, papers, novels, poetry, commentaries on The Book of the Law, diaries, financial and legal papers, galley proofs, catalogues, bibliographies, and Crowley's Golden Dawn notebooks, all on microfilm. Please contact the repository listed above for more information on this material.

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Subject Headings


Crowley, Aleister, 1875-1947.
Harris, Frieda.
Hirsig, Leah.
Sutherland, Cordelia.

Corporate Bodies

The A∴A∴
Ordo Templi Orientis.


Authors, English.
Occultists, England.

Genres and Forms

Drawings (visual works)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Aleister Crowley Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: -
Date: unknown
Revision history: 22 Oct 2006 - converted to EAD (AMCon); 12 Apr 2023 - artwork, miscellaneous material updated/corrected; jargon abbreviations replaced/expanded (MRC)

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Note on alternate formats:

The entire collection is also available on microfilm (Microfilm #4636).

Oversize 1 Original art (5 items)
"An entrance to the Waste land," pen and ink drawing 20" x 13 7/8", also a photographic reproduction of it
"Salome," color poster paint (?) 11 7/8" x 17 3/4"
"Mon rêve," crayon or charcoal, 13 7/8" x 19 7/8"
Logo (or lamen) of the Ordo Templi Orientis, color drawing, with notes on back that appear to be a list of supplies needed for a working
Box 1 Eve (Brooke-Smith, Mrs. Pearl) 28 Dec 1942
Box 1 Frater (?) undated
Box 1 Harris, Frieda 1939-1943 (4 folders)
Box 1 Forsyte, Kerman & Phillips
Box 1 Pearson, H A. 1942, undated - includes photograph of AC inscribed on back "With love from Aleister"
Box 1 L. de Giberne Siebeking 1928, July 17
Box 1 "Open letter..." Society of Hidden Masters undated - 14 pp. with 4 pp. typescript transcription
Box 1 Sutherland, Cordelia 1943-1945, undated - includes pencil drawing by A.C.
Box 1 "Blizzard in The Sahara" March 1, 1911 - handwritten, 14 pp., printed from Bystander, 3 pp.
Box 1 "Book of the Law" - photocopy of mss., 65 pp.
Box 1 "Ceremony of initiation" [and] "Reception" - typescript carbon with handwritten, notes, 34 pp.
Box 1 "Ceremony of installing a W.M. of Blue Lodge" - handwritten, 4 pp.
Box 1 "Constitution of The Order of Thelemites" - typescript, and typescript carbon, 9 pp. each
Box 1 "Constitutions of The Order of Thelemites" (another version) and "Pledge from Order of Thelemites" - 8 pp. and handwritten, 1 pp.
Box 1 "DCLXXI... and a versified ritual for The feast of the equinox" - typescript with handwritten notes 19 pp.
Box 1 [Duty] - typescript with handwritten notes, 10 pp.
Box 1 "Esoteric records of the workings of Jan. 1914, E.V." - typescript, 40 pp., numbered 1-39; printed catalogue, Exhibition of occult and alchemical designs for the cards of The Tarot of the Egyptians, 19 pp., note on back cover
Box 1 "Few visitors to Sicily ever..." and "Paintings in the chambre des Cauchemars" - typescript carbon with handwritten notes; typescript carbon 17 pp.
Box 1 "De homunculo epistola" - typescript carbon, 6 pp.
Box 1 "An hymn for the American people (Independence Day)" - handwritten, 3 pp.
Box 1 "Hymn to Satan" - handwritten, 2 pp.
Box 1 "Memorandum: It must be perfectly clear..." - handwritten, 3 pp.
Box 1 "Memorandum re 'Stipend'" (re: Tarot) 1942 - handwritten, 6 pp.; exhibition catalogue, Berkeley Galleries (London), Tarot cards by Frieda Harris, 23 pp., 2 copies
Box 1 "Minerval degree"; "Rituals of MMM"; "Preface" - typescript carbon, 3 pp.; typescript carbon with handwritten notes, 10 pp.; typescript carbon, 2 pp.
Box 1 "Mohammed" - typescript carbon, 3 pp.
Box 1 "Notes of the Paris working" - typescript carbon, 2 pp.
Box 1 "Oath of a probationer" - printed certificate, 2 pp.
Box 1 "Questions useful for proving a Master Magician" - handwritten, 2 pp.
Box 1 "Ritual: mark of the beast" - typescript carbon, 18 pp.
Box 1 "Ritual to invoke HICEE" - handwritten, 7 pp.
Box 1 "Riz Aleister Crowley" - typescript carbon, 2pp.
Box 1 "This is the word of Baphomet to all members of the O.T.O." and "An epistle of Baphomet..." - typescript carbon, 8 pp. and typescript carbon, 4 pp.
Box 1 "Tribes composing the Russias are..." - handwritten, 10 pp.
Box 1 "Whirlpool by E. Arch., introduction by A.C. - handwritten, 3 pp.
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Limerick: "There was a young lady..." handwritten, 1 pp.
Poem, "Eat thou me..." typescript carbon, 1 pp.
Writings of others
Box 1 Anon. "Clear Crowley's name campaign" undated - typescript carbon with handwritten corrections, 3 pp.
Box 1 Hirsig, Leah "Three chapters in my life" ca. 1924 - typescript carbon and handwritten with colored illustrations, 179 pp.
Printed material
Box 1 Miscellaneous
"La Gauloise (song of the Free French) ' by A.C. 14 July 1942
Advertisement for C's "Fun of the Fair" 2 copies
Advertisement for C's "Why Jesus Wept" - 2 versions
Box 1 Miscellaneous
one sheet of parchment stationery with logo of A∴A∴ at top, and 2 negatives of the logo; handwritten Greek alphabet with notes

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