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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; holograph 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.


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)

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Note on alternate formats:

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

Package 1 [3 items]
"An entrance to the Waste land," pen & ink drawing 20" x 13 7/8"
"Salome," 1 poster paint (?) 11 7/8" x 17 3/4"
"Mon reve," 1 crayon 13 7/8" x 19 7/8"
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 A.C.
Box 1 L. de Giberne Siebeking 1928, July 17
Box 1 "Open letter..." Society of Hidden Masters undated - 14 pg. with 4 pg. typescript transcription
Box Box 1 1 Sutherland, Cordelia 1943-1945, undated - includes pencil drawing by A.C.
Box 1 "Blizzard in The Sahara" March 1, 1911 - holo., 14 pg., printed from Bystander, 3 pg.
Box 1 "Book of the Law" - photocopy of mss., 65 pg.
Box 1 "Ceremony of initiation" [and] "Reception" - tsc. with holo., notes, 34 pg.
Box 1 "Ceremony of installing a W.M. of Blue Lodge" - holo., 4 pg.
Box 1 "Constitution of The Order of Thelemites" - ts, and tsc., 9 pg. each
Box 1 "Constitutions of The Order of Thelemites" (another version) and "Pledge from Order of Thelemites" - 8 pg. and holo., 1 pg.
Box 1 "DCLXXI... and a versified ritual for The feast of the equinox" - ts with holo., notes 19 pg.
Box 1 [Duty] - ts with holo. notes, 10 pg.
Box 1 "Esoteric records of the workings of Jan. 1914, E.V." - ts, 40 pg., numbered 1-39; printed catalogue, Exhibition of occult and alchemical designs for the cards of The Tarot of the Egyptians, 19 pg., note on back cover; photo, "With love from Aleister"
Box 1 "Few visitors to Sicily ever..." and "Paintings in the chambre des Cauchemars" - tsc with holo. notes and tsc, 17 pg.
Box 1 "De homunculo epistola" - tsc, 6 pg.
Box 1 "An hymn for the American people (Independence Day)" - holo., 3 pg.
Box 1 "Hymn to Satan" - holo., 2 pg.
Box 1 "Memorandum: It must be perfectly clear..." - holo., 3 pg.
Box 1 "Memorandum re 'Stipend'" (re: Tarot) 1942 - holo., 6 pg., and exhibition catalogue: Berkeley Galleries (London) Tarot cards of by Frieda Harris, 23 pg., (2 copies)
Box 1 "Minerval degree"; "Rituals of MMM"; "Preface" - tsc, 3 pg.; tsc with holo. notes, 10 pg.; tsc, 2 pg.
Box 1 "Mohammed" - tsc, 3 pg.
Box 1 "Notes of the Paris working" - tsc, 2 pg.
Box 1 "Oath of a probationer" - printed certificate, 2 pg.
Box 1 "Questions useful for proving a Master Magician" - holo., 2 pg.
Box 1 "Ritual: mark of the beast" - tsc, 18 pg.
Box 1 "Ritual to invoke HICEE" - holo., 7 pg.
Box 1 "Riz Aleister Crowley" - tsc, 2pg.
Box 1 "This is the word of Baphomet to all members of the O.T.O." and "An epistle of Baphomet..." - tsp, 8 pg. and tsc, 4 pg.
Box 1 "Tribes composing the Russias are..." - holo., 10 pg.
Box 1 "Whirlpool by E. Arch., introduction by A.C. - holo., 3 pg.
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Limerick: "There was a young lady..." holo., 1 pg.
Poem, "Eat thou me..." tsc, 1 pg.
Writings of others
Box 1 Anon. "Clear Crowley's name campaign" undated - tsc, with holo. corrections, 3 pg.
Box 1 Hirsig, Leah "Three chapters in my life" ca. 1924 - tsc & holo., with col. illus. & tables 179 pg.
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 [3 items]
1 piece parchment, 1 col. illus. Tarot card, Greek alphabet

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