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Archives and Special Collections: Lindsay Anderson

BBC Radio 4 Great Lives

Our University Archivist, Karl Magee, joined the actor Brian Cox to discuss the life and work of Lindsay Anderson on an episode of Radio 4's Great Lives broadcast on 5 April 2022. Listen again at: 

Collection information

Collection: Lindsay Anderson Archive

Collection Ref.: GB 0559 LA

Biographical History:

Lindsay Anderson (1923-94) film-maker, theatre director, critic and actor. The son of a British army officer, he was born in Bangalore, India, attended Cheltenham College and Oxford University. While at Oxford he co-founded the film magazine Sequence in 1947. He became a documentary film-maker in the 1950s and was one of the founders of the 'Free Cinema' movement which challenged the established cosy images of British life with a series of dramas and documentaries portraying subjects hitherto rarely seen on screen. In 1962 Anderson directed his first feature film, This Sporting Life , starring Richard Harris. In 1968 Anderson made If…. which won the Palm D'or at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival. Other films included O Lucky Man! (1972) and Britannia Hospital (1982). Anderson also had a long and distinguished career in the theatre. He directed many productions for the Royal Court Theatre, where he directed his first play in 1957. He also wrote a number of works on the cinema including Making a Film - the Story of Secret People (1952) and About John Ford (1981). His final work was the autobiographical television documentary Is that all there is? (1992).


Correspondence, production notes, scripts, photographs, promotional material and press cuttings relating to all of Lindsay Anderson's films and 40 of this theatre productions; correspondence and scripts relating to unrealised film projects; general correspondence files (1970s-90s); correspondence and minutes of Royal Court Theatre; correspondence with the British Film Institute (1974-94); correspondence with the BBC (1977-94); personal diaries and working papers; theatre and film posters; scrapbooks; awards and memorabilia. The collection also includes Anderson's personal library of books (mainly relating to film and theatre).

Extent: 200 linear metres

Catalogue information

The Lindsay Anderson Archive has been fully catalogued to item-level. The full catalogue (including over 10,000 item-level descriptions) is available online on the University of Stirling Archives Catalogue. A printed file-level list of the contents of the collection is also available for consultation in the archives reading room.

Additional collection information

Custodial History: The collection was transferred to the University of Stirling from the Scottish Screen Archive in 2001.

Accruals: No further accruals expected

Access conditions: A small amount of material is closed to researchers. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Language: English, French, Polish


The following books have used material from the collection:

Hedling, Erik & Dupin, Christophe (eds.), Lindsay Anderson Revisited - Unknown Aspects of a Film Director (London 2016)

Hedling, Erik, Lindsay Anderson, Maverick Film-Maker, (London, 1998)

Izod, John, Lindsay Anderson (Manchester University Press, 2012)

Lambert, Gavin, Mainly About Lindsay Anderson, (London, 2000)

Ryan, Paul, (ed.) Never Apologise: The Collected Writings of Lindsay Anderson, (London, 2004)

Sutton, Paul, (ed.) The Lindsay Anderson Diaries, (London, 2004)

The following books provide further information on Lindsay Anderson and his work:

Sussex, Elizabeth, Lindsay Anderson, (London, 1969)

Silet, Charles, Lindsay Anderson - a guide to references and resources, (London, 1979)

Graham, Alison, Lindsay Anderson, (Boston, 1981)

Sherwin, David, Going Mad in Hollywood, (London, 1997)

Online exhibition

Culture on Campus 2023 Exhibition

Never Apologise: an exhibition from the Lindsay Anderson Archive

Our 2023 #CultureOnStirCampus exhibition celebrates the centenary of the birth of the film maker Lindsay Anderson. The exhibition, celebrating his life and work, was displayed in the Macrobert Arts Centre from 23 January to 21 May 2023. An online version of the exhibition is now available including additional content from the archive

Book cover


New study of the films of Lindsay Anderson produced as part of the AHRC Cinema Authorship of Lindsay Anderson project. Published by Manchester University Press in autumn 2012.

Online resources

Collection image


Using the collection

Archives Reading Room

Opening Hours:

10.00 am - 1.00 pm / 2.00 pm - 4.00 pm

Monday - Friday

Contact us:

Tel. 01786 466619


Please contact us in advance of your visit. Material can be ordered in advance by emailing us at