Scope and arrangement
The collection contains correspondence, ephemera, publications, offprints of clinical studies, audio recordings, and other items documenting or commemorating the work of Timothy Leary, and a number of his associates and related entities, including the Castalia Foundation, Kriya Press, Freedom Center and Psychedelic Enterprises, and the house in Millbrook, New York, which served as Leary's main base of operations between 1963 and 1967. The material was collected or retained by Leary's bibliographer and personal archivist, Michael Horowitz, and much of it was received directly from the individuals involved or represented. Chief among these are Ralph Metzner, research assistant on the Harvard Psilocybin Project, and Howard Durch, a Millbrook estate resident and accountant for the Castalia foundation.
Correspondents represented in the collection include Richard Alpert (Ram Dass), Timothy Scully, Nicholas Sand, R. Gordon Wasson, Harvard psilocybin researcher Rolf von Eckartsberg, and early psychedelic pioneer Michael Hollingshead. These letters document their participation in psychedelic culture, either through clinical study of mind-altering substances, personal experimentation, or participation in workshops and "consciousness-expanding" activities.
Three folders document events and operations at the Millbrook estate where Leary lived and worked during the 1960s, as well as the organizations operating out of Millbrook, including the Castalia Foundation, which held workshops in "Consciousness Expansion," and Kirya Press, an in-house publications company. Material includes workshop applications and questionnaires, fliers, programs, and other ephemera. The 1966 FBI raid on Millbrook is documented through photographs, an early, self-published edition of Millbrook: The True Story of the Early Years of the Psychedelic Revolution by Art Kleps, clippings, and letters of protest. Photographs depict both the estate as it appeared in the early twentieth century, and its inhabitants during the Leary era.
Leary's personal and heavily annotated copy of The Tibetan Book of the Dead (1960) is present, along with two photographs of Leary with Lama Anagarika Govinda during Leary's visit to the guru in the Himalayas.
A small quantity of contemporary publications are present, including commemorative reprints of Leary's poems, a letter from Leary to Aldous Huxley, Leary's memorandum (in poem form) to Supreme Court Justice William Douglas, Allen Ginsberg's "Declaration of Independence for Dr. Timothy Leary," and a bound and illustrated edition of Michael Horowitz's "Apologia for Timothy Leary" containing statements by friends and colleagues compiled for presentation to the California Department of Corrections Parole Board.
One folder contains a variety of autographed items, which, in some cases, have been marked with a dollar value assigned by Leary, who had hoped to use the material as scrip to fund various projects, including the preparation of his manuscript, Confessions of a Hope Fiend. Items include a "typical pig" contract between Leary and the California Department of Corrections stipulating that the prison would receive 25% of all royalties from the publication of prisoners' writings; a copy of a letter from Dr. Benjamin Spock written on behalf of Leary with extensive annotation by Leary; a poem by Michael Hollingshead written while under the influence of LSD; and assorted clippings and ephemera.
Audio recordings include Leary's address at Cooper Union, "Hallucinogenic Drugs, or How To Use Your Head" (December, 1964); Dr. Sidnely Cohen's lecture "LSD for Alcoholics," delivered on March 29, 1965; "The Illumination of the Buddha," December 6, 1966, the third of three "Psychedelic Celebrations" presented at the Village Theatre with Timothy Leary, Dick Alpert, and Allen Ginsberg; a recording of Leary's 1964 wedding with Nina von Schlebrügge; and a series of 1969 lectures at U.C. Berkeley presented under the name "Visions of the Erotic Life."
Material is arranged by subject or creator.