The Ayn Rand Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Irvine, California, was established in 1985 to increase awareness of the existence and content of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism. In 1992 Ayn Rand’s literary executor, Leonard Peikoff, donated a portion of her personal papers to the Library of Congress. (Listed in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress as the Ayn Rand Papers, this gift consists of drafts, typescripts and galley proofs of the novels We the Living, Anthem, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, plus a small portion of administrative material. [10.5 linear feet of shelf space.])
In 1995 the remaining Ayn Rand papers were placed at the Ayn Rand Institute, which established the Ayn Rand Archives as their repository.
The mission of the Ayn Rand Archives is to acquire, preserve and make available Ayn Rand’s remaining papers and related documents to serious scholars and general writers. By acquiring holdings, conducting research and providing access, the Archives preserves and makes available the physical evidence of Ayn Rand’s achievement and influence.
Preservation and Arrangement
The holdings of the Ayn Rand Archives are preserved and arranged according to standard archival practice.
Currently, the Archives is in an acquisitions and processing mode. All collections are being stabilized in appropriate housing. A conservation assessment is identifying candidates for conservation treatments.
The Archives’ paper-based collections are being converted for long-term preservation.
The conversion media are preservation microfilm, acid-free facsimiles on paper, and digital imaging on CD.
Finding aids are being created to insure intellectual and physical access. Eventually, they will be made available online.
Research and Acquisition
The Ayn Rand Archives acquires documents in all media, reflecting the range and scope of Ayn Rand’s life, work and influence. These documents include originals and facsimiles of her papers, and related documents. Documents of other individuals and organizations are collected if they provide additional context for understanding Rand’s life and development as a writer and philosopher.
The Ayn Rand Archives conducts both domestic and foreign (e.g., Russian) research. Biographical and documentary findings become part of the Archives’ holdings and will be made available to researchers. The Archives’ Oral History project gathers further information about Ayn Rand’s life.
Our access policy statement is available for the researcher. At present, due to preservation tasks, physical access to the Archives is limited to the Ayn Rand Institute staff and affiliates. However, research inquiries from university-affiliated graduate students and scholars are encouraged and will be accommodated whenever possible. For information on its future opening date, please consult the News & Announcements section for updates.
Publication and Outreach
The Ayn Rand Archives promotes its collections by publishing monographs, a newsletter and by maintaining a Web site. The Archives develops its own public programming and encourages cooperation with allied institutions.
About Archives and Manuscript Repositories
The Web site of the Ayn Rand Archives employs terms that may not be familiar to the general reader. A useful introduction to archive terms and practices is maintained by the National Archives and Record Administration at http://www.archives.gov/.