Highlights from the archive

Featuring highlights from Roald Dahl's archive including early drafts, manuscripts, photos, letters and much more...

Miranda Mary Piker poem, from an early draft of Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. C. RDNL

The Roald Dahl archive includes a lifetime's worth of letters, including many Roald wrote himself, beginning when he was a young boy at boarding school sending weekly notes home. There are also numerous letters written to him by editors, agents and fans. There are family photos, including many he took himself. And, of course, there are manuscripts and typescripts that give a fascinating glimpse into the stories behind Roald's own stories - from scribbled sentences in his Ideas Books through to early drafts and re-writes of many of his best-known tales including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox, The BFG and many more.

The archive is housed in the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre, located in Great Missenden - the Buckinghamshire village where Roald lived for much of his life, surrounded by the countryside which would inspire many of his stories for both adults and children, from Danny, the Champion of the World to the tales collected in Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life.

Here we showcase some of the highlights from Roald Dahl's archive. From his early childhood to his wartime exploits and all the way through his prolific writing career, the archive offers a tantalising glimpse into the experiences that shaped Roald both as a man and as an author.

Interested in exploring the archive? Search the full database online