The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England announced Wednesday (Aug. 14) that it has acquired an archive of Vivien Leigh items that will go in display in the coming months.
Leigh, born Vivian Mary Hartley in British India in 1913, was a British actress best known for her portrayal of headstrong Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind.” She was married to British actor Sir Laurence Olivier for over 20 years and the archive collection of her personal items reflects their love affair. Leigh and Olivier are pictured above in 1951.
The archive includes Leigh’s personal diary, which she wrote in from age 16 until she died at at the age of 53; love letters between Leigh and Olivier; correspondence from Winston Churchill and Noel Coward; scripts, press clippings, photographs and her awards — Leigh was a two-time Oscar winner.
The archive was acquired by the V&A Museum, which is the home of the U.K.’s national collection of theater and performing arts, from Leigh’s grandchildren.
“Vivien Leigh is undoubtedly one of the U.K.’s greatest luminaries of stage and screen and along with Laurence Olivier, remains a true star of her time,” says Martin Roth, director of the museum, in a statement. “We are thrilled to acquire her archive intact in this centenary year of her birth and to be able to make it available to the public for the first time. It not only represents Vivien Leigh’s career, but is also a fascinating insight into the theater and social world that surrounded her.”
The collection will be on display at the V&A museum starting in the fall.