Skip to main content

Dick Higgins Archive

Identifier: MS132

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

This archive provides documentation for all periods of the life and work of Dick Higgins, including family photographs from his childhood and his early writing from the 1950s; extensive research notes, drafts, graphics, photographs, texts, musical notation, production materials, interviews, and correspondence related to his published and unpublished works from 1960-1998; and files and correspondence related to Fluxus events in which Higgins participated between 1991 and 1998.

The archive has been organized according to the divisions Higgins himself made, and his topics and folder contents have been retained, even if there appear to be idiosyncracies. Broad categories include production materials and correspondence related to published works (1959-1997); unpublished materials (1959-1998); general correspondence and subjects (1980-1998); miscellaneous course and education files (1962-1978); Fluxevents and correspondence (1991-1998); photographs, albums, oversize graphics, broadsides, and scrapbooks (1900-1998); videotapes (1962-1992); computer diskettes (1985-1997); and his active files for projects and correspondence (1982-1998), including statements, interviews, and manifestoes.

Correspondence files include letters or printed emails from: Eric Andersen, Bengt af Klintberg, John Cage, Ugo Carrega, Francesco Conz, Charles Doria, Ulrich Ernst, Wolfgang Feelisch, Ken Friedman, Al Hansen, Kenneth Goldsmith, Emily Harvey, Geoffrey Hendricks, Jon Hendricks, Ray Johnson, Alan Kaprow, Alison Knowles, Richard Kostelanetz, Estera Milman, Pauline Oliveros, Jackson Mac Low, Bryan McHugh, Yoko Ono, Ben Patterson, Jerome Rothenberg, Piotr Rypson, Mieko Shiomi, Kristine Stiles, Wolf Vostell, Larry Wendt, Emmett Willliams, Paul Woodbine, LaMonte Young, and other artists, writers and publishers.

Original manuscript materials, including notes, drafts, texts, photographs, and working production files include some of these projects by Dick Higgins: Blue Cosmologies, Buster Keaton Enters into Paradise, Danger Musics, Four Men Weighing Chance (1960-1989), Graphis series #2-#202, Intermedia, Metadramas, The Natural Histories series (1991-1993), Pattern Poetry (1971-1997), Piano Album, Piano Sonata, 7.7.73 (1973-1990), Stacked Deck (scripts, various versions, information about performances and correspondence (1958-1990), The Tart or Miss America (1962-1967), The Thousand Symphonies (1967-1993), Bestiary (1990-1995), Bodies electric: arches (1981-1998), Book of George [Maciunas] (1961-1979), The Colors (1975-1995), The Erotikon (1976 contributions by many artists including Georg Brecht, Jean Dupuy, Bernard Heidsieck, Nicholas Zarbrugg, Opal L. Nations, Jill Johnston, Philip Corner, Klaus Groh, Ray Johnson, Wolf Vostell), Fluxus and Intermedia (1998), The Thousand Essays (1972-1980), Watching the Process (1977 interviews: John Cage, Laurie Anderson, Philip Corner, Alison Knowles, Geoffrey Hendricks, Meredith Monk, Nam June Paik, Jerome Rothenberg).


  • 1958-1998


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations. Publication requests for materials must be approved by the Curator of Special Collections.


142.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



This collection documents the interests and activities of Fluxus co-founder Dick Higgins, from his early experiments with intermedia and collaborations with other artists in the 1960s to projects current at the time of his death in 1998. The collection includes correspondence, drafts for published and unpublished works, collages, slides of large paintings and graphic productions, films, audio and videotapes, performance scores, and photographs. The collection includes Higgins' own documentation of the status and history of his projects in the form of lists, photographs and slides, and descriptive essays.


The Dick Higgins archive is organized into: course files (arranged alphabetically); Fluxus corresondence and files (arranged alphabetically); published files (arranged alphabetically); correspondence files (arranged alphabetically); unpublished files (arranged alphabetically); interviews and articles; miscellaneous graphics (arranged alphabetically); sound poetry (arranged alphabetically); tax returns (in chronological order); Higgins family; personal, projects and publicity (arranged alphabetically); photographs (in chronological order).

Method of Acquisition

All the materials in the Higgins archive were the gift of Hannah and Jessica Higgins in 2001.

Related Materials

For additional archival materials related to Something Else Press or Fluxus see the archives of Jan Herman (Series LI), Carl Weissner (Series XXII), Agentzia Press (Series LIV), and Charlotte Moorman (in process). For other Dick Higgins collections contact the following: Smithsonian Archives of American Art; Getty Research Institute; Archiv Sohm, Stadtsgalerie Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany; Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Foundation, Detroit, Michigan, and New York, New York; Fluxus Collection, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Separated Materials

Some of the monographs and serials in the Higgins Archive have been cataloged for the McCormick Library's Higgins Collection with a note placed in the record that they are from the archive. They may be searched in the online catalog; a shelf list of these materials can be retrieved with a call number search for Higgins.

Processing Information

Sigrid Pohl Perry, January 2008.

Guide to the Dick Higgins Archive
Sigrid Pohl Perry
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Drive
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US