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Henry Darger Papers, 1966-1971

Darger, Henry, 1892-1972

Author, Watercolorist


Collection Information

Size: 1 Item, linear foot (on 2 microfilm reels)

Summary: This collection contains an exhibition catalog entitled REALMS OF THE UNREAL - THE WORK OF HENRY DARGER (1977), two volumes of Darger's "My Life History," and two diaries. Diaries describe his reclusive life, March 1968-January 1971 (348 p.), including such activities as attending mass several times a day, going to confession and communion, tying cords together, and making balls. He also writes about his leg pain, walks, and his temper tantrums.


Darger lived for forty years in a rented room in a building owned by Nathan Lerner. Lerner became Darger's friend, and by default, his caretaker. Darger gave Lerner the contents of his room when he moved in 1971.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Originals returned to the lender, Nathan Lerner, after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels [4181-4182] available at all Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Henry Darger Papers, 1966-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.