The Ray Bradbury Museum is one of the largest single author collections in the world.
20th-century American author and screenwriter Ray Bradbury, crossed a variety of genres, including fantasy, science fiction, horror, mystery, and realistic fiction. Bradbury was best known for his novel Fahrenheit 451 (1953) and his short-story collections The Martian Chronicles (1950) and The Illustrated Man (1951).
Located on the campus of IUPUI in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Museum features its recreation of Ray Bradbury’s basement office and library as it evolved in his Los Angeles, California, home for more than half a century.
The contents of Ray Bradbury’s office and library include more than 100,000 pages of published and unpublished literary works stored in thirty-one of the author’s filing cabinets, forty years of his personal and professional correspondence (over 10,000 pages), author’s copies of his books, including extensive foreign language editions, and his working library (a combined 4,000 volumes).
The broader collection of papers includes manuscripts, typescripts, screenplay and teleplay drafts, story concepts, photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks with original drawings and printed comic strips from his youth, and ephemera he collected documenting his travels, and more.
Also preserved is Bradbury’s original furniture, including his writing desk, paint table, bookshelves, and chairs.
Experience the world of Ray Bradbury for yourself. The Ray Bradbury Museum is open to the public every Wednesday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for pre-registered 90-minute guided tours. Tours are free to visitors. *Photography is welcome, but no flash, please.
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Location and Parking
We are located on the IUPUI campus in downtown Indianapolis.
Cavanaugh Hall, Room 121
425 University Blvd
Indianapolis, IN 46202
Visitor parking is recommended in the Vermont Street Garage.
Visitors can enter through either the East or West Gate. The garage is connected to the Campus Center at the far East end. Visitors can reach the Campus Center via the First (1st) and Third (3rd) Floor stairwells of the garage. Cavanaugh Hall is across the street from the Campus Center on University Boulevard.
Visitors taking the Virtual Tour are encouraged to click on the sections below to learn about each area of the museum as you navigate through the virtual environment.
Welcome to the virtual tour of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies, located on the first floor of Cavanaugh Hall in Indiana University’s School of Liberal Arts on the IUPUI campus. If you are following the visual tour, click on the walking figure in the bottom left to start out in the middle of the Center’s archival suite, facing north.
You are now inside the research section of the Center. This area houses our research archives, reference library and artifact gallery. The ten tall file cabinets against the north wall (facing you) were housed in the garage of Ray Bradbury’s Los Angeles home, where he worked from 1958 until the end of his life. In front of these are shorter filing cabinets that were in his Palm Springs weekend house, where he also worked, beginning in the early 1980s.
If you turn to the left, you’ll be facing the long west wall of exhibits related to Bradbury’s Hollywood legacy. You’ll see the first magazine printings of the Bradbury stories that were adapted for film, and the large theater lobby posters of the movies which were made from them. Most of the items were Bradbury’s personal copies.
To the south, or to your left, are bookshelves containing research copies of Bradbury’s books in various editions and printings.
You take a few steps south.
The foreign editions you see in the shelves to your right, or to the west, include texts in Arabic, Russian, Tamil, Armenian, Hebrew, Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Polish, and Danish among others. To date the Bradbury Center has five bookcases of foreign editions, and the Center receives new copies whenever new editions are released world-wide.
Along the wall to your left, or the east wall, are file cabinets containing research materials which include photocopies of Bradbury correspondence, typescripts and photocopies of various institutional and private collections. Directly to your left is a copy of the Challenger Memorial Poster signed by family members of the Challenger crew. Ray Bradbury was the keynote speaker at the Challenger Center for Space Science Education National Benefit on April 29, 1993.
Walking south, or straight, you will see our Genre Reference Library to your right. This library includes genre anthologies, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and detective books as well as iconographic (picture books) about genres.
The Center also has a section that contains approximately 1850 science fiction, fantasy, and other genre magazines including very rare pulp magazines issued from 1914 through the 1990s. These include over 1600 pulp magazines owned by Ray Bradbury, many of which contain stories written by him.
When you reach the far southeast corner of the room, you will begin to notice posters and artifacts from Disney. Ray Bradbury had over a 40-year association with Walt Disney and Walt Disney Enterprises. He was a creative consultant for Epcot/Disney World in 1982 and worked with Tim Delaney, head of the Disney Imagineers as well as Marty Sklar who designed and set up the Disney theme parks around the world, and Disney Executive, John Hench who designed attractions for Disneyland. You see John Hench on the left and Marty Sklar on the right in a picture with Ray Bradbury. Bradbury’s concept of Spaceship Earth at Epcot included his narration for visitors. Dame Judi Dench voices the narration now, using a script evolved from Bradbury’s original.
Turning right and moving along the south wall you see file cabinets containing over 10,000 original pieces of correspondence, and other papers, manuscripts, documents and publications that were in Bradbury’s LA and Palm Springs homes, but never made it into his filing cabinets during this lifetime.
As you reach the far southwest corner and turn right, moving north, you will see a large table where researchers have papers and artifacts spread out. As you reach the filing cabinets from the beginning of the tour, you can look straight ahead at the north wall to see posters, artifacts, and objects associated with the Martian Chronicles and the American space program.
On the western end of the north wall is the publicity poster for the 1979 NBC Martian Chronicles television mini-series, and next to it are two composite landscapes of Mars taken by the Spirit rover (2006). To the right of these NASA images is an autographed print by American surrealist painter Robert Watson in blue; you can see the dust jacket for the 1958 re-issue of “The Martian Chronicles” just below it screened in red. Ray Bradbury loved the painting but said that for the book jacket, “it must be in red, Mars is the red planet.” To the right of it, you see another Bradbury favorite of Watson’s titled, “The Road to Jericho.” Even though it is not about Mars, the Bradburys loved the picture.
On the end of the north wall are four objects that have come from, or have been in outer space. One of these is a “Mars” flag that went to the International Space Station aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2006. The Center also has a packet of seeds which were part of the SEEDS Project prepared by scientists from the Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service. This packet orbited the Earth on the Long Duration Exposure Facility (LDEF) Satellite which was retrieved after six years by NASA. The packet of seeds was launched on the Space Shuttle Challenger on April 6, 1984 and returned to earth on Space Shuttle Columbia in January 1990. Both shuttles were lost with astronauts on board during later missions, a very sobering reminder of the sacrifices that have been made to advance the exploration of outer space.
To the right of the Mars flag is a Planetary Society picture of Ray Bradbury, Nichelle Nichols from Star Trek and Buzz Aldrin, second man to walk on the moon. The flag was presented to Ray Bradbury by Bruce Murray, planetary-scientist and former director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Bradbury also received the 3-D plaque of the Valles Marineris, the “Grand Canyon” of Mars; this massive feature is almost four times larger than Earth’s Grand Canyon (1860 miles long and 5 miles deep). One of the deepest parts of the canyon has been unofficially dubbed “The Bradbury Abyss.”
Heading north toward the Bradbury office museum. The three low bookcases to your left (just in front of the Planetary Society’s Mars awards) contain Bradbury’s author’s copies of his books. To your right, along the east wall opposite the short bookcases, you will see lateral file cabinets that contain hundreds of Bradbury artifacts, awards, and mementos, including many comic strip scrap books that he assembled (and even hand-colored) as a boy in the early 1930s; above these cabinets, starting on the far right of the east wall, is an early Lunar orbital shot of “Copernicus Crater,” one of the most prominent landmarks on the moon; the photograph was taken in 1965, and it was known for a time as a “photograph of the century.”
To the left of the lunar image is NASA’s Thermal Imaging Project for Mars. This image of the polar region of Mars was specifically targeted by Ray Bradbury during one of his visits to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Next to the left is JPL’s thanks to Mr. Bradbury for inspiring and publicizing the 2006 landings of the “Spirit” and “Opportunity” rovers, which landed on opposite hemispheres of Mars. This image was taken by “Spirit” and was enlarged and given to Bradbury by the Rover team’s Lead Geologist, Dr. Jim Rice, in 2007; the photograph was signed by members of the JPL Rover team. There is a group of rocks in the picture that Dr. Rice named “Martian Chronicles.”
Further to the left is a memento of the Viking landings in 1976; Vikings 1 and 2 were the first successful landers to touch down on Mars. These pictures show the landing sites and one of the first photos of the Martian surface. This composite memento was presented to Bradbury by NASA’s Langley Research Center in appreciation for Ray Bradbury’s participation on the NASA Panel, “Why Man Explores,” which became a book. Explorer Jacques Cousteau and author James A. Michener were also on the Panel.
Continuing north, you’ll find tall bookshelves to your right along the east wall. These bookshelves contain Bradbury’s author’s copies of his own books, which he kept on shelves in the garages of his homes in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. To the right above these book cases you will see artwork by Doug Wildey, which was created for the 1972 Los Angeles Times graphic adaptation of a Martian Chronicles story-chapter titled “Mars is Heaven.” The painting you see is an unused panel that falls between the two pages of the published adaptation.
As you look straight ahead you will see a door to the director’s office. To the left of this door, on a western dividing wall, you will see a portrait of Bradbury with his French Order of Arts and Letters Commandeur’s Medal, presented by the French Ambassador to the United States in 2007. In the tall glass case to the left of the director’s office you see on the top shelf Bradbury with President and Mrs. George Bush accepting the National Medal of Arts award in November 2004.
On the next shelf down, in the middle of the case, is his Academy Award Nomination for Best Short Subject film titled, “Icarus Montgolfier Wright” from 1962 about the night before the first astronaut goes to the moon, and the dream he has about the “shoulders” he is standing on: Icarus from mythology, who flew too close to the sun; the Montgolfier brothers who invented the hot air balloon in France in the 1780s and the Wright brothers’ first powered and controlled flight in Kitty Hawk, NC in 1903.
Ray Bradbury earned two Emmy Awards, one for the screenplay of the “Halloween Tree” in 1993 on the second shelf on the right; and directly beneath that on the third shelf is one for the Documentary Presentation – “Infinite Horizons: Space after Apollo” in 1979.
On the second shelf on the left is his Pulitzer Prize for Lifetime Achievement in 2007.
On the third shelf in the middle is the Peabody Award for Project Peacock/The Electric Grandmother awarded to him in 1982, and to the left of that is his Grammy Award Nomination for the Listening Library Recording for Bradbury’s “F-451” Album in 1976.
These are just a few of the many awards he received over the years. The Bradbury Center also curates his Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, several of his Cable/ACE Awards for The Ray Bradbury Theater (1985–1992), and his lifetime achievement medal from the National Book Foundation.
As you turn left to enter the recreation of Bradbury’s office, (you are now on the other side of the wall where the filing cabinets were lined up) you will see photos of Ray Bradbury to the left, the largest of which was taken with good friend, Ray Harryhausen, a pioneering creator of stop-action animation in motion pictures. Another photo was taken with his wife, Maggie on a trip to Buenos Aires, where they were guests of the Argentine nation in 1997; the photographer was the famed Argentine photographic artist Aldo Sessa.
There is also a photograph of Bradbury with Maggie and renowned film director John Huston taken in 1953 in Ireland when Bradbury was writing the script for “Moby Dick,” starring Gregory Peck. This wall also features a 1990 photo with Indianapolis native son Kurt Vonnegut, taken by famous portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh; and photographs with Bradbury and Hollywood stars Vincent Gardenia, Edward James Olmos, and Joe Montegna, a great friend who starred with Esai Morales and Olmos in the Disney film adapted from Ray Bradbury’s story, “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit.” Two of Bradbury’s Retro Hugo Award citations from the 2016 Science Fiction WorldCon are also on display with these photographs. The Center also preserves four of Bradbury’s Retro Hugo statuettes, which were awarded since 2002 to recognize significant work published before the Hugo Awards were created in 1952.
You now step forward to enter Bradbury’s office.
You are now walking into a re-creation of Ray Bradbury’s basement office which is within inches of the size of the office in his LA home.
All of the books on the shelves (which surround the southern, western, northern, and parts of the eastern wall) were his working library and the source of much of his education. He never went to college, as there just wasn’t enough money. He was primarily self-taught. And, he was a voracious reader.
The blue desk at the northern end of the room (to your right) is the desk he used in later years. In the glass case on the top you can see one of the two IBM Wheelwriters he used during the later decades of his career; the other one is in the Public Library of his hometown, Waukegan, Illinois. On top of the desk is a picture of the desk as it was in his basement office.
Along the top of and in front of the bookcases on the western wall is a model of the Nautilus from the motion picture “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” which was made and given to Bradbury by the Disney Imagineers. Also here is a dinosaur model inspired by Windsor McKay’s “Gerty the Dinosaur” animated cartoons from the 1920’s. The Center also has a “Moundshroud” mask from his novel The Halloween Tree (1972), close to a picture of Bradbury painting the Halloween Tree. Along the western wall, in front of you, is the small wooden desk he used during the 1940’s and 50’s where he typed many of the stories that later appeared in “The Martian Chronicles” and “The Illustrated Man.” On the desk is the paint box that he used to paint the “Halloween Tree” in 1960 (a copy of which is atop the letter boxes to your left).
Autographed pictures of husband and wife comedy legends George Burns and Gracie Allen and actress Jean Harlow are displayed on top of the shelves in front of the paint set. Bradbury used to roller-skate to the movie studios and ask for film star autographs, but Burns and Allen were Bradbury favorites. During his ninth grade year (1934–1935), he persuaded Mr. Burns to let him sit in the studio during their weekly radio show, which was broadcast as the Burns and Allen White Owl Cigar program on radio and subsequently on television for decades.
To the left of the desk, on the shelf along the northern end of the western wall is a Mars globe that was created from pictures sent by the Mariner IX mission in November of 1971. Mariner IX was the first orbital mission to Mars. The Phoenix Lander near the North Pole has a digital copy of “The Martian Chronicles.” Curiosity Lander landed in the Gale Crater in the summer of 2012 on what would have been Bradbury’s 92nd birthday (he passed away on June 5, 2012). The NASA Curiosity Team named the place where they landed the “Ray Bradbury Landing Zone.”
Next to the globe on the left is a photo taken of the Apollo 11 Astronauts: Neal Armstrong, first man to walk on the moon, Buzz Aldrin second man to walk on the moon and Michael Collins who was in the orbiter. The photo is autographed by Michael Collins. Ray Bradbury knew most of the astronauts. He was a favorite because many of them said they were inspired to go to space because of his stories. Col David Scott the Commander of Apollo 15 named “Dandelion” Crater in honor of Mr. Bradbury.
To the left of this picture you see the jar with the original contents that was used in the Alfred Hitchcock Hour’s 1964 adaptation of Ray Bradbury’s story, “The Jar.” And next to the jar is a photo with Ray Bradbury, Pat Buttram, who played the lead role in the show, and episode producer Norman Lloyd, who produced, directed, and even acted in a number of Bradbury adaptations for Hitchcock.
Also on this shelf, to the left, are other space awards. Two Space Shuttle commemorative models celebrate Bradbury’s participation in programs supporting the American shuttle program during the 1980s and 1990s. The Moon casting is the 2010 Space Pioneer Award presented by the National Space Society; the tall rocket is the Thomas Ball Memorial Award from the Space Writers of America for his LIFE Magazine articles about the Apollo Program. There is a Russian award from the Russian Academy of Science.
Finally, the table in the middle of the room, south of the desk, is a collectable Schultz-design patio table with a blue top and metal legs designed for rugged use. It was used for decades as a working table where Bradbury used to keep anything and everything in a constant parade of projects. His daughters said that they hadn’t seen the top of the table since the mid-1960’s.
Today it displays various Bradbury publications, ranging from some of his science fiction genre pulp magazines to the Collier’s magazine mainstream publication of his time travel story “A Sound of Thunder.” Two of Bradbury’s offprints for his 1960s Life Magazine articles, which helped to sustain public interest in the evolving Apollo Space Program, are also part of the tabletop display.
This concludes the Bradbury Center Tour.