Resources & Archives

Publications by or about Robert Pirsig and his work 

      • “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
        – an Inquiry into Values”
        Robert M. Pirsig, 1974 (ZMM).
      • “Lila – an Inquiry into Morals”
        Robert M. Pirsig, 1991 (Lila). 
      • “On Quality – an Inquiry into Excellence”
        Robert M. Pirsig, selections edited posthumously by Wendy K. Pirsig, 2022.
      • “Guidebook to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”
        Ron DiSanto & Thomas Steele, 1990 (GBZ).
      • “The MOQ Textbook: An Introduction to Robert Pirsig’s Metaphysics of Quality”
        Dr Anthony McWatt, 2005.
      • “Zen and Now – on the Trail of Robert Pirsig and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”
        Mark Richardson, 2008.
      • “Lila’s Child – an Inquiry into Quality”
        Dan Glover with annotations by Robert M. Pirsig, 2003.
      • “Subjects, Objects, Data and Values”
        Robert M. Pirsig, Einstein Meets Magritte conference paper, 1995 (2001 Ed)
      • “The Copleston Annotations”
        Frederick Copleston, Robert M. Pirsig and Dr Anthony McWatt, 2004.
      • “A Woman of Quality – the Divine Sarah Vinke”
        Henry Gurr and James Essinger, 2018.

Robert M. Pirsig Archives.

In addition to published resources, several institutions curate physical archive collections of Pirsig-related materials. These include:

Harvard University

Harvard holds Robert Pirsig’s own archive donated by his widow Wendy and curated by the Houghton Library alongside their William James collection. [Indexed here in their “Hollis” online archive system.]

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History

The Smithsonian holds Robert Pirsig’s original Honda CB77 350cc Superhawk motorcycle as restored by Bob, as well as associated artefacts, tools and related archive materials, all donated by his widow Wendy. [The collection is described here in the Smithsonian Magazine and there will be a public exhibition from April 2024. Paul F. Johnson, Curator of Maritime History and Transportation History at the Smithsonian, has also published “Chrome and Black and Dusty – Robert Pirsig’s Motorcycle Heritage” in the International Journal of Motorcycle Studies, and “If Boat is Going Down – Bikes, Boats and Robert Pirsig” in the Smithsonian Magazine and, with additional photographs, at the National Maritime Historical Society.]

Montana State University

The Archives and Special Collections of the MSU Library at Bozeman holds the Dr Anthony McWatt PhD archive of correspondence with Robert Pirsig. [This collection is described here and Pirsig’s copies of the same correspondence are held in the Harvard collection also described on this page.] MSU Archives also has Pirsig’s spring 1960 student grading book while an English instructor, a 1961 letter in which he first detailed his classroom work using the concept of quality, a Montana map carried on the 1968 motorcycle journey, artworks by Robert and Gennie DeWeese that Pirsig owned, Pirsig’s leather briefcase with a 1960 photo, his slide rule and mechanical calculator, and books from his personal library. An extensive DeWeese collection is also in the MSU library archives. [Other MSU grade books and letters related to Pirsig teaching there are in the Harvard collection. MSU also holds records of Pirsig’s time teaching at that institution, previously researched and written about by Swedish journalist Sven Lindqvist.]

The Museum of the Rockies

The Museum of the Rockies, a division of Montana State University, also holds an 18-inch metal-working lathe mentioned in ZMM, mounted on a table built by Pirsig. The museum also has a set of Pirsig’s taps and dies and other tools associated either with the book or his life in Montana.


[Work in Progress]

[Fully annotated reference Bibliography under construction at the About > More pages – being transferred and consolidated from many existing “Pirsig / ZMM / MoQ pages”. Only selected publications here for initial RPA / #ZMM50th announcements.]

[TBA – On-line Chautauqua Materials, Discussion Forum / Social Media, Archives of RPA, …]

Other linked resources of RPA Members and third parties.

[Includes other academic, philosophical, literary or artistic content about, or simply inspired by, the work of Robert Pirsig. To be consolidated from many existing link collections. There is an enormous mix of different vintage web page formats – from hand-crafted HTML to visual social media – so the RPA also proposes to preserve old content from the “Wayback” archive , media databases and other web-archives into the RPA site – all copyrights acknowledged. Note also that earlier versions of proposed RPA websites exist curated by Mick (Horse) White and Dr Anthony McWatt. Efforts to consolidate have been made and are ongoing.]