Fitzgerald’s Ledger

In this Tuesday, March 26, 2013 photo, Elizabeth Sudduth, director of the Ernest F. Hollings Library and Rare Books Collection at the University of South Carolina, points at items in a ledger owned by author F. Scott Fitzgerald, in Columbia, S.C. The university has digitized the ledger and put it online for scholars. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)

A couple weeks back I wrote about the impending release of some of Willa Cather’s letters. As if that isn’t exciting enough for fans of American modernism, today I found out that F. Scott Fitzgerald’s famous ledger can be viewed at the University of South Carolina library website. The money-mad Fitzgerald recorded each little bit of coin he brought in through his writing and the licensing of his works between 1919 and 1938, though there isn’t a complementary ledger of his rap-mogulesque expenditures. Transcriptions of the ledger have been available for some time, most notably in Matthew Bruccoli’s excellent biography of Fitzgerald, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur. Still, it’s amazing to be able to search through this document and see Fitzgerald’s lovely handwriting up close. The digital humanities should focus on this kind of preservation and facilitation, not devising ways to hold virtual meetings with students in Second Life.

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4 thoughts on “Fitzgerald’s Ledger

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