“A New View of Richard Halliburton’s Sea Dragon”

On March 3, 1939, the celebrated American travel writer Richard Halliburton (1900-39), Class of 1921, set out in the Sea Dragon, his new 75-foot Chinese junk, on what would turn out to be his final adventure. Halliburton planned to sail from Hong Kong to San Francisco, where the Golden Gate International Exposition was taking place. He hoped that the voyage of the Sea Dragon would serve as a show of American solidarity with China against Japanese military conquest at the beginning of World War II.

Among the many people who came to see the Sea Dragon at its Hong Kong mooring just before its ill-fated maiden voyage was a young Californian merchant marine and amateur photographer named Robert Pullen (1919-93), who had enjoyed reading many of Halliburton’s bestselling travel books, such as the Royal Road to Romance (1925). Pullen photographed the Sea Dragon with a Kodak-style folding camera and 2.5 x 4.25-inch black-and-white film. Unlike most views of the Sea Dragon, Pullen’s close-up view, never before seen, shows the junk’s stern, with the name Sea Dragon and home port of Hong Kong boldly emblazoned in Chinese characters below a yin-and-yang symbol. Further down, we see the large painted image of a phoenix, below which are a series of Chinese mythological scenes, including a phoenix and horses. The actual dragon can also be seen, painted on the side of the junk.

Just three weeks out to sea on March 23, the Sea Dragon sailed into a typhoon, lost radio contact, and disappeared. Later that year, Halliburton and his crew would eventually be declared lost at sea. But Pullen never forgot the excitement of seeing the Sea Dragon and being a witness to history. He kept the photographic negative and print for the rest of his life. Recently, his daughter Barbara Wilson, of Muscle Shoals, Alabama, thoughtfully donated the photo to the Princeton University Library so that it could be kept with the Richard Halliburton Papers (C0247), in the Manuscripts Division. The negative was scanned by Roel Muñoz in the Library’s digital studio to produce the image seen here. .

The Halliburton Papers include 20 linear feet of original materials documenting his life and writing, from his Lawrenceville School essay “Disillusioned,” through his Princeton University years, his years of worldwide travel, lecturing, and writing, to his posthumously-published “autobiography” of letters to his parents (1940). Autograph and/or typescript drafts of seven of his books–The Royal Road to Romance (1925), The Glorious Adventure (1927), New Worlds to Conquer (1929), The Flying Carpet (1932), Seven League Boots (1935), A Book of Marvels (1937), Second Book of Marvels (1938)–are present, as are some short stories, essays, and notes from his school days.

There are also passports, publishing contracts, memorabilia, maps, and newspapers clippings. Halliburton’s numerous letters to his parents (1919-1939) provide a vivid account of his travels, and they are supplemented with over 10 boxes of photographs of the exotic locales he visited, many of which were never published in his books. Correspondence of others includes letters from Devil’s Island prisoners (with some manuscripts). A large part of the papers consists of Halliburton’s research material for a biography of the British poet Rupert Brooke (1887-1915) that he never wrote: his correspondence with Brooke’s friends/acquaintances and summaries of interviews he had with them, as well as copies of Brooke’s works and correspondence, some clippings, and photographs. Here is a link to Halliburton papers finding aid: http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/C0247

Halliburton's Sea Dragon in 1939

Halliburton’s Sea Dragon

“Peter N. Heydon ’62 Gift of Browning Artifacts”

The Manuscripts Division is pleased to announce that Peter N. Heydon, Class of 1962, has made several important gifts, which are now on view in Firestone Library’s Eighteenth-Century Window. The first is the slant-topped mahogany writing desk of British poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806–61), on which she is known to have written her epic poem Aurora Leigh. In Browning’s “novel in verse,” she has a young Anglo-Italian woman tell her own story in blank verse: “Of writing many books there is no end; / And I who have written much in prose and verse / For others’ uses, will write now for mine.” Elizabeth penned Aurora Leigh in Florence, where she lived with poet and husband, Robert Browning (1812–89), from 1846 until her death fifteen years later. Her writing desk had been sent from England shortly after the Brownings’ arrival and was in the Drawing Room of the Brownings’ spacious Casa Guidi apartment, which they rented from 1847 on the second floor of the fifteenth-century Palazzo Guidi, Piazza San Felice, 8. The desk is depicted prominently, front and center, in an oil that Robert Browning commissioned from his friend, the Greek painter George Mignaty, the day after Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s death on July 1, 1861. Browning never returned to the Casa Guidi, so the painting was his remembrance of their happy and productive years in Florence. Along with Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s writing desk, Heydon has also given Robert Browning’s Northern Italian walnut table, also depicted in the Mignaty painting, as well as the Brownings’ silver-plated “traveling” tea kettle, made by Henry Wilkinson & Co., in Sheffield, England. These are the first of several anticipated gifts to Princeton from Heydon’s extensive collection of Browning first editions, manuscript letters, and other Victorian memorabilia collected over four decades by the donor.

English Department and Comparative Literature students will be able to view these three recently received objects together with other Browning items already in Princeton’s collections. Heydon’s association items were sold in 1913 by London-based auction house Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, following the death of the Browning’s son and heir Robert Wiedeman Barrett “Pen” Browning (1849–1912). At the 1913 sale, British writer Florence L. Barclay (1862–1921) high-bid the writing desk, table, and tea kettle (along with many other personal treasures). Other Browning holdings in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections include dozens of manuscripts and autograph letters, held in the Manuscripts Division, and an author’s proof for the second edition of Aurora Leigh (London: Chapman and Hall, 1857), incorporating handwritten emendations in Robertt Browning’s hand as well as a manuscript note by Elizabeth Barrett Browning on the verso of title page (Robert Taylor Collection, Rare Books Division). These proofs served as setting copy for the first American edition of Aurora Leigh (New York: Francis & Co., 1857).

Peter N. Heydon first became enchanted with the poetry of Robert Browning as a Princeton undergraduate, while studying under English Professor Edward Dudley Hume Johnson. Heydon’s enthusiasm for the Victorians took him to The University of Michigan, earning both a MA (1963) and PhD (1970), studying with, among others, Professor Robert Super, Princeton Class of 1935. Heydon taught English Literature and Creative Writing at The University of Michigan between 1963 and 1986 on the faculties of both the English Department and Humanities Department. He is the founding President of The Browning Institute, Inc., based in New York and Florence, which acquired the Brownings’ Casa Guidi apartment in 1971; and for fifteen years as the Institute’s President oversaw the fifteen-room restoration of the apartment as a Museum and study center. It is presently owned and operated, like the Keats-Shelley House in Rome, by Eton College and the British National Trust. Heydon has authored a number of pieces on Robert Browning and his circle for Browning Institute Studies; and he was co-editor with Philip Kelly of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Letters to Mrs. David Ogilvy, 1849–1861: With Recollections by Mrs. Ogilvy (New York: Quadrangle Press, 1973). He continues to reside in Ann Arbor with his wife of forty-five years, horsewoman and humaniac Rita Montgomery Heydon.

For more information, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections: dcskemer@princeton.edu

Elizabeth Barrett Browning Writing Desk for blog post

Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Writing Desk.

Hellenic Acquisition Honors Professor Kenneth Levy

The Manuscripts Division has acquired three post-Byzantine Greek music manuscripts in memory of Professor Kenneth Levy (1927-2013), *49 *55, Scheide Professor of Music History. The Library purchased them with matching funds provided by the Program in Hellenic Studies, with the support of the Stanley J. Seeger Hellenic Fund. Professor Levy was a distinguished music historian whose wide academic interests ranged from early Christian and Byzantine music to Western medieval and Renaissance music. He joined the faculty of Princeton in 1966 and twice served as chair of the Music Department (1967–70, 1988). Among his many publications are Music, A Listener’s Introduction (1983) and Gregorian Chant and the Carolingians (1998)

The three manuscripts are a Heirmologion (1764), an Anthologia (late 18th or early 19th century), and a Doxastika (early 19th century), volumes of Greek sacred chant and hymns with musical notation in late Byzantine neumes, intended for use in the Greek Orthodox Church. These manuscripts show continuity and change in Greek church music during the centuries that followed the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks in 1453. They complement thirty post-Byzantine music manuscripts already in the Manuscript Division, most of which arey in Princeton Greek Manuscripts (C0879), a growing collection with more than 100 volumes dating from the 17th to 19th centuries. This manuscript collection has grown rapidly over the past two decades by cooperation between the Manuscripts Division and the Hellenic Studies Program (now the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies). It should be mentioned that Professor Levy and his wife Brooks Emmons Levy, former Curator of Numismatics, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, donated a Kratematarion (Princeton MS. 209). a music manuscript dating from the late 15th-century. Professor Levy was also responsible for the Mendel Music Library’s Kenneth Levy Microfilm Archive of Medieval Liturgical Chant, with more than 500 reels for Greek and other chant manuscripts (8th–16th century) from European and Near Eastern libraries. For more information about the post-Byzantine music manuscripts in the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, contact rbsc@princeton.edu

Post-Byzantine music 101Post-Byzantine music 102

C0879, no. 101, Doxastika; C0879; no. 102, Anthologia.





Surveying American Mineral Resources in the Early 1880s

In the nineteenth century, the U.S. Census not only tracked population growth, but also gathered vital statistics about the nation’s economic life. For the Tenth U.S. Census (1880), special agents were employed to collect data on iron and steel manufacture, coal mining, petroleum drilling and refining, and other industries. As a surveyor with the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.), founded in 1879, Bayard Taylor Putnam (1854-1886) compiled mining statistics for the 1880 Census. His work is documented in correspondence and field notes in the Bayard Taylor Putnam Family Papers, 1870–1934 (C1463), a recent addition to the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. 

Bayard Taylor Putnam was the son of George Palmer Putnam (1814–1872), founder of the publishing firm G.P. Putnam’s Sons, and Victorine Haven Putnam (1824-1891). Bayard Taylor Putnam decided not to go into the family’s New York publishing business, and instead became a geological surveyor for the U.S.G.S. Division of Mining Geology. Putnam worked under Raphael Pumpelly (1837–1923), the division chief appointed Special Agent of the Census Office in charge of gathering coal mining statistics.

As Expert Special Agent for the 1880 Census, Putnam was sent to several parts of the country, including Michigan, northern New Jersey, Kentucky, and the Far West to survey iron and coal mining. Around 1881, he became involved with the Northern Pacific Railroad’s Northern Transcontinental Survey. Organized by Pumpelly, this survey (parts of which were also included in the 1880 Census) collected information on the topography and economy of the Dakotas, Montana, and Washington territories in order to identify mineral resources near the railroad lines.

Letters relating to Putnam’s survey work are primarily those from Pumpelly that were sent while Putnam was out in the field. Three volumes contain detailed geological and mineralogical field notes, as well as sketches of maps, mines, plats, plans, and cross sections, document his work in Michigan and northern New Jersey (including the surrounding areas of New York and Pennsylvania) as well as his time surveying mines in Montana for the Northern Transcontinental Survey.

The Bayard Taylor Putnam Family Papers also relate to the patented chart holder that Putnam invented for sailing and contain correspondence by several family members, particularly his wife, Grace Sanderson Thacher Putnam (1855–1900). Most of the letters to Grace, which date from the time of Bayard’s death in 1886 until Grace’s own death fourteen years later, are those she received from her close friend, Bishop Henry Codman Potter, who was the seventh Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. Letters relating to Bayard’s daughter, Mary Putnam, are of particular interest as they document a contentious period within the history of the Putnam family and G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Discussing the family’s stock in and ownership of the publishing company, the correspondence relates to the recent merger of G.P. Putnam’s Sons with Minton, Balch & Co., (1930) whereupon the owners of the latter became the majority stockholders.

For more about the Bayard Taylor Putnam Family Papers, contact rbsc@princeton.edu. Researchers interested in learning more about G.P. Putnam’s Sons can access the George Palmer Putnam Papers (C0685) and George Haven Putnam Papers (C1350), which are also part of the Manuscripts Division.Putnam letter

Raphael Pumpelly, Letter to Bayard Taylor Putnam concerning New Jersey mining, February, 16, 1880.


Samuel Comfort Family Papers

The Samuel Comfort Family Papers (C0407), in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections,  have been recently reprocessed, and the finding aids is now online (http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/C0407). Most important are the papers of Samuel Comfort (1837–1933), a Union officer during the U.S. Civil War, which is well documented through his extensive correspondence with family, friends, and fellow officers. The papers include Comfort’s diary from August 1864 to May 1865, official documents, muster rolls, and photographs.

It was around this time 150 years ago at Camp Couch in Philadelphia that Union officer Samuel Comfort was solidifying the core of his all-volunteer independent cavalry unit, Company “L” of the 20th Cavalry Regiment, 181st Pennsylvania Volunteers. Comfort began recruiting (and financing) his company the previous summer, spurred on by General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania.

This was Comfort’s second military stint in the Civil War. Previously, in the fall of 1861, he was selected to be a part of “Anderson Troop,” another independent Pennsylvania unit, which served as body guards to Major General D. C. [Don Carlos] Buell. After the Battle of Shiloh, April 6–7, 1862, Comfort became disabled by typhoid fever and was honorably discharged before reenlisting in June 1863. Stationed along the Shenandoah Valley, the 20th Pennsylvania Regiment took part in several key battles, including the Battle of New Market (May 15, 1864). Comfort was promoted to the rank of major in March 1865 when the 20th  Regiment became involved in the pursuit of Confederate forces that led to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox Court House. Comfort was mustered out and honorably discharged from military service in July 1865.

The Samuel Comfort Family Papers also document Comfort’s time after the war as a foreign representative for Standard Oil Company, a predecessor of Exxon. It was while living abroad that Comfort’s daughter, Emma, met her husband, Harry Maule Crookshank. Descended from a distinguished military and political Scotch-Irish family, Crookshank was a decorated physician and surgeon who served as British Controller-General of the Daira Sanieh Administration in Egypt from 1897 to 1907. Previous to this appointment, Crookshank was a surgeon with the British Red Cross Society, and served in the Franco-Prussian War (1870–1871) and the Serbo-Turkish War (1876–1878). Crookshank is documented in the Samuel Comfort Family Papers through both personal and professional correspondence, official documents, ephemera, and photographs.

Harry Frederick Comfort Crookshank, the son of Harry and Emma Comfort Crookshank, is also represented in the collection, though modestly, through a few letters and photographs. A distinguished World War I veteran, Harry was a British Conservative politician who served as Minister of Health from 1951 to 1952, Leader of the House of Commons from 1951 to 1955, and Lord Privy Seal from 1952 to 1955. Of special note is a letter from Crookshank to his family written during the Battle of the Somme (September 14, 1916) as well as a letter from Winston Churchill (December 7, 1954).

For more information about the Samuel Comfort Family Papers and about the Manuscript Division’s extensive holdings of personal papers pertaining to the Civil War, contact rbsc@princeton.edu

Comfort 2 Comfort photo

(Left) Letter from Comfort to his father about his involvement in the Battle of Appomattox Court House, April 10,1865. (Right) Samuel Comfort.


Berthier’s Manuscript Maps of America, 1781–82

The Princeton University Library is pleased to announce that it has digitized and put online Louis-Alexandre Berthier’s manuscript maps of the United States in the final years of the American Revolution. The 111 numbered maps and related journals are Berthier’s record of the 680-mile overland march of the French army of some 5,750 men under Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, Comte de Rochambeau, from Newport, Rhode Island, to Yorktown, Virginia, during the summer and early autumn of 1781, and the return march of the French Army from Virginia to Boston, July–December 1782. The French army joined forces in July 1781 with the Continental Army under Gen. George Washington at Philipsburg, New York, and then with the French fleet under Admiral de Grasse, resulting in the defeat and surrender of British forces under Lord Cornwallis at Yorktown, on October 19, 1781. The maps were executed, presumably soon after the momentous events of the American Revolution, from sketches and other information made on by Berthier during the march. The maps fall into two interrelated series: (1) the French Army’s camp sites on the southward march from Newport, Rhode Island, to Yorktown, Virginia, in 1781, and on the return march northward in the summer and autumn of 1782; and (2) “Itineraries” or daily marches of the Army (from Newport as far as Elkton, Maryland, in 1781. The daily marches for the 1782 northward journey are lacking among the Berthier Collection at Princeton. Another set of Berthier’s maps is preserved among the Rochambeau Papers in the Library of Congress; this set, although duplicating in part the Princeton set, is apparently less complete. Harry C. Black, Class of 1909, acquired the Berthier Collection, formerly in the Berthier family archives at Château de Grosbois, France, and donated them to the Library in 1939.

Berthier’s road maps are the most spectacular part of the collection, documenting the march of French and Continental forces and providing an early cartographic record of a few major cities, such as Philadelphia and Baltimore, as well as many small towns and villages. There are two maps of Princeton (nos. 54, 55), one of which shows the location of Nassau Hall. Other places in New Jersey include Pompton (Pompton Plains), Whippany, Bullion’s Tavern (Liberty Corner), Somerset Courthouse (Millstone), and Trenton). The maps cannot be fully appreciated without the accompanying textual material of his journal (1780-1783), which provides a detailed description and explanation of the routes covered by the maps. In addition, there are related manuscripts and documents, including a letter (1785) from Rochambeau, notes on the history of Virginia, and Berthier’s journal of his later visit to Prussia (1783).In later years, Berthier continued to be employed in staff posts, and to earn regular promotions. He saw active military service during the French Revolution. In 1796 he accompanied General Bonaparte in the Italian campaign, as chief of staff of the army. Soon after Bonaparte became Emperor Napolean I, in 1804, he chose Berthier as one of the eighteen army officers to be named Marshal of the Empire. Subsequently, Berthier acquired other titles: Duke of Valangin, Price of Neufchâtel, Prince of Wagram. Marshal Berthier was with Napolean in the campaigns of Austerlitz, Jena, and Friedland; he was in the Peninsular Campaign (1808), the Austrian Campaign (1809), in Russia (1812), Germany (1813), and France (1814). In 1814 he abandoned Napoleon, and died the following year, on June 1, 1815, at Bamberg.

To view the finding aid for the Louis-Alexandre Berthier Collection (C0022), go to http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/C0022. At the main screen, one can either browse under “Contents and Arrangement” (on the left side) or download the finding aid by clicking on “View Entire Finding Aid” (upper right). To search for maps of particular cities and towns, enter the place name and the word map in the search window (“Search this Collection”). Then review the search results, select the particular map of interest, and click on “View Image.” Please note, images are not to be published or broadcast without permission of the Princeton University Library. For conservation reasons, access to the original manuscripts is restricted. Researchers should use the digital images provided online. The best study of Berthier’s journals and maps is Howard C. Rice, Jr., and Anne S. K. Brown, The American Campaigns of Rochambeau’s Army 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1972), 2 volumes. For more information about the Berthier Collection or permission to publish and/or broadcast images, contact the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections at rbsc@princeton.edu

Berthier map of Philadelphia 1781

Map of Philadelphia, 1781

Woody Allen: The Screenwriter at Work

Firestone Library is pleased to be exhibiting a selection of Woody Allen’s film scripts in conjunction with the question-and-answer session with the celebrated American movie director, screenwriter, and author in Princeton University’s Richardson Auditorium on Sunday, October 27. On display in the Eighteenth-Century Window of Firestone Library (October 21–November 17) are versions of What’s New, Pussycat? (1965), Sleeper (1973), Annie Hall (1977), Manhattan (1979), The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008), and Midnight in Paris (2010). The scripts are from the Woody Allen Papers, in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections. Since 1980, Princeton has been the repository for the papers of the Woody Allen. In making his initial gift of papers to Princeton, Allen wrote, “When the idea of donating them to a university came up, Princeton was immediately thought of because of very kind interest by the school and Mr. Laurence Rockefeller” [Class of 1932]. Since then, the papers have grown to 48 boxes of manuscripts, typescripts, and other materials documenting Woody Allen’s writing life, from television and stand-up comedy writing in the 1950s and ’60s to the present.

Allen is best known for writing, directing, and acting in many of his own films, and has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including four Academy Awards: Annie Hall, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (co-written with Marshall Brickman), 1978; Hannah and Her Sisters, Best Original Screenplay, 1987; and Midnight in Paris, Best Screenplay, 2012. The papers shows the stages of crafting film scripts, from handwritten plot outlines and drafts on yellow legal pads to successive typescript versions, corrected by the author and often stapled together from different versions. There are also bound mimeographed production scripts. Allen has also been a contributor in The New Yorker, The New Republic, Kenyon Review, and other magazines. The papers contain drafts, typescripts, and proofs of articles, short stories, essays, plays, comedy writing, and other documentation of Allen’s creative life.

To access the finding aid, go to http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/TC002  For reference assistance, email rbsc@princeton.edu

Woody Allen typing


Mario Vargas Llosa Visits Papers

The celebrated Peruvian author Mario Vargas Llosa, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature (2010), recently visited the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections with his son Álvaro Vargas Llosa, a writer and commentator on Latin American and international affairs. They visited to review a few of about 300 boxes and cartons of the Mario Vargas Llosa Papers (C0641), which are preserved in the Manuscripts Division (see photos below). Vargas Llosa is currently a Lecturer in Creative Writing in the Lewis Center for the Arts and the Program in Latin American Studies.  He is co-teaching a course with Ephrain Kristal, Visiting Professor of Comparative Literature and the Program in Latin American Studies. The course is “The Literary Works of Mario Vargas Llosa in Their Artistic, Intellectual and Political Contexts” (LAS 329). In connection with course reading and writing assignments, students in the class are making independent visits to the Department of Rare Books and Special Collection to consult portions of the Vargas Llosa Papers.

Mario Vargas Llosa’s papers include the author’s notebooks, drafts, corrected proofs, and manuscripts of scripts, essays, articles, speeches, and lectures. His extensive correspondence covers the period 1957 to 1994, and includes letters from family members, publishers, and a wide range of renowned writers such as Jorge Amado, José María Arguedas, Carlos Barral, Mario Benedetti, José Bianco, Julio Cortázar, José Donoso, Rosario Ferré, Carlos Fuentes, Gabriel García Márquez, Ana María Matute, Pablo Neruda, José Emilio Pacheco, Nelida Piñon, Carlos Quijano, Augusto Roa Bastos, Sebastián Salazar Bondy, Manuel Scorza, and others. Also in his papers is the political archive pertaining to his leadership of the the Movimiento Libertad, a civic organization which was founded in Peru in 1987, and as the presidential candidate of Frente Democrático (FREDEMO) in 1989 and 1990. For an inventory of the Mario Vargas Llosa Papers, go to http://findingaids.princeton.edu/collections/C0641  The papers are one of more than 70 literary archives in the Manuscripts Division, including Reinaldo Arenas, José Bianco, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, Julio Cortázar, José Donoso, Carlos Fuentes, Elena Garro, Emir Rodríguez Monegal, Alejandra Pizarnik, Juan José Saer, and many other authors. For a listing of Latin American literary collections, go to http://firestone.princeton.edu/latinam/literarymss.php. For reference assistance about Princeton’s holdings, contact rbsc@princeton.edu.

MLV 2013 no 3MLV 2013 no 1

Mario Vargas Llosa (left), with Álvaro Vargas Llosa (right). Not to be reproduced without permission of the Princeton University Library.

Fitzgerald’s Princeton Novel Goes Online

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940), Class of 1917,  entered Princeton a century ago. His first day of classes was on his birthday, September 24, 1913. Marking this centennial, the Princeton University Library has digitized Fitzgerald’s manuscripts and typescripts of his autobiographical first novel, This Side of Paradise (1920), from the F. Scott Fitzgerald Papers, in the Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton University Library:  http://pudl.princeton.edu/collections/pudl0044

The papers were the gift of the author’s daughter Scottie Fitzgerald Lanahan in 1950 and remain among the greatest treasures in the Princeton University Library. This Side of Paradise still stands are the most famous literary work about Princeton University. While Fitzgerald was not a good student and never graduated, dropping out in 1917 to join the U.S. Army during World War I, he began learning the craft of writing as an undergraduate and befriended other students who were aspiring authors, Edmund Wilson, Class of 1916, and John Peale Bishop, Class of 1917. Fitzgerald came to form a deep affection for Princeton that lasted until his untimely death in Hollywood.

Fitzgerald began writing This Side of Paradise at Princeton, continued in November 1917 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with the working title “The Romantic Egoist,” and completed a first draft at Cottage Club in March 1918. After this draft had been twice rejected by the distinguished New York publisher Charles Scribner’s Sons, Fitzgerald returned to his parents’ home at 599 Summit Avenue in his native St. Paul, Minnesota, and added five new chapters to the four he had written the previous year. He changed the second title of the novel from “The Education of a Personage” to “This Side of Paradise” and sent the novel to Maxwell Perkins at Scribner’s. The publisher accepted the novel on September 16, 1919, and published it on March 26, 1920.  Publication of the novel launched the young author on a successful writing career, with nearly 50,000 copies in print by 1921, and helped him win Zelda Sayre’s hand in marriage.

With the manuscripts and typescripts now online, one can see the author at work writing and revising the two halves of his novel, “The Romantic Egotist” and “The Education of a Personage.” Two versions survive and have been digitized: (1) “The Romantic Egotist,” the earlier corrected typescript in five chapters that Fitzgerald sent to Charles W. Donahoe in October 1918, and the latter donated to Princeton in 1948. (2) “This Side of Paradise,” which includes about 80 typescript pages that Fitzgerald reused from “The Romantic Egotist.” Fitzgerald wrote by hand and did not type, so errors were likely introduced by the anonymous typist, who drew diagonal lines through pages as they were typed. In addition to the author’s own corrections, a St. Paul school friend named Katherine Tighe (formerly described as an anonymous reader, called “the Grammarian”) went through the manuscript to correct spelling, grammar, and expression, especially toward the end of the novel. Fitzgerald’s galleys and page proofs do not survive, but we know that innumerable errors escaped his attention, and his celebrated editor as well. The novel became a commercial success despite the many errors, some of which were corrected in subsequent printings.

Fitzgerald’s hastily written, somewhat disjointed coming-of-age novel about contemporary American youth, restless and disillusioned, was thinly based on his own life, with Amory Blaine as his alter-ego and other characters based on college friends and early romantic interests. Despite imperfections, the novel made him a voice of the post-World War I generation, a theme we can see when Fitzgerald writes in the novel, “Long after midnight the towers and spires of Princeton were visible, with here and there a late-burning light—and suddenly out of the clear darkness the sound of bells. As an endless dream it went on; the spirit of the past brooding over a new generation, the chosen youth from the muddled, unchastened world, still fed romantically on the mistakes and half-forgotten dreams of dead statesmen and poets. Here was a new generation, shouting the old cries, learning the old creeds, through a revery of long days and nights; destined finally to go out into that dirty gray turmoil to follow love and pride; a new generation dedicated more than the last to the fear of poverty and the worship of success; grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken.”

Today, This Side of Paradise is probably of most interest as evidence of Fitzgerald’s early writing efforts at Princeton and in the years after he dropped out. Yet the book still provides encouragement and inspiration for new generations of Princeton students a century later. But Fitzgerald drew heavily on his experiences at Princeton and was able to incorporate portions of his undergraduate contributions to the Nassau Literary Magazine [Nassau Lit for short], most notably “The Spire and the Gargoyle” (February 1917) for book 1, chapter 2, of the novel. As Prof. James L. W. West III demonstrated in The Making of This Side of Paradise (1983), p. 43, the novel has echoes of Fitzgerald’s other Nassau Lit stories of 1917, published before he left Princeton, including “The Debutante,” “Babes in the Woods,” “Princeton—The Last Day,” and “On a Play Twice Seen.”

The novel is filled with scores of local references to Princeton University, including the Nassau Lit, Daily Princetonian, Triangle Club, and Cottage Club. Princeton football, the Nassau Inn, and other subjects also come up.  Fitzgerald’s protagonist, Amory Blaine, reveals the author’s love of the university, its campus and Collegiate Gothic architecture. “Princeton drew him most,” wrote Fitzgerald, “with its atmosphere of bright colors and its alluring reputation as the pleasantest country club in America…. From the first he loved Princeton — its lazy beauty, its half-grasped significance, the wild moonlight revel of the rushes, the handsome, prosperous big-game crowds, and under it all the air of struggle that pervaded his class.” His love for Princeton never left him. A decade later, in an article in College Humor (1927), Fitzgerald wrote about Princeton, “one sees the ideal of a university become a myth, a vision, a meadow lark among the smoke stacks. Yet perhaps it is there at Princeton, only more elusive than under the skies of the Prussian Rhineland or Oxfordshire; or perhaps some men come upon it suddenly and possess it, while others wander forever outside. Even these seek in vain through middle age for any corner of the republic that preserves so much of what is fair, gracious, charming and honorable in American life.”

This Side of Paradise joins the previously digitized autograph manuscript and corrected galleys of The Great Gatsby in the Princeton University Digital Library. For information about the digital edition, contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, dcskemer@princeton.edu  Concerning the Fitzgerald Papers and photoduplication, contact Gabriel Swift, Reference Librarian, gswift@princeton.edu; rbsc@princeton.edu  For information about the manuscripts and typescripts, see This Side of Paradise: The Manuscripts and Typescripts, edited with an introduction by Matthew J. Bruccoli (New York: Garland Publishing, 1990), 2 vols. Concerning the evolution of the text, see James L. W. West III, The Making of This Side of Paradise (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1983); and This Side of Paradise, edited by James L.W. West III, The Cambridge Edition of the Works of F. Scott Fitzgerald (Cambridge, England; New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1995).

Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise quotation 001

F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise (autograph manuscript), F. Scott Fitzgerald Papers, Manuscripts Division, Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, Princeton Universaity Library. “Long after midnight the towers and spires of Princeton were visible, with here and there a late-burning light—and suddenly out of the clear darkness the sound of bells. As an endless dream it went on; the spirit of the past brooding over a new generation, the chosen youth from the muddled, unchastened world…”



Checklist of Western Medieval, Byzantine, and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library Now Online

Click to open or download PDF: “Checklist of Western Medieval, Byzantine, and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library and the Scheide Library.

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections has very significant holdings of western medieval, Byzantine, and Renaissance manuscripts, ranging in date from the 8th to 16th centuries. Most of them are in the Manuscripts Division, in the collections of Robert Garrett, Class of 1897; Robert Taylor, Class of 1930; Grenville Kane; and the growing Princeton Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts.

This checklist is not a catalogue, but rather a listing of more than 500 manuscrits in the Princeton University Library and the Scheide Library by holding unit, collection, and manuscript number or shelfmark. Links are given for well over 2,000 digital images of miniatures, illustrations, and selected diagrams and decoration in the manuscripts, about a third of which are illuminated. It also provides links to digitized grayscale microfilm of Middle English manuscripts at Princeton and for a group of important manuscripts digitized in the Library since the 1990s. While Latin texts are predominant, there are excellent holdings of Byzantine and post-Byzantine Greek manuscripts, and vernacular manuscripts in Middle English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Dutch or Flemish.

Two recently published catalogues provide full textual and codicological description of western medieval, Byzantine, and Renaissance manuscripts, illustrated with hundreds of color plates. In addition, the online checklist serves as a guide to sources of full cataloging and digital images for western medieval, Byzantine, and Renaissance manuscripts in the Princeton University Library and the Scheide Library.

Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts in the Princeton University Library. By Don C. Skemer; incorporating contributions by Adelaide Bennett, Jean F. Preston, William P. Stoneman and the Index of Christian Art (Princeton, N.J.: Department of Art and Archaeology and the Princeton University Library, in association with Princeton University Press, 2013). 2 volumes (I: xxv, 483 pages, 88 pages of plates; II: xix, 558 pages, 40 pages of plates): color illustrations; 30 cm: This catalogue covers the holdings of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections.

Greek Manuscripts at Princeton, Sixth to Nineteenth Century: A Descriptive Catalogue. By Sofia Kotzabassi and Nancy Patterson Ševčenko; with the collaboration of Don C. Skemer (Princeton, N.J.: Department of Art and Archaeology and Program in Hellenic Studies, Princeton University, in association with Princeton University Press, 2010). xxix, 304 p., [174] p. of plates of color and black-and-white plates; 31 cm:  This catalogue covers the holdings of the Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, The Scheide Library, Princeton University Art Museum, and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Photoduplication is readily available. The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections maintains high-resolution digital files, slides, and transparencies for these manuscripts. For conservation reasons, use of a few manuscripts is restricted. For additional information and to make appointments, potential researchers are strongly encouraged to contact Don C. Skemer, Curator of Manuscripts, at dcskemer@princeton.edu.