If you’re planning to see the latest movie release of The Great Gatsby this weekend, you might consider dropping by the Ernest F. Hollings Special Collections Library on the campus of the University of South Carolina. In conjunction with the movie’s release, there is an exhibit of F. Scott Fitzgerald memorabilia including material directly connected with Gatsby.
Among the items on display are:
• Fitzgerald ‘s contract with Charles Scribner’s Sons for the publication of the book.
• Several first Editions of Gatsby and other Fitzgerald works.
• Fitzgerald’s hip flask
• Fitzgerald’s ledger, perhaps the greatest primary source on Fitzgerald available that includes financial transactions and an autobiography.
The exhibit is part of the Matthew and Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Bruccoli began collecting Fitzgerald material while in the 1950s, obtaining a First Edition of Gatsby in 1959. He served on the USC faculty from 1969 until his death in 2008. In 1994, he donated his Fitzgerald collection to the University. Bruccoli, a Fitzgerald scholar, worked with Frances “Scottie” Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald’s daughter on a number of projects. According to Elizabeth Sudduth, Director of the Irvin Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, “this is the most comprehensive collection of Fitzgerald on the planet.”
The Fitzgerald exhibit will run until the end of June except for a brief hiatus next week. The exhibit is free and available from 10-5 Monday-Friday. The Hollings library is accessed through the Thomas Cooper Library. The Hollings Library entrance is at the back of the main floor of the Cooper Library. The Cooper Library is located at 1322 Greene Street, Columbia.
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A display case of Fitzgerald memorabilia. His hip flask is in front on the right side. First editions of Fitzgerald books are at the rear.
Fitzgerald exhibit display case II
This display case shows Fitzgerald’s ledger, top left, a first edition of The Great Gatsby, bottom right, and the contract Fitzgerald signed with Charles Scribner’s Sons for the book, center.
Gatsby First Edition
A first edition of The Great Gatsby. Notice the “J’ in the word “Jay,” this is proof that it’s a First Edition.
The Orderi di Danilo
The Orderi di Danilo is a decoration of the Government of Montenegro that is referred to in The Great Gatsby. Several Princetonians were awarded this decoration during World War I which is probably why Fitzgerald, who did not receive it, chose to use it in the book. Fitzgerald attended Princeton but did not graduate, choosing to leave to fight in World War I.
A collection of various editions of The Great Gatsby over the years. Bottom center are several editions connected to the 1974 film with Robert Redford and Mia Farrow. Bottom right is material connected with the current release.
A notation in Fitzgerald’s ledger, in his own hand, of a further advance he received for The Great Gatsby. The ledger is regarded as one of the foremost primary sources on Fitzgerald.