The general public now has a rather unusual chance to see how F. Scott Fitzgerald’s mind worked when it came to some of the not-quite-literary aspects of his life.
His handwritten financial ledger has been digitized and put on the University of South Carolina’s website, where anyone can access it.
“This is a record of everything Fitzgerald wrote, and what he did with it, in his own hand,” Elizabeth Sudduth, director of the Ernest F. Hollings Library and Rare Books Collection, told the Associated Press.
The ledger comes at a time when many people will be talking about Fitzgerald and his most famous work, The Great Gatsby. An film adaptation of the book, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, is coming to silver screen next month.
The University of South Carolina has one of the greatest Fitzgerald collections, and has put several digital publications on its website. In addition, the popularity of the film should bring more attention to the collection.
So … what exactly is inside the ledger? The financial records for Fitzgerald works. It also reveals that he earned less than $2,000 for the initial publication of Gatsby, although later records reveal that he made more money through film and play rights.
Sudduth also noted:
“We know he didn’t spell very well. And his arithmetic wasn’t much better.”
View the ledger online here (and peek around the other digital collections while you’re at it).