Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Ober mss., 1919-1941 and 1947, consist of the correspondence files of literary agent Harold Ober, 1881- 1959, with Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, 1896-1940, author. Included are letters and telegrams to Paul Revere Reynolds, 1864-1944, literary agent, from Fitzgerald for the years 1919 through 1929 when Ober left the Reynolds agency to form his own firm of Harold Ober Associates.

Much of the correspondence concerns selling Fitzgerald's manuscripts and the author's chronic money problems. Many of the letters discuss Fitzgerald's personal and family affairs, including wife Zelda's health problems and medical expenses, and daughter Scottie's schooling, as well as Fitzgerald's relations with editors and other writers. I addition, the collection contains Harold Ober's correspondence with various editors, movie companies and theatre representatives, notes about contracts, inter-office memos and a few typescript portions of manuscripts, usually revisions sent by Fitzgerald. One item of particular interest is a three page holograph memo written by Ober after receiving a telephone call relating the news of Fitzgerald's death.

Correspondents in the collection include: William Frederick Bigelow, William Aloysius Brady, John Randolph Bray, Bartlett Cormack, Thomas Bertram Costain, Florence Eldridge, Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald, Samuel H. Grisman, William Andrew Johnston, Ray Long, George Horace Lorimer, Vernon McKenzie, Adelaide W. Neall, Harold Ober, Maxwell Evarts Perkins, Mary Leonard Pritchett, Graham Reid, James Moritimer Renie, Paul Revere Reynolds, Loring Ashly Schuler, Henry Blackman Sell, Lilian Holmes Strack, Harry Morris Warner and John Neville Wheeler.

Most of the correspondence has been published in As Ever, Scott Fitz--: Letters Between F. Scott Fitzgerald and His Literary Agent, Harold Ober, 1919-1940. Edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli. Philadelphia, Lippincott, 1972 (Lilly PS3511 .I9 Z496).

Collection size: 1,191 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.