Robert Fitzgerald papers
Scope and Contents
The Robert Fitzgerald Papers consist of correspondence, manuscripts, financial and legal records, printed material, and personal papers documenting the life and work of Robert Fitzgerald and his family. The collection spans the years 1892-1986.
The collection is housed in 119 boxes and organized into five series: Correspondence, Writings of Robert Fitzgerald, Writings of Others, Financial and Legal Records, and Personal Papers. Boxes 110-119 contain Oversize and Restricted Fragile material.
Series I, Correspondence , is organized into three subseries: General Correspondence, Family Correspondence, and Third Party Correspondence.
General Correspondence, housed in boxes 1-42, consists chiefly of incoming personal and professional correspondence, though carbon copies of outgoing letters are also present. The collection is particularly rich for its correspondence with poets, editors, translators, publishers, literary scholars and critics, and cultural organizations during the middle part of the 20th century. There are letters from many well-known poets writing in English during this period, including W.H. Auden, John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, Louise Bogan, James Dickey, T.S. Eliot, Allen Ginsberg, Seamus Heaney, Robert Lowell, Archibald MacLeish, James Merrill, Ezra Pound, Laura Riding, and William Carlos Williams. Critics include R.P. Blackmur and Francis Fergusson. Larger correspondence files exist for Dudley Fitts, with whom Fitzgerald collaborated on translations, Caroline Gordon, James Laughlin, T.S. Matthews, John Frederick Nims, and Allen Tate.
Family Correspondence, housed in boxes 43-53, is organized into three subseries: Robert Fitzgerald Correspondence, Other Family Correspondence, and Third Party Correspondence. The Robert Fitzgerald Correspondence consists chiefly of incoming letters from members of the Fitzgerald and Stuart families. Larger files exist for his father, Robert Emmet Fitzgerald, his first wife, Eleanor Green, and his maternal aunt, Agnes Stuart. There are files as well for his six children with Sarah Morgan: Barnaby, Benedict, Catherine, Maria, Michael, and Ughetta. Fitzgerald's mother, Anne Montague Stuart, died in 1913, but there are letters from her to her husband (Robert Emmet) and to her sister (Agnes) dating from as early as 1904. The two other subseries contain third party letters between family members and others.
Third Party Correspondence, housed in box 54, consists of all loose third party correspondence. The bulk of these third party letters probably came to Fitzgerald as enclosures and, over time, were separated from the original letters.
Four small groups of correspondence have been preserved in their original arrangement outside the Correspondence series. In Series IV. Financial and Legal Records, there are copies of letters in Material Relating to the Fitzgerald Estate. In Series V. Personal Papers, there are letters relating to residences in Italy in Real Estate, there are third party letters of acknowledgement and thanks in Speaking Engagements, and there are letters from students in Teaching and Course Materials. Notes and references are provided in the finding aid where appropriate.
Series II, Writings of Robert Fitzgerald , housed in boxes 55-71, is organized into fourteen subseries: Articles and Essays, Autobiographical Writings, Criticism, Diaries, Edited Works, Lectures and Speeches, Obituaries and Tributes, Open Letters, Plays, Poetry, Reviews, School Work, Short Stories, and Translations.
There are printed versions of writings by Fitzgerald scattered thoughout the Writings series, but most writings are present as holograph and typescript drafts. The Poetry subseries, housed in boxes 57-59, includes drafts for published and unpublished poems, and there are drafts of early literary efforts and essays in the School Work subseries from Fitzgerald's days at Springfield High School and Harvard dating from 1926-1933.
The Translations subseries, housed in boxes 60-69, includes drafts and proofs for both the Iliad and the Aeneid. There are corrected drafts and galley proofs for the Iliad, dating from 1974, and a comprehensive run of drafts for the Aeneid, along with setting copies and page proofs, dating from 1978-1984. There are multiple drafts for most books of the Aeneid, in most cases in both corrected holograph and typescript form. There are also corrected and annotated drafts by Mason Hammond, Wendell Clausen, and William Strachan.
Series III, Writings of Others , housed in boxes 72-78, is arranged alphabetically by author. The series contains drafts and printed versions of work by others, including writers, colleagues, and students. In general, there are drafts of work for students (or former students) and clippings or copies of printed work for better-known writers. Drafts of writings by students clearly identified with an institution or course are maintained in Series V. Personal Papers, Teaching and Course Material, under the appropriate institution. Series III does include drafts of poems by Dudley Fitts, James Laughlin, Archibald MacLeish, and Allen Tate, and a typescript copy of a lecture by Stephen Spender.
Writings of family members are arranged among the Family Papers in Series V. Personal Papers.
Series IV, Financial and Legal Records , housed in boxes 79-90, is organized into eleven suberies: Banking, Bills and Receipts, Contracts, Copyright Registration, Insurance, Loans, Material Relating to Fitzgerald Estates, Real Estate, Royalty Statements, Tax Documents, and Other Material. Tax documents relating to the Nora M. and Edward J. Fitzgerald Estate are filed with Fitzgerald's personal tax documents.
Series V, Personal Papers , housed in boxes 91-109, is organized into fourteen subseries: Artwork, Clippings, Family Papers, Material Relating to Time Magazine, Medical Records, Military Records, Notes and Notebooks, Photographs, Printed Ephemera, Real Estate, School Records, Speaking Engagements, Teaching and Course Material, and Other Material.
Family Papers, housed in boxes 93-96, contains clippings, writings, photographs, financial and legal records, school records and notes, and printed and other ephemera relating chiefly to members of the Fitzgerald and Stuart families.
The Notes and Notebooks subseries contains loose manuscript notes and notebooks. The notebooks consist chiefly of research notes, transcriptions, translations, and language lesson books. Notebooks are arranged alphabetically by title; notebooks lacking a title or obvious content are listed as untitled. Loose pages laid in notebooks have been maintained with the notebooks.
The Photographs subseries contains photographs of Fitzgerald and others. Photographs of other Fitzgerald and Stuart family members are filed in the Family Papers subseries.
Real Estate contains material relating to residences in the U.S. and Italy. The files here for U.S. residences include only notes and forms; the financial and legal records pertaining to domestic residences, such as leases, are filed separately in Series V. Financial and Legal Records. The files relating specifically to residences in Italy, where Fitzgerald and his family lived from 1953-1965, have been maintained in their original or preliminary organization. These folders include correspondence, financial records, notes, and other records.
The School Records subseries consists of grade reports, financial records, and printed material from institutions attended by Fitzgerald as a student. These institutions include Saint Agnes Catholic School and Springfield High School in Springfield, Illinois, The Choate School, Harvard University, and Cambridge University.
Speaking Engagements contains correspondence, itineraries, financial records, and printed ephemera relating to a 1962 tour in England. The bulk of this material relates to an October reading at the American Embassy in London. There are two folders of third party correspondence from people invited to the reading, including writers, scholars, publishers, and book dealers, to Margaret Haferd, librarian at the American Embassy, as well as a guest list, publicity, copies of poems, and manuscript notes.
Teaching and Course Material includes lecture notes, departmental and administrative documents, and student letters and writings from institutions at which Fitzgerald taught. There are files for Harvard, Indiana University, Princeton, Sarah Lawrence, and others. All loose notes and notebooks not clearly identified as teaching or course material are filed in the Notes and Notebooks subseries.
Oversize material, housed in boxes 110-114, includes items from Series I-V. Restricted Fragile Papers are housed in boxes 115-119.
Language of Materials
Chiefly in English; some materials in Italian.
Conditions Governing Access
The materials are open for research.
Boxes 115-119: restricted fragile material. Preservation photocopies and prints for reference use have been substituted in the main files. For further information consult the appropriate curator.
Conditions Governing Use
The Robert Fitzgerald Papers are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Robert Fitzgerald Papers were acquired through gifts from Penelope Laurans Fitzgerald in 1989-1990.
54.35 Linear Feet (123 boxes)
Series I, Correspondence, consists chiefly of incoming personal and professional correspondence and family correspondence. The collection is particularly rich for its correspondence with poets, editors, translators, publishers, and literary scholars and critics during the middle part of the 20th century. There are letters from many well-known poets writing in English during this period, including W.H. Auden, John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, Louise Bogan, James Dickey, T.S. Eliot, Seamus Heaney, Robert Lowell, Archibald MacLeish, James Merrill, Ezra Pound, Laura Riding, and William Carlos Williams. Critics include R.P. Blackmur and Francis Fergusson. Larger files exist for Dudley Fitts, Caroline Gordon, James Laughlin, T.S. Matthews, John Frederick Nims, and Allen Tate.
Series II, Writings of Robert Fitzgerald, is subdivided for articles and essays, autobiographical writings, criticism, diaries, edited works, lectures and speeches, obituaries and tributes, open letters, plays, poetry, reviews, school work, short stories, and translations. Translations include corrected drafts and galley proofs for the Iliad and drafts, setting copies, and page proofs for the Aeneid.
Series III, Writings of Others, contains drafts and printed versions of work by others, including writers, colleagues, and students. In general, there are drafts of work for students (or former students) and clippings or copies of printed work for better-known writers, though there are drafts of poems by Dudley Fitts, James Laughlin, Archibald MacLeish, and Allen Tate.
Series IV, Financial and Legal Records, is subdivided for bank records, bills and receipts, contracts, copyright registration, insurance documents, loan records, material relating to Fitzgerald estates, real estate, royalty statements, and tax documents.
Series V, Personal Papers, is subdivided for artwork, clippings, family papers, material relating to Time magazine, medical and military records, notes and notebooks, photographs, printed ephemera, real estate, school records, speaking engagements, and teaching and course material.
ROBERT FITZGERALD (1910-1985)
Robert Fitzgerald was a poet, translator, and teacher. His publications include collections of poetry, translations of classical and modern literature, critical essays, and edited works. Works include the poetry collections Poems (1935) and Spring Shade (1971), editions of the work of James Agee (1968), and the posthumous Enlarging the Change (1985), essays based on the Princeton seminars on literary criticism. Fitzgerald may be best known for his translations of Homer's Odyssey (1961) and Iliad (1974), and Virgil's Aeneid (1984).
Summary information on Robert Fitzgerald is available in the standard print and online biographical resources.
The following chronology provides dates for key events and
1910 October 12, born in Geneva, New York to Robert Emmet Fitzgerald
and Anne Stuart Fitzgerald
1913 March 26 death of Anne Stuart Fitzgerald
1921-1924 attends Saint Agnes Catholic School, Springfield, Illinois
1926-1928 attends Springfield High School, Springfield, Illinois
1929 attends The Choate School, Wallingford, Connecticut
1929 January 27 death of Robert Emmet Fitzgerald
1929-1931 attends Harvard University
1932 attends Trinity College, Cambridge
1933 graduates from Harvard University
1933-1935 reporter for New York Herald Tribune
1935 December 24 marries Eleanor Green
1935 publication of Poems
1936 publication of Alcestis of Euripides (trans.)
1936-1943 and 1946-1949 writes for Time magazine
1939 publication of Antigone (trans.)
1941 publication of Oedipus at Colonus (trans.)
1943 publication of A Wreath for the Sea
1943-1946 serves in U.S. Naval Reserve
1946 June 12 divorces Eleanor Green
1946-1952 instructor, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York
1947 April 20 marries Sarah Morgan
1949 publication of Oedipus Rex (trans.)
1949-1951 fellow, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey
1952 fellow, School of Letters, Indiana University, Bloomington,
1953 moves to Italy
1956 publication of In the Rose of Time
1957 visiting professor, Notre Dame, Sound Bend, Indiana
1960 publication of Chronique (trans.)
1961 publication of The Odyssey (trans.)
1961 visiting professor, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
1961 awarded first Bollinger Prize for translation
1964 visiting professor, Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley,
1965-1981 Boyston Professor, Harvard University, Cambridge,
1966 publication of Birds (trans.)
1968 publication of The Collected Poems of James Agee (ed.) and The Collected Short Prose of James Agee (ed.)
1969 publication of Mystery and Manners (ed.)
1972 publication of Spring Shade; separates from Sarah Morgan
1974 publication of The Iliad (trans.)
1982 divorces Sarah Morgan; marries Penelope Laurans
1983 publication of The Aeneid (trans.)
1985 January 16, dies in Hamden, Connecticut
1985 publication of Enlarging the Change: The Princeton Seminars in Literary Criticism, 1949-1951
1993 publication of The Third Kind of Knowledge: Memoirs and Selected Writings, ed. by Penelope Laurans Fitzgerald
The Robert Fitzgerald Papers contain material formerly classed as Uncat ZA MS 92 and Uncat ZA MS 125.
- American literature -- 20th century
- Auden, W. H. (Wystan Hugh), 1907-1973
- Authors, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Berryman, John, 1914-1972
- Bishop, Elizabeth, 1911-1979
- Blackmur, R. P. (Richard P.), 1904-1965
- Bogan, Louise, 1897-1970
- Dickey, James, 1923-1997
- Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965
- Fergusson, Francis, 1904-
- Fitts, Dudley, 1903-1968
- Fitzgerald, Penelope Laurans
- Fitzgerald, Robert, 1910-1985
- Gordon, Caroline, 1895-1981
- Green, Eleanor, 1911-
- Heaney, Seamus, 1939-2013
- Laughlin, James, 1914-1997
- Lowell, Robert, 1917-1977
- MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982
- Matthews, T. S. (Thomas Stanley), 1901-1991
- Merrill, James, 1926-1995
- Nims, John Frederick, 1913-1999
- Photographic prints
- Poets, American -- 20th Century -- Archives
- Pound, Ezra, 1885-1972
- Riding, Laura, 1901-1991
- Tate, Allen, 1899-1979
- Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963
- Guide to the Robert Fitzgerald Papers
- by Michael L. Forstrom
- Description rules
- Beinecke Manuscript Unit Archival Processing Manual
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511
The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.