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Collection Overview

Swanson, H. N. (Harold Norling), 1899-.
H. N. Swanson Files on F. Scott Fitzgerald
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


Consists primarily of correspondence between F. Scott Fitzgerald's East Coast literary agent, Harold Ober, and his Hollywood agent, H. N. Swanson, from 20 November 1934 through 4 April 1956.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of correspondence between F. Scott Fitzgerald's East Coast literary agent, Harold Ober, and his Hollywood agent, H. N. Swanson, from 20 November 1934 through 4 April 1956, regarding attempts to sell Fitzgerald stories to the studios, land Fitzgerald a writing job in Hollywood, and license his works for radio, television, and film after his death. Also included are a typed manuscript (7 pp.) treatment of Tender Is the Night by Sandra MacGown, signed copies of the Vanguard Films, Inc., contract (1946) and motion picture rights assignment (1946) for Tender Is the Night, an extract (5 pp.) from Fitzgerald's 1937 MGM contract, and several Western Union telegrams sent by Fitzgerald to Swanson.


Arranged chronologically by year:

Collection Creator Biography:

Swanson, H. N. (Harold Norling), 1899-.

Novelist and storywriter F. Scott Fitzgerald first went to Hollywood in 1927, when he was hired to write an original flapper comedy for United Artists. He returned in 1931 to work for Irving Thalberg on the Jean Harlow classic Red-Headed Woman. His third sojourn in Hollywood lasted from 1937 to his death in December of 1940. Though he worked on several projects, Fitzgerald's only screenwriting credit was for Three Comrades, which was based on the Erich Maria Remarque novel. Starring Robert Taylor, Margaret Sullavan, and Robert Young, it was considered to be one of the top ten films for 1938. Normally the studios owned or had a proprietary interest in all creative works produced by staff writers while under contract, but Fitzgerald's agent H. N. Swanson was careful to obtain "layoff periods," gaps of a few weeks during which he could work on his own projects while in Hollywood.

Collection History


Purchased from Bonhams and Butterfields auction in February 2006 .

Additonal material was a gift of Glenn Horowitz in July 2010 .


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by John Delaney in March 2006. Finding aid written by John Delaney in March 2006.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

H. N. Swanson Files on F. Scott Fitzgerald; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1

Find More

Related Materials

The Achives of Harold Ober Associates (C1029), the Princeton collection of this New York City literary agency, contains sizable literary estate files for F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Subject Terms:
Literary agents--California--Hollywood (Los Angeles)--20th century--Correspondence.
Genre Terms:
Fitzgerald, F. Scott (Francis Scott), 1896-1940