Fitzgerald, Carol 1942-

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FITZGERALD, Carol 1942-


Born August 18, 1942, in Pittsburgh, PA; daughter of Edward A. (an accountant) and Catherine (a homemaker; maiden name, McKay) Bloch; married John M. McKee (marriage ended); married Jean Fitzgerald (in business; a retired naval officer), December 19, 1984; children: (first marriage) John M., Jr., James S. Ethnicity: "English-American." Education: Attended University of Florida, 1960-61, Louisiana State University, 1963, and studied in Mexico; University of Mississippi, B.A., 1964. Politics: Independent. Religion: Roman Catholic. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, collecting books, cultural events.


Home—2100 South Ocean Ln., Apt. 706, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316; fax: 954-463-9509. E-mail—[email protected].


Broward County Commission, Broward County, FL, commission aide, 1978-2001; Broward County Library System, administrative coordinator for the director, 2001—. Cleveland Clinic Hospital, Fort Lauderdale, FL, trustee, 1987-98, chair, 1988-90, vice chair of executive board, 1990-97; Light of the World Clinic, director, 1996—.


Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies (trustee, 1998—), Fontaneda Society (director), Grolier Club, Book Club of California.


Grant from Book Club of California, 2003.


The Rivers of America: A Descriptive Bibliography, Oak Knoll Press (New Castle, DE), 2001.

Author of foreword to reprint, The Connecticut, by Walter Hard, Massachusetts Audubon Society (Lincoln, MA), 1998.


Series Americana, 1940-1980: A Descriptive Bibliography and History (tentative title).


Carol Fitzgerald told CA: "While 'The Rivers of America' series was my first interest among series on Americana, it is not alone. Many other such series were begun, starting in 1940, including 'American Folkways,' 'American Lakes,' and 'Seaports.' There are more than a dozen such series, valued for their literary quality and their contributions to American history, but there is no single, comprehensive history of them, a work that would include bibliographical descriptions of individual volumes and biographies of their authors, editor, and illustrators. I am well along in the research and writing of such a work, following the pattern established in my first book, with the intention of producing the definitive annotated bibliography of the most important and respected of such series.

"I am an independent scholar, motivated primarily by a desire to preserve the history of various 'series Americana' and their contributing authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers. The series in which I have the strongest interest are 'The Rivers of America,' 'American Folkways,' 'American Lakes,' 'American Trails,' 'Mainstream of America,' and 'Regions of America.' I have been encouraged in my work by Dr. John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress; Dr. Alexander C. McLeod, clinical professor of medicine emeritus at Vanderbilt University; Dr. Thomas D. Clark, Commonwealth Historian Laureate of Kentucky; and my husband and editor, Jean.

"When I began to collect 'The Rivers of America,' I soon discovered that there was no comprehensive listing of the sixty-five titles in the series, and that some contributors to the series were already forgotten, despite the undisputed excellence of the series itself. As I state in the foreword of my book, my early research on the series led me to a diverse group of talented and accomplished men and women—the series authors, illustrators, and editors—some of them household names, others essentially forgotten.

"I resolved to develop a descriptive bibliography of the series that would also tell the stories of the men and women who had brought it to life. Eventually, after considerable research and extensive correspondence, I was able to develop a biographical sketch of every one of the sixty authors, fifty-three illustrators, and eight principal editors. This was truly a labor of love, ten years in the making, much of the early years spent in research in various libraries, not on the Internet, which for me at least was just coming on the scene.

"I am well along on my second book, working title Series Americana, 1940-1980: A Descriptive Bibliography and History, researching the history of a given series title by title, author by author, and so forth. As my research develops, I write a rough draft of the related chapter or section. When I have finished the research for a given series, I assemble and rewrite all the drafts, pulling them into a coherent whole. This process, which is surely not unusual, was established as I wrote my first book, and it works well for me. My primary motivation is unchanged: to preserve the histories of these distinctively American series and the memory of their authors, illustrators, editors, and publishers.

"A collateral value of my work, I believe, is that the finished product, the descriptive bibliography of one or more series, becomes a useful reference work for book collectors and booksellers. With its precise, accurate bibliographical descriptions, The Rivers of America: A Descriptive Bibliography permits ready and certain identification of any of the 400-odd printings in the series and their dust jackets. My next book will limit technical bibliographical descriptions to the first edition, first printing of each title in each series, but for most users it will serve the same purpose.

"I have been fortunate to work in a fascinating period of American history, encompassing the Great Depression, World War II, and the postwar boom in population and publishing. The authors, editors, and illustrators of these diverse series Americana produced several hundred volumes of distinctively American literature that in many ways stand alone, separate from other American literature and worthy of preservation and respect."



Choice, February, 2002, review of The Rivers of America: A Descriptive Bibliography.

Firsts, November, 2001, review of The Rivers of America.

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Fitzgerald, Carol 1942-

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