View the Passport Photos of F. Scott Fitzgerald, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf & Other Cultural Icons

woolf passport
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If you’ve had the for­tune of trav­el­ling for leisure, you know that there are three types of memen­toes that unfail­ing­ly elic­it pangs of nos­tal­gia. The first are pho­tographs. The sec­ond are the run­ning com­men­taries we write down in jour­nals and blogs, doc­u­ment­ing the var­i­ous impres­sions, thoughts, and minu­ti­ae we expe­ri­ence. The third are pass­ports. When brim­ming with exit stamps and tat­tered visas, pass­ports are the mark of a world­ly trav­eller: a grimy, well-worn sign to fel­low hos­tel guests that you’re want­ed com­pa­ny when the time comes to com­pare sto­ries.

Today, we bring you sev­er­al pass­port scans from a num­ber of the 20th century’s best-known cul­tur­al fig­ures. Above, you can see a trav­el doc­u­ment belong­ing to Vir­ginia Woolf, who received a 1923 stamp from the For­eign Office. Below we have John Lennon’s entry card into the U.S., which the Bea­t­le received after a bat­tle for per­ma­nent res­i­den­cy that last­ed for sev­er­al years.

Then Mar­i­lyn Monroe’s Depart­ment of Defense-issued ID card, under the name of Nor­ma Jean DiMag­gio. Fur­ther down are the pass­port pho­tos of writ­ers James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzger­ald, accom­pa­nied by their respec­tive fam­i­lies, who were trav­el­ling under the same doc­u­ments. Last­ly, we present to you the most impres­sive­ly dec­o­rat­ed pass­port pages of all, belong­ing to Ella Fitzger­ald:

John Lennon



A Marilyn Monroe's ID Card, 1954 (1)

James Joyce and Fam­i­ly


The Fitzger­alds


Ella Fitzger­ald


For more icon­ic pass­port pho­tos, head to or The Untrav­elled Paths blog.

Ilia Blin­d­er­man is a Mon­tre­al-based cul­ture and sci­ence writer. Fol­low him at @iliablinderman.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Rare Footage of Scott and Zel­da Fitzger­ald From the 1920s

Ella Fitzger­ald Sings ‘Sum­mer­time’ by George Gersh­win, Berlin 1968

James Joyce Plays the Gui­tar, 1915

Six Post­cards From Famous Writ­ers: Hem­ing­way, Kaf­ka, Ker­ouac & More

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