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Celebrating 80 Years of The Fountainhead

The Ayn Rand Archives showcases hundreds of original manuscript pages and their transcripts.

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The year 2023 marks the eightieth anniversary of Ayn Rand’s seminal classic The Fountainhead. The novel tells the story of Howard Roark, a fiercely independent architect who refuses to sacrifice the integrity of his innovative designs despite intense social and economic pressure to conform. Rand’s passionate tribute to individualism brought her international fame, and the novel has now sold more than eight million copies in thirty-plus languages.

To celebrate the publication anniversary of this landmark work of American fiction, the Ayn Rand Institute has released “Blueprints for The Fountainhead: How Ayn Rand Planned Her Classic Novel.” This online exhibit features more than two hundred handwritten manuscript pages and their transcripts, containing original notes and outlines that Rand used to create The Fountainhead. Some of these are being published for the first time.

The exhibit also features commentary from the Ayn Rand Institute’s archivists, providing viewers with unparalleled insight into how this novel came to be.

ARI Members were given a sneak peek at the exhibit on April 29 during a Roundtable event featuring several of the staff members who helped make the exhibit possible.

The eightieth anniversary celebration continued at this year’s Objectivist conference in Miami. In-person attendees had the chance to view original manuscript pages and other artifacts related to The Fountainhead, as well as additional content that has never been published online or in any other medium. Attendees were also treated to a screening of the 1949 film adaptation of The Fountainhead, starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal.

Eighty years after the publication of The Fountainhead, we hope these exhibits promote a new appreciation for the novel and its creator.


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Brandon Lisi

Brandon Lisi, MA in history, is an assistant archivist and researcher at the Ayn Rand Institute.

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