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News from the Hemingway Collection


On the 114th anniversary of Ernest Hemingway’s birth, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum announced that five scrapbooks documenting Hemingway’s childhood have been digitized and made available on the Library’s website (a sixth scrapbook, known as the “grandparents’ scrapbook,” has not yet been digitized). Created and annotated by Hemingway’s mother, Grace Hall Hemingway, the scrapbooks chronicle the first eighteen years of her son’s life and include many never-before-seen materials: photographs, letters, drawings, homework assignments, and other keepsakes from Hemingway’s childhood.

“These scrapbooks, lovingly compiled by Grace Hemingway, provide an unprecedented glimpse into the making of one of the greatest writers of the 20th century,” said Tom Putnam, Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. “From the everyday minutiae of childhood, to priceless early correspondence and writings, the scrapbooks are a treasure trove for anyone interested in the early life of Ernest Hemingway.”

With funding from a Save America’s Treasures grant, the five scrapbooks were first photographed—every page, and every item on every page. The resulting 4” × 5” negatives were then scanned to create high-resolution facsimiles of each scrapbook page. Library staff has yet to catalog the scrapbooks’ contents and needs help in identifying people, places, and events featured in some photographs (please see the Library’s blog, “Archivally Speaking,” to learn more:

You may view the digital scrapbooks, here: [End Page 135]

Digital Images from the Finca Vigía Museum

With support from the Finca Vigía Foundation, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum received more than 2,500 digital images from the Finca Vigía Museum in Havana. These digital facsimiles were taken from the archival holdings located at Hemingway’s Cuban home. Kennedy Library Archives staff is currently organizing the facsimiles with the goal of making them available to researchers soon. The materials help to document aspects of Hemingway’s personal life; examples include passport photos, many Christmas cards from friends and family, and even automobile insurance documents for vehicles that Hemingway brought into Cuba or sent elsewhere for his use.

PEN/ Hemingway Awards

Patrick Hemingway, the son of Ernest Hemingway, presented this year’s PEN/Hemingway Award to Kevin Powers for his work The Yellow Birds. Colm Toibin, author of Brooklyn and The Testament of Mary, delivered the keynote address.

You may watch the ceremony here:

Mark your calendars! The next PEN/Hemingway awards ceremony is scheduled for 6 April 2014 at the Kennedy Library.

Research Grants

The Ernest Hemingway Research Grants will resume in 2014. The postmark deadline for applications is 1 November; awards will be announced on 15 December 2014. See details at [End Page 136]

Susan Wrynn
John F. Kennedy Library