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Leicester Hemingway collection of Ernest Hemingway and Hemingway Family archives

Identifier: C-50

Scope and Contents

The Hemingway Family Archive joins Hemingway archives in more than 75 private and institutional collections, the most distinguished of which include those at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, in Boston, and the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.

Compiled by writer Leicester Hemingway (1915-1982), the younger brother of Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961), in the process of researching and writing his biography, My Brother Ernest Hemingway (1962), the collection contains more than 1,600 items. Listed in the inventory are scanned color copies of 151 handwritten or typed letters by Ernest Hemingway, from childhood until shortly before his death. There are copies of Ernest's published articles in Esquire magazine, as well as copies of drafts of a number of articles and book chapters. Of significant literary note, is the 15-page carbon copy typescript of the original two opening chapters of The Sun Also Rises, excised before publication by the author at the recommendation of his friend F. Scott Fitzgerald. This draft varies slightly from the only other known copy at the John F. Kennedy Library.

Among the manuscript holdings, the bulk of which date from the mid-19th century until shortly before the author's death in 1961, are original letters, diaries, notes, original stories, and architectural drawings of Ernest's family including his mother, father, grandparents, and siblings. Items of particular interest include diaries of grandfather Anson Hemingway dating from the 1850s; family Civil War letters; courtship letters of his parents, Clarence and Grace Hall Hemingway, prior to and after their marriage; and letters to Grace from Ernest's four wives, (Elizabeth) Hadley Richardson (1921-1928), Pauline Pfeiffer (1928-1940), Martha Gellhorn (1940-1945), and Mary Welsh (1945-1961).

There are nearly 700 original family photographs, including photographic portraits of Hemingway ancestors and the wedding portrait of Clarence and Grace Hemingway. A telling representation of the rise in popularity of snapshot photography among the turn-of-the-century American middle class, the childhood of Ernest Hemingway and his siblings (sisters Marceline, Ursula, Madelaine, Carol, and brother Leicester) at home in Oak Park, IL, and at their summer retreat on Walloon Lake, in northern Michigan, is documented on an impressive scale and provide images that offer fascinating insights into the Hemingway family dynamic. Later original and exhibit photos record Hemingway's marriages, his three sons (Jack, Patrick, and Gregory), literary colleagues, his residences in Key West and Cuba, as well as his well-known wartime, hunting, and fishing exploits. Perhaps the most important aspect of this collection is the span of time—more than a century—represented by the materials. While a number of the original Ernest Hemingway items, represented by copies in this collection, are available in other repositories throughout the United States, this archive provides a broad familial context for the writer's personal life and published works in a single location.

Beyond offering a rich context for understanding Ernest Hemingway's childhood and early development, the original family letters, photographs, and other documents, also provide insights into family and domestic life in late 19th and early 20th century America.


  • Creation: 1878 - 2001


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact: Special Collections & Archives Middlebury College Phone: (802) 443-2387 Email:

Biographical / Historical

Leicester Hemingway

Born in April, 1915, in Oak Park, Ill.; committed suicide, September 13, 1982, in Miami Beach, Fla. Novelist and biographer. Leicester Hemingway was the younger brother of novelist Ernest Hemingway, about whom he wrote a well-known biography, My Brother, Ernest Hemingway. Leicester Hemingway was also the author of five novels, including The Sound of the Trumpet, which was based on his experiences in World War II and won some praise from critics when it was published in 1953.

Text from: "Leicester C. Hemingway." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 1998. Literature Resource Center, =38c17a16ea23c1cc89572a17e1f8c152. Accessed 24 July 2017.

Ernest Miller Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway, in full Ernest Miller Hemingway, (born July 21, 1899, Cicero [now in Oak Park], Illinois, U.S.—died July 2, 1961, Ketchum, Idaho), American novelist and short-story writer, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1954. He was noted both for the intense masculinity of his writing and for his adventurous and widely publicized life. His succinct and lucid prose style exerted a powerful influence on American and British fiction in the 20th century.

Text from: "Ernest Hemingway." Britannica Academic, Encyclopædia Britannica, 15 Jun. 2017. Accessed 24 Jul. 2017.


26 Boxes

Language of Materials



This collection is divided into nine series, seven composed of correspondence by different Hemingway family members, one series having to do with Ernest Hemingway's periodical appearances, and finally one series made up of family photographs.

The contents of this collection are not arranged alphabetically or chronologically. Refer to the finding aid found online for a more detailed description of the items in this collection, and to find a specific item.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The college acquired the collection through a gift from Anne Hemingway Feuer and Hilary Hemingway, daughters of Ernest Hemingway's now deceased younger brother Leicester Hemingway, who used many of the collected materials to write his biography of the author, My Brother ernest Hemingway, in 1962. Hilary Hemingway is the wife of Jeffrey P. Freundlich, Middlebury College Class of 1975.

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Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States