Newly acquired Ernest Hemingway correspondence and photos on display

March 17, 2008

"Hemingway Writing Home: Letters to His Family 1917-1957" is on display through May 30 in the exhibits hall of the Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library, University Park. The exhibit presents family photographs and a selection of heretofore-unseen letters, amassed by his sister Madelaine "Sunny" Hemingway Mainland and passed on to her son, Ernest Hemingway Mainland.
This collection of Ernest Hemingway correspondence is the last sizeable and significant known collection of the famed novelist's letters still in private hands. Acquired by Penn State University Libraries from Hemingway's nephew Mainland, the set includes more than 100 unpublished letters, telegrams and notes from Hemingway to his family between 1917 and 1957.

The exhibit was mounted by guest curators Sandra Spanier, Penn State professor of English and general editor of the Hemingway Letters Project; Verna Kale, doctoral candidate in English; and Sandra Stelts, curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts at the University Libraries.

Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961) was arguably the most famous American writer in history. The correspondence contains fresh accounts of experiences that he later transformed into fiction, and provides new insights into the course of his relationships with his parents, siblings, wives, and sons.

To see a brief video about the correspondence, go to For a collection of photos, visit For more information on the acquisition, check Penn State Live at

For information about the correspondence or the exhibit, contact the Eberly Family Special Collections Library, 104 Paterno Library, at (814) 865-1793.  

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Last Updated March 19, 2009