YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Stanford Given Collection of Hemingway Letters, First Editions

April 09, 1985|ANNE C. ROARK | Times Education Writer

More than 100 unpublished letters and 40 first editions by Ernest Hemingway have been donated to Stanford University libraries by a San Francisco philanthropist.

The collection, presented by Charles Field, a financier and Stanford alumnus, is currently being appraised but is expected to add significantly to scholarship on the popular American writer.

By any measure, the Field Collection of Ernest Hemingway is a fine one and "puts Stanford on the map of (Hemingway) repositories," said Michael Ryan, curator of special collections of the Stanford Libraries.

Carlos Baker, a retired professor from Princeton University and Hemingway's biographer, said Monday that he had yet to see the collection but understands that it will be as important to Hemingway scholars as are collections housed at a handful of other institutions, most notably Princeton, Harvard, the University of Virginia, the Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin and the John F. Kennedy Library in Dorchester, Mass.

The new Stanford collection spans the writer's career, from a class prophecy written in 1917 to "Islands in the Stream" a novel published nearly 10 years after his death in 1961.

The letters in the collection are from throughout the writer's life, from an early note written by the 9-year-old Hemingway to his beloved father, Clarence, about fish in the school aquarium, to exchanges with his Hollywood agent Al Horwits and a series of revealing letters written late in his life to his biographer about "Islands in the Stream."

Also included in the collection are magazine articles, critical essays and 35 translations of novels and short stories in 13 languages. The translations, which typically were printed in small quantities and quickly became unavailable to scholars, are expected to be particularly valuable to those studying the ways in which an American writer has been fit into other idioms.

The university is preparing a catalogue of the materials and will open an exhibit on the collection May 19.

Los Angeles Times Articles