Rare Collection of Scrapbooks by Ernest Hemingway's Mother Available Online

Hemingway's Childhood
photo courtesy The JFK Presidential Library

We all love getting glimpse into the lives of our beloved authors. The good people over at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum know this, and that's why they've decided to commemorate Ernest Hemingway's 114th birthday by releasing a collection of scrapbooks, put together by his mother Grace, chronicling the would-be writer's first eighteen years of existence. More from the press release:

[F]ive scrapbooks documenting the childhood of the Nobel Prize-winning author have been made available to the public for the first time in their entirety as digital images. Created and annotated by Hemingway’s mother, Grace Hall Hemingway, the scrapbooks…include many never-before-seen photographs, letters, drawings, homework assignments and other keepsakes from his childhood.

The Kennedy Library holds ninety percent of existing Hemingway manuscripts and ephemera, spanning his entire career. Perhaps the release of these scrapbooks is a precursor to more material becoming available in digital form. Not to say these materials are anything to balk at—it's clear Mrs. Hemingway loved to capture every detail about her son's upbringing. Take for instance the opening passage of Scrapbook, Volume I: 1899-1901: 

At 8 o'clock on the morning of July 21st. 1899 Ernest Miller Hemingway came to town wrapped in a light blue comforter. It was a very hot morning. The sun shone brightly and the Robins sang their sweetest songs to welcome the little stranger to this beautiful world.

You can view the scrapbooks online here, or download them from the press release.

Who's going to peruse these materials?

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bachunderground's picture
bachunderground from DC is reading tea leaves July 24, 2013 - 10:58am

Like most obsessive matronly efforts, this is partly adorable and partly creepy.