The Clarke Library holds an impressive group of items documenting
Ernest Hemingway's many summers spent in Michigan. Perhaps the single
most evocative item found in the Clarke Library linking Hemingway to
northern Michigan is a long, is a long, typed letter written by
Hemingway after his service in World War I to his friend and former
commanding officer, James Gamble. Written in the spring of 1919
Hemingway attempts to persuade Gamble to abandon Europe and instead
spend the summer in northern Michigan. The letter addresses those
things most dear to Hemingway, the beautiful landscape, the freedom
from care, and the fish.
Other letters by Hemingway are also found in the Clarke
Library. Among them is a small postcard written by Hemingway to his
father while on a fishing trip in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, a trip
that would eventually become a shorts tory, "The Big Two-Hearted
Other important items found in the Clarke include what might
well be the first story ever written by a very young Ernest Hemingway,
"published" on pieces of his father's stationary that had been cut in
half and bound with string. Another youthful effort found in the
Clarke, written while Hemingway was in high school, is an unpublished
story set in a Michigan lumber camp.
Also available is an extensive collection of photographs taken
by or of the Hemingway family in northern Michigan. The collection
also features rare signed, first editions. One of the most interesting
of these is a copy of Asa Gray's Manual of the Botany of the Northern United States, given to Hemingway's father by his mother, and signed by both his parents.
The Clarke Library's collection is rich in material describing
Ernest Hemingway's boyhood adventures in northern Michigan and his
abiding love for the place in which he learned so much about life.
Federspiel Hemingway Collection
This collection was donated by Michael Federspiel and
contains several hundred books and periodicals, movie memorabilia,
audio and video resources, and photographs related to the life,
writing, and Michigan connections of Ernest Hemingway.