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The Michigan Hemingway Endowment

The Need

As Frederic Svoboda said in the essay published in the exhibit catalog Hemingway in Michigan: Michigan in Hemingway, that accompanied the exhibit of the same name in the Clarke Historical Library, "In important ways, Ernest Hemingway grew up in Michigan in the first two decades of the twentieth century. Although his later life took him into to great world far from 'Windemere,' his parents' summer cottage on Walloon Lake, significant parts of his best writing never really left Michigan behind. ... As he wrote, Hemingway transformed his experiences on Walloon Lake and nearby into stories not precisely identical to the actual life he lived there. But what emerged in words evokes the spirit of northern Michigan then and now: its land, its lakes, its fish and wildlife, and particularly its people."

Ernest Hemingway's life in Michigan as well as the Michigan in which he lived are not sufficiently well-documented to meet the needs of Hemingway scholars or the Michigan local historians. Much is known, but there is also much to learn about the boy, his life, and his summer haunts.

The Opportunity

The Clarke Historical Library of Central Michigan University holds a substantial collection of material relating to Ernest Hemingway's life in Michigan, the area in which he grew, and the writings that resulted from this experience. The library hopes to expand this collection over time but the often prohibitively high cost of obtaining Hemingway material limits this goal.

The Clarke Historical Library also holds one of the state's premier collections of Michigan local history material. This collection of material tells us much about northern Michigan between 1900 and 1920, the years Ernest Hemingway frequented its streams and forests. Much documentation, however, remains to be collected and preserved.

The Endowment

The Michigan Hemingway Endowment was founded to help offset some of the costs associated with collecting material by or about Ernest Hemingway. Although the Library seeks out gifts to document both Hemingway and northern Michigan, the fund recognizes that in many cases material must be obtained by purchase.

Additional uses for the Hemingway Endowment include the preservation of Hemingway-related material in the Clarke collection and educational efforts to help better explain the influence of northern Michigan on Hemingway and the place of Michigan in Hemingway's works.

Making a Gift

Gifts to the endowment may be made through a tax-deductible contribution to the Clarke Historical Library. Please specify that the contribution is for the Michigan Hemingway Endowment. Gifts may be mailed to:

Clarke Historical Library
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859

For more information about the endowment please contact the Clarke Library at 989.774.3352 or through email at Please include the phrase "Michigan Hemingway Endowment" in the subject line.

The Michigan Hemingway Society and the Library

The Clarke Library serves as the archives of the Michigan Hemingway Society, an organization dedicated to preserving Hemingway's legacy.