Ernest Hemingway’s Childhood Scrapbooks


Above is a letter written on May 11, 1913 from a 13-year old Ernest Hemingway to his parents, apologizing for his poor behaviour during a play and while in church.

It’s from one of the cutest historical find I’ve seen in a while. The JFK Presidential Library (which contains a huge holding of Ernest Heminway artefacts) has digitzed Hemingway’s baby scrapbooks.

From 1899 to 1917, the scrapbooks made by his mother Grace Hall Hemingway document everything a modern parent might include in their own scrapbook for their children: birth announcements, first baby photos, photos with siblings, beach vacations, 1st drawings, Valentine’s Day cards, and a kindergarten certificate.

The neatest part?  You can download the five volumes as one image file here: Ernest Hemingway’s Childhood Scrapbook at JFK library.  If you have a few minutes (Of course you do!  History kicks ass!) look through the file and get a sense of how much parents across time periods share the similarity of wanting to document the milestones in their children’s lives.

I couldn’t resist, here’s another cute section: page 20 and 21 from volume I.  The left-hand side shows Hemingway at 7.5 weeks old in the park with his Dad and sister on the top, and his Mom and sister on the bottom (dated: September 11, 1899).  The right-hand side contains photos of Hemingway in his christening outfit (dated: October 21, 1899).

EHSB1 page 20-21

Source: Letter [Ernest Hemingway Foundation], Whole scrapbook file [John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum], Photo page 20/21 [Scrapbook Volume I]

Image | This entry was posted in 20th Century, Cool Document, Everyday Life, Family Life, History Website, Modern History, Museum Artefact, U.S. History, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Ernest Hemingway’s Childhood Scrapbooks

  1. Thanks for that. Such an interesting article and a good use of photos. Always nice to learn something new 🙂

  2. tkmorin says:

    I can’t wait to check it out!! Thanks! 🙂

    • Great!! Trust me, even if you don’t have time to read the whole thing, just flipping through it brought a smile to my face. It looks EXACTLY like every photo album in my house. Always nice to see that humans are humans, no matter the culture or time period. 🙂

  3. Lasseter says:

    Tweeted this post to my huge Twitter fan base–well, actually, I think most of my followers are cats, but, as we all know, cats love Ernest Hemingway. Anywho, I’m looking forward to downloading and having a look-see at the scrapbook. Good post.

    Now perhaps I’ll find the answer in there, but somehow I suspect that young Ernest got in trouble at the Coliseum for leering at all the shapely outlines of historical metallic underwear that were no doubt bustling about all around the young fellow.

  4. Gypsy Bev says:

    I’ve enjoyed visiting his Key West home and hangouts so it is a pleasure to learn more about his childhood. There iare pictures of his beautiful garden there and Sloppy Joe’s in my Key West post. Glad to see that all mothers keep the same kind of records throughout time. Thanks for your interesting posts.

  5. Pingback: Ernest Hemingway’s Childhood Scrapbooks | Polymnia Blues

  6. LadyRaconteur88 says:

    I have nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. Should you accept, please follow the link below. I enjoy visiting this blog and reading your work. Thank you and well done.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s