Privately owned for decades, the materials include a short story featuring F. Scott Fitzgerald, personal effects and rough drafts
By Molly Enking, Daily Correspondent, September 26, 2022 3:13 p.m.
A veritable treasure trove of papers, artifacts and photos linked to Ernest Hemingway is now accessible to scholars and the public for the first time. As the New York Times’ Robert K. Elder reports, the archive—part of the new Toby and Betty Bruce Collection at Penn State University Libraries—represents “the most significant cache of Hemingway materials uncovered in 60 years.”
Objects featured in the trove include Hemingway’s earliest known short story (written at age 10), hundreds of photographs, four unpublished short stories, manuscript ideas, letters, clothing and personal effects. The writer was a notorious “pack rat,” saving “everything from bullfighting tickets and bar bills to a list of rejected story titles written on a piece of cardboard,” says Sandra Spanier, a literary scholar at Penn State, in a statement.
Hemingway left the materials in storage at one of his favorite bars, Sloppy Joe’s in Key West, Florida, in 1939. They remained there until his death by suicide in 1961.
Last fall, when professors at Flagler College, a private liberal arts school in St. Augustine, Florida, gathered for a faculty senate meeting, they learned that the college administration had worked with their local legislator to propose a new academic center on campus, the Flagler College Institute for Classical Education.
To administrators, it was an exciting prospect: the chance to receive $5 million from the state to shore up their “first year seminar,” a universal core curriculum for incoming freshmen intended to help students, particularly first-generation students, prepare for the rigors of college.
But some faculty members felt concerned, reading between the lines in a state that has become ground zero for the nation’s education debates — where Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Trump-style Republican with his eyes on the White House, has imposed gag orders and mandates on K-12 schools and described universities as “hotbeds of stale ideology” and “indoctrination factories.”
The book-burning began only 100 days after Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933.
Torchlight parades in 34 university towns led to bonfires where more than 25,000 volumes went up in flames for being “un-German.”
Among them were the works of Germans Thomas Mann, a Nobel-prize winner and anti-Nazi; Erich Maria Remarque, the anti-war author of All Quiet on the Western Front; and the 19th century Jewish-born poet Heinrich Heine, who had written prophetically, “Wherever they burn books, they will also, in the end, burn people.”
American writers Jack London, Theodore Dreiser, Ernest Hemingway and even Helen Keller were among the verboten.
The first person I met at the Bar & Chill was a bald guy in a black T-shirt, black drawstring shorts, and flip-flops, with a Harley-Davidson tattoo on his right arm and a claddagh ring on his left hand.
He was drinking and laughing with a few friends. He gestured to the empty stool next to him and said, “We don’t bite.”I offered an expression of if-you-insist, and he said, “Bring it.”
His tone was cheerful, as you might expect at the Bar & Chill, the principal drinking-and-dining establishment that looks out on the town center of Latitude Margaritaville, an active-living community for Jimmy Buffett enthusiasts, aged “55 and better,” in Daytona Beach, Florida.
The Bar & Chill was open to the evening. A gentle breeze fanned the lanai. On a flat-screen, the Providence Friars led the Vermont Catamounts by a few buckets. A bartender brought a Perfect Margarita in a plastic cup.
The USF Institute on Black Life (IBL) has created a new web portal to better document Tampa Bay’s historic and contemporary African American communities.
The African American Neighborhood Project portal offers a multitude of resources accessible to the community, including oral histories, heritage sites, archival photographs and research addressing anti-Black racism.
“There has never been a centralized database where people can find out about the rich history and contemporary culture of African American communities in Tampa Bay,” said Fenda Akiwumi, director of the IBL. “We are excited to launch this portal with the type of information that can help students with projects, while linking together those engaged in research and community work in these neighborhoods.”
The new web portal grew out of the Institute’s ongoing African American Neighborhoods Project. The project was the theme of this year’s conference and explores diverse perspectives and current conditions of Tampa Bay’s African American communities.
Initiated in 2012, the project chronicles the lives of people who live in historically Black communities. It focuses on residents’ historical relationships to these neighborhoods and how people feel about the future of life in Black communities. Data collected from the decade-long project will now be easily accessible through the portal to local residents and to an interdisciplinary body of scholars interested in these issues locally and nationally.