FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 1, 2013
Contact: Mary Jo Adams,
Executive Director, Finca Vigía Foundation
New Hemingway Materials From Cuba to Be Released by Finca Vigía Foundation
WHAT: At a press conference to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the award of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction to Ernest Hemingway, the U.S. Finca Vigía Foundation (FVF), under an agreement with the Cuban Council of National Heritage, is announcing that it has supported the digitization of 2,000 new images of Hemingway materials. This material, which includes letters, passports, telegrams, household accounts, bar bills and a notebook of hurricane observations among other items, is all housed at Hemingway’s former Cuban estate. These papers have not been seen outside of Cuba and digitized versions of them will be available for research at the John F. Kennedy Library later this year, joining the Library’s existing Hemingway collection. Under a unique agreement between the Cuban government and the US non-governmental Finca Vigía Foundation, irreplaceable Hemingway documents are being conserved and shared between the two countries.
This event marks the second opening of materials conserved by the Hemingway Museum in Cuba with technical support from the Finca Vigía Foundation. The first trove consisting of 3,000 digitized images of documents was donated by the FVF to the John F. Kennedy Library in 2008 and is now available to the public. These 2,000 new images will also be placed in the Library's world-renowned Hemingway collection.
U.S. Congressman James McGovern (D-MA), Chair of Finca Vigía Advisory Board and Founding Member of the Finca Vigía Foundation
Jenny Phillips, Founder and Co-chair of the Finca Vigía Foundation
Christopher Goode, Vice President Global Corporate Affairs & Chief Public Affairs Officer, EMC Corporation and corporate donor of the Foundation
Sandra Spanier, General Editor of the Hemingway Letters Project and Professor of English, Penn State University
WHEN: 1 P.M., Monday, May 6, 2013
WHERE: H-313, House Rules Committee Room, U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC
BACKGROUND: Ernest Hemingway wrote many of his most famous works at Finca Vigía, his Cuban residence. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Across the River and Into the Trees, The Old Man and the Sea, and the manuscripts published posthumously, including A Moveable Feast, Islands in the Stream, The Dangerous Summer, The Garden of Eden, and True at First Light were all written in Cuba where he lived from 1939 to 1960. After Hemingway’s death in 1961, his widow, Mary, was allowed to remove the bulk of his papers from the Finca. They were eventually given to the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, MA. However, thousands of documents remained at Hemingway’s house in the outskirts of Havana. Over the next forty years, the Finca and its irreplaceable collection fell into disrepair. Thousands of photographs, original manuscripts and galleys of his stories and novels, his correspondence and his journals, and a personal library of almost nine thousand volumes – many with his writing in the margins -- were in danger of destruction from heat, humidity, pests, mold, and the sheer passage of time. The Cubans did not have the resources to conserve their treasure.
In 2002 Jenny Phillips, the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway’s editor, Maxwell Perkins, became aware of the thousands of irreplaceable documents at risk in the tropical climate. With the assistance of Congressman James McGovern and the Cuban Ministry of Culture, Dr. Phillips established a US-based non-profit organization in 2004, the Finca Vigía Foundation, whose mission is to preserve Ernest Hemingway’s legacy in Cuba. With support by EMC Corporation’s Information Heritage Initiative, the Foundation has raised money to send conservators and archivists to Cuba to conserve these literary treasures