Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Smith, William B. (William Benjamin), 1895-
Selected Papers of William B. Smith
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1 box and 0.45 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1


Consists primarily of correspondence between childhood friends William B. Smith and Ernest Hemingway, the American author and Nobel Prize winner.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of correspondence between Smith and Ernest Hemingway. Of the twenty-two Hemingway letters included in the collection, most span the years 1918 to 1927. The letters are friendly and personal; many discuss Hemingway's experience in Europe, particularly his fascination with bull fighting, and references are made to his works Men Without Women and the then-untitled Death in the Afternoon. A folder of photographs contains twenty-nine pictures of the author at various stages of life, including some taken at Horton's Bay, Michigan. In addition, there are eighteen John Dos Passos letters and cards, one Edmund Wilson letter, and one Donald Ogden Stewart letter.

Collection Creator Biography:

Smith, William B. (William Benjamin), 1895-

William B. Smith was a childhood friend of Ernest Hemingway, the noted American author. The two carried on a long correspondence in their youth, in which Hemingway took on the role of the mature, experienced friend. Smith later broke off the friendship because of a family quarrel.

Collection History


Gift of Mrs. William B. Smith.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in 2002. Finding aid written in 2002.

Biography written by Jessica Marati, '08.

During 2022, restrictions on Ernest Hemingway materials were lifted as part of a restrictions review project.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Selected Papers of William B. Smith; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1

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The following sources were consulted during preparation of biographical note: Hemingway: A Life Without Consequences, by James R. Mellow.

Subject Terms:
Novelists, American -- 20th century.
Genre Terms:
Dos Passos, John, 1896-1970.
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961. (1899-1961)
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961. (1899-1961)
Horton's Bay (Mich.) -- Description -- Views.