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 (mss): 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


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 photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

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 (mss): 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.
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961.
Horton's Bay (Mich.) -- Description -- Views.