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Collection Overview

Baker, Carlos, 1909-1987
Carlos Baker Collection of Ernest Hemingway
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1800s-1987 (mostly 1918-1967)
36 boxes and 16.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes 1-35; 31A


Consists primarily of Carlos Baker's working papers and biographical files used in preparation of his biography Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story (1969). This was the fourth book on Hemingway written or edited by Baker (1909-1987), a Princeton professor and author. Also present are manuscripts for a novel and book of poetry by Baker, unrelated to his work on Hemingway.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of the working papers and biographical files about Ernest Hemingway compiled by Baker, Princeton English professor, in preparation of his biography Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story (1969). The working papers contain Xeroxes and typed copies of correspondence between Hemingway and friends, publishers, and family, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, C. T. Lanham, Maxwell Perkins, and Mary, Patrick, and Hadley Hemingway. There are drafts, a final typed version, and proofs for the biography, as well as a mock-up copy of the book. In addition, there are transcripts of articles written by Hemingway for the Toronto Star and Esquire, periodical articles by and about him, letters to Baker about Hemingway, copies of reviewers' comments, magazine interviews, material relating to Hemingway's winning of the Nobel Prize in literature (1954) and the Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1953), a Xerox copy of the original manuscript of Hemingway's Islands in the Stream (1970), and a scrapbook.

The biographical files begin in the 1800s with material on the Hemingway family genealogy and span Hemingway's entire life, from his birth in 1899 to his suicide in 1961. The files include letters to Baker, copies of anecdotes, correspondence between other people about Hemingway, eyewitness accounts of Hemingway in World War II, excerpts from Mary Hemingway's diaries while in Africa, documents, memorabilia, such as Hemingway's 1917 yearbook from Oak Park High School (Illinois), and printed matter.

The collection also contains two of Baker's works unrelated to the Hemingway material: a typed manuscript with the author's corrections of a novel, The Land of Rumblelow (1963), and a typed manuscript with editor's notations of a book of poems, A Year and a Day: Poems (1963), as well as a small file of correspondence of Baker relating to his participation on the Pulitzer Prize Fiction Jury in 1975. In addition, there is a phonograph record (in Russian) with a typed transcript in English of Radio Liberation programs about Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago, and the award of the Nobel Prize to him in 1958.


The organization of the Hemingway material in the collection reflects the order in which Baker kept and, presumably, used it.

Collection Creator Biography:

Baker, Carlos, 1909-1987

Carlos Baker (1909-1987), educator, editor, poet, and author, was born in Maine, but resided in Princeton, New Jersey, since 1937. He did his undergraduate work at Dartmouth University, earned a masters at Harvard, and received his doctorate from Princeton University in 1940. Baker remained at Princeton as a professor of English, 1938-1953, and then as Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature from 1953 to his retirement in 1977.

Baker's books include the first full-length critical interpretation of Ernest Hemingway's works, Hemingway: the Writer as Artist (1952), and the authorized biography, Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story (1969), which was acclaimed for its thoroughness and non-judgmental presentation of the facts of Hemingway's life and exploits. Carlos Baker also published short stories, poetry, literary criticism, novels, and essays, such as Shelley's Major Poetry: the Fabric of Vision (1948), The Land of Rumbelow (1963), and The Talisman and Other Stories (1976).

1899 Born July 21, 1899, in Oak Park, IL 1917-1918 Cub reporter, Kansas City Star, Kansas City, MO 1918-1919 Ambulance driver for Red Cross Ambulance Corps in Italy 1920-1921 Writer, Cooperative Commonwealth, Chicago, IL 1920 Covered Greco-Turkish War for the Toronto Star 1921 Married Hadley Richardson, September 3 (divorced March 10, 1927) 1921-1924 European correspondent, Toronto Star 1923 Son John ("Bumby", "Jack") born, October 10 1923 Published Three Stories & Ten Poems (Paris) 1924 Published in our time (Paris) 1926 Published The Sun Also Rises 1927 Published Men Without Women (stories) 1927 Married Pauline Pfeiffer (a writer), May 10 (divorced November 4, 1940) 1928 Son Patrick ("Mouse") born, June 28 1929 Published A Farewell to Arms 1931 Son Gregory ("Gigi") born, November 12 1933 Published Winner Take Nothing (stories) 1937-1938 Covered Spanish Civil War for North American Newspaper Alliance 1940 Published For Whom the Bell Tolls 1940 Married Martha Gellhorn (a writer), November 21 (divorced December 21, 1945) 1941 War correspondent in China 1944-1945 War correspondent in Europe 1946 Married Mary Welsh (a writer), March 14 1952 Published The Old Man and the Sea 1953 Awarded Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea 1954 Awarded Nobel Prize for Literature 1961 Committed suicide, July 2, 1961, in Ketchum, ID 1970 Islands in the Stream published posthumously

Collection History


Baker donated his collection to Princeton in the early 1980s, after his retirement as Woodrow Wilson Professor of Literature at Princeton University. Many of the papers are copies of Hemingway correspondence which Baker acquired from various libraries, individuals, and other undisclosed sources. He also corresponded with friends, relatives, and associates of Hemingway requesting copies of their correspondence or personal reminiscences of Hemingway.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Barbara Volz in 1992. The finding aid was written by Barbara Volz in 1992.

In 2022, restrictions on Ernest Hemingway materials where researchers were required to use surrogates 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:

Carlos Baker Collection of Ernest Hemingway; 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): Boxes 1-35; 31A

Find More

Existence and Location of Copies

The manuscripts found in draft form in the collection came to print in the following publications: Ernest Hemingway: A Life Story (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1969), The Land of Rumblelow (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1963), A Year and a Day: Poems (Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1963), Islands in the Stream (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1970).

Subject Terms:
American literature--20th century.
Manuscripts -- 20th century.
Nobel prizes.
Novelists, American--20th century--Biography.
Novelists, American--20th century--Correspondence.
Novelists, American--20th century--Manuscripts.
Pulitzer prizes.
Princeton University
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961. (1899-1961)