Archival Detective Work in the Hemingway Collection

by Christina Lehman Fitzpatrick, Processing Archivist

During the recent project to update the finding aid for the Ernest Hemingway Personal Papers, we noticed several folders of “unidentified” incoming letters where the author was not known. Naturally, this piqued our interest and we decided to do some sleuthing. In the current age of online search engines and digitized records, could we finally identify some of these mystery writers? Here are two examples of how we researched the unidentified letters.


Case #1: “One gut Cordes”

Ernest received two letters from someone who signed as both “One gut Cordes” and “Bill.” The writer was kind enough to include full dates (27 September 1916 and 16 October 1916) as well as a location: Wyoming, Ohio. Both letters were accompanied by their mailing envelopes, revealing a return address of 715 Springfield Pike, Wyoming, OH. In the letters, the writer discussed football, camp, and girls, leading us to think that he was probably a young man around Ernest’s age.































With these clues in hand, I headed to the 1910 United States Federal Census records held by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and digitized by Ancestry.com. [1] A quick web search revealed that the town of Wyoming is located in Hamilton County, Ohio. After setting those geographic parameters, I started to browse the digitized census pages. Unfortunately, only one page was indexed under Wyoming and it did not contain the correct street address. I did notice that Wyoming was a division of Springfield Township, so I went back and selected the census pages for Springfield, Ohio. Fifteen enumeration districts were listed under Springfield, with the added information that six of them covered “Wyoming village.” I scrolled through the pages for these six Wyoming districts until I found the residents of Springfield Pike, then house number 715. There they were, the Cordes family! So “one gut Cordes” did in fact refer to his surname. The family included a son, William A. Cordes, who was 10 years old in 1910. This meant he was born around 1900, only a year after Ernest – and it makes sense that he signed one letter with the nickname “Bill.” I knew I had found my mystery writer.


4449381_008681910 census record showing the Cordes family of 715 Springfield Pike, Wyoming, Ohio


In retrospect, I could have made some assumptions to get to the information more quickly. Searching the 1910 census for the name William Cordes, born around 1899, living in Wyoming, Hamilton County, Ohio, does in fact lead you to the same person. This may not always work, but employing some educated guesses is always a good tactic to use when searching census records.

[1] Access to Ancestry is free-of-charge and unlimited from any National Archives facility.


Case #2: Charles from the Gripsholm

Ernest received this letter written by someone named Charles on 17 February 1938. Our archives intern, Bonnie McBride, tackled the detective work for this item. She found many clues in the content of the letter itself. Charles wrote:


The weather at Nassau continued to be filthy for four days after you left. Ronnie and I spent most of that time in the Colonial bar. … I ran across Crabbe and Dalhousie at Bradley’s. … I’m well at work again and return to England by the Berengaria on March 2nd. … My warmest greetings to you both. I shall long remember that happy trip on the Gripsholme [sic].”














Bonnie started by going to Ancestry.com and finding the category for Immigration and Travel records. After selecting Passenger Lists, she searched for the name Ernest Hemingway, born in 1899, and destined for Nassau, Bahamas. The first result was a page from the UK Outbound Passenger Lists, which documents that Ernest left Southampton, England, on 14 January 1938 aboard the ship Gripsholm, which was bound for Nassau. Bonnie scrolled through the passenger manifest for this voyage, and located two British citizens named Charles: Charles H. Caves, listed as a 54-year-old manservant from Newton Mearns, Scotland, and Charles S. Evans, a 49-year-old executive from London, England. She also found the other men mentioned in Charles’s letter: Archibald Crabbe, Earl John G. Dalhousie, and Ronald Banon (who could be “Ronnie”). Based on this evidence, Bonnie strongly believed that our writer was Charles S. Evans.

 41039_b001518-00311Passenger manifest for the Gripsholm


I decided to try to find a record of Charles returning to England on the Berengaria on 2 March 1938, as he mentioned in the letter. Another search of the ship passenger logs revealed that the Berengaria arrived in New York on that date, but then it disappeared from the records. A quick web search revealed that the Berengaria caught fire in New York harbor on 3 March! The damage was serious enough that the ship was immediately taken out of service; it was scrapped later that year. Thus Charles had just missed the final voyage of the Berengaria and had to find another way home.


32063_219077-00204Passenger manifest for Pan American flight to Miami


I had quite a bit of trouble locating Mr. Evans again. Going on the assumption that he was born around 1888 – to narrow down the many people with the surname Evans – I initially did not have any luck locating him on return voyages to England. Finally I searched all the passenger lists for any Charles S. Evans arriving in 1938, anywhere. This brought up a Charles S. Evans, age 55, who arrived in Miami via airplane on 4 February 1938. This fit with the letter because Charles wrote that he “flew to Miami” after the stay in Nassau. In this record Charles was older and described as a publisher, but he provided the same home address as in the Gripsholm manifest. At this point, I was sure he was the same person.


30807_A001160-00386Passenger manifest for the Queen Mary


Using his new birth year of 1883, I tried searching the passenger lists again. This time I found Charles S. Evans, age 54, who departed New York on the Queen Mary and arrived in Southampton, England, on 14 March 1938. He was listed as a publisher and gave an address of 99 Great Russell St., London WC1. I checked the London city directories and found that West Magazine had offices at that location, so it appeared this was his work address. With this new information in hand, it was easy to imagine why Ernest the writer and Charles the publisher got along so well on their “happy trip” on the Gripsholm.

Moral of the story? If you hit a wall in your research, be sure to try many different combinations of any personal data you have on your subject. Some records can be inaccurate or misleading. We’ll never know if the customs officer made a mistake – or whether Charles lied about his age!



Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2015/04/archival-detective-work-in-the-hemingway-collection/


Introducing the Updated Finding Aid (Guide) to the Ernest Hemingway Papers

by Stacey Chandler, Reference Archivist, and Christina Lehman Fitzpatrick, Processing Archivist

The Kennedy Library recently released an updated finding aid (guide) to the Ernest Hemingway Personal Papers to improve organization and to enable better access to the collection. We are excited to share the results of this work: nine separate series (that function like chapters in a book, breaking down the larger collection to keep related documents together), and a wealth of new information. Here are some of the major changes to the guide:

1. All series in the collection are now listed together, allowing a single keyword search of the entire collection for the first time. For example, a search for “Gertrude Stein” now highlights related documents in every series, including Manuscripts, Incoming and Outgoing Correspondence, Other Materials, Newspaper Clippings, Scrapbooks, and Books. Click here for more tips on searching the new finding aid.

2. Box numbers and folder titles are now included in the guide, making it easier to request boxes and to locate and cite documents. The guide presents a streamlined view of the collection, but reveals detailed document descriptions when the folder title is expanded. To expand a folder title description, click on the plus mark (+) next to each folder title. To expand all descriptions at once, scroll to the heading for “Container List,” then click the plus mark (+) next to “Expand / Collapse All.”
















3. Archivists researched and identified the writers of twenty letters for the first time. These writers, previously listed as “unknown” in Series 3: Incoming Correspondence, include Madeline author Ludwig Bemelmans, childhood friends William A. Cordes and Emily Goetzmann, shipmate Charles S. Evans, and Percy Winner of the New York Post. We also found additional letters from Guy Fangel, Archibald Crabbe, and Garfield David Merner. For more on how we identified these writers, see our new blog post, “Archival Detective Work in the Hemingway Collection”.

4. Newspaper clippings and other items that were originally sent with letters to Hemingway are now described in Series 3: Incoming Correspondence. For example, a letter previously described as “TLS Ivy Pratt 11 July 1938, London, 1 p., w/2 pp. enclosure” is now listed as “TLS Ivy Pratt 11 July 1938, London, 1p., w/contract to publish THAHN in Polish, 2pp.” (THAHN is an abbreviation for To Have and Have Not, Hemingway’s 1937 novel about a fishing boat captain. For a full list of Hemingway-related abbreviations, click here.)
















TLS Ivy Pratt 11 July 1938, London, 1p., w/contract to publish THAHN in Polish, 2pp. [EHPP-IC06-002].


5. Series 4: Other Materials is fully processed and described for the first time. Collected by Hemingway and documenting his daily life and interests, the series contains subject files on various topics (such as travel) as well as files of specific types of material (such as receipts). Staff favorites include book lists, fishing logs and other notebooks, manuscripts by other writers including Ford Madox Ford, and writings on the Spanish Civil War, World War I, and World War II. While working on the series, we discovered that some materials had not been described or photocopied for research use, leading us to believe that they have never been seen by researchers. This includes binders, folders, and envelopes listing word counts and other handwritten Hemingway notes. We encourage researchers to contact the research room before working with this series, so that newly-described items can be photocopied as needed.



















Items from Series 4: Other Materials include: Bullfight ticket from Pamplona, 7 July 1923 (top left, EHPP-OM03-027); a binder with Hemingway’s notes on his completed stories (top right, EHPP-OM04-001); and a card designating Hemingway as an honorary game warden, 1953 (bottom left, EHPP-OM01-005).





6. The list for Series 5: Newspaper Clippings now includes only the collection’s loose clippings. This change helps clarify the provenance of Hemingway’s clippings by distinguishing between loose clippings, clippings that originally came with incoming letters, and clippings that were pasted into scrapbooks.

























Newly-cataloged postcards from Series 4: Other Material [EHPP-OM19-007].







7. Textual scrapbooks now have their own series, Series 6: Scrapbooks. This series contains 10 scrapbooks created by Ernest Hemingway or his publishers, and while most contain news clippings, magazine articles, and book reviews, a few also include correspondence. (These scrapbooks are distinct from the scrapbooks made by Hemingway’s mother, Grace Hall Hemingway, which contain photographs and are kept in the Kennedy Library’s audiovisual collections. Grace Hall Hemingway’s scrapbooks have been digitized and can be viewed here.)



Page from a scrapbook of clippings about Hemingway’s works The Torrents of Spring and The Sun Also Rises, 1926-1927 [SB02].


8. Books owned by Ernest and Mary Hemingway are now described in the new Series 8: Books. Researchers may be particularly interested in descriptions of Hemingway’s notations in these books, which include novels as well as volumes on history, hunting, and nature.






Hemingway’s unnumbered press copy of Ulysses by James Joyce [EHPP-BK01-057]. For more on this book, see our Tumblr post.


Additionally, three-dimensional artifacts in the collection, including artwork, awards, souvenirs, and taxidermy, are listed in the new Series 9: Objects. Access to books and objects in the collection is by appointment only and dependent upon the condition of the item, so we encourage researchers interested in these series to contact the research room before visiting.



Museum object 2000.17 Hemingway’s Travel Bag: Black leather traveling bag with foreign stamps in French and Spanish attached to exterior surface.


We are excited to debut these changes and additions to the Ernest Hemingway Personal Papers guide! To learn about these and other changes in more detail, see the Spring 2015 issue of The Hemingway Review, or contact a reference archivist by e-mailing Kennedy.Library@nara.gov.



Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2015/04/introducing-the-newly-revised-finding-aid-guide-to-the-ernest-hemingway-collection/


In Memorium: Dr. Jack Ruina

by Michael Desmond, Reference Archivist

We wish to acknowledge the passing of Dr. Jack P. Ruina on February 4th, 2015 at the age of 91. From 1961 to 1963, Dr. Ruina served as Director of the Defense Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA). As the head of ARPA, Ruina played a key role in the hiring of J.C.R. Licklider, who paved the way for the creation of ARPANET, a precursor to the Internet.

Dr. Ruina was also responsible for the Ballistic Missile Defense Program and the Nuclear Test Detection Program (Project Vela). He described his role in the Ballistic Missile Defense Program in his first oral history interview for the Kennedy Library. His account of the Nuclear Test Detection Program can be found in his second oral history interview. This latter program led to the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Dr. Ruina met twice with President Kennedy. The first meeting took place at the White House on November 22, 1961 as part of a group led by Jerome Wiesner (Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology) to discuss the Nike-Zeus Missile System. The second meeting took place in Hyannis Port on November 24, 1961, again as part of a larger group discussing the Nike-Zeus Missile System.

Dr. Ruina served on the MIT faculty for more than thirty years. You can read more about his life and career on the MIT website, here.


Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2015/04/in-memorium-dr-jack-ruina/


Remembering Fr. Theodore M. “Ted” Hesburgh and the 1961 Notre Dame Laetare Medal

by Maryrose Grossman, Audiovisual Reference Archivist

Aside from being born four days apart (in May 1917), President John F. Kennedy and Fr. Theodore M. “Ted” Hesburgh had other things in common. Both were steeped in Catholic tradition as well as committed to public service. They were also charismatic leaders who exhorted generations to combat the world’s problems and to achieve personal success in the service of others. President Kennedy’s career in public service began in 1946, first as a U.S. Representative and later as a U.S. Senator from Massachusetts. Fr. Hesburgh served as President of the University of Notre Dame from 1952-1987; he was also a charter member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a champion of higher education and other causes throughout his long life.

During the 1960 presidential campaign, John F. Kennedy directly addressed anti-Catholic bias and misconceptions about his religion; he triumphed over this obstacle to win the presidential election. The question of his potential allegiance to the Pope over the U.S. Constitution was of particular concern to many, and Kennedy quelled those fears at an address to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association on September 12, 1960. Kennedy stated:


I am not the Catholic candidate for President. I am the Democratic Party’s candidate for President who happens also to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters—and the Church does not speak for me.” [1]


Fr. Hesburgh later spoke of the anti-Catholic issue, perhaps somewhat humorously:


That was talked about far and wide. It was really a bigoted kind of thing. There was no sense to it. The last thing in the world the Kennedys would do is go to the Pope for advice.” [2]


Every year the University of Notre Dame offers the Laetare Medal to a prominent American Catholic layman. Since 1883, the University has provided “by tradition and general acceptance, the most honored and outstanding lay award in the United States.” [3] It is not surprising that the 1961 Laetare Medal was awarded to President Kennedy. However, the award was not a fait accompli; aware of lingering anti-Catholic sentiment, Fr. Hesburgh did not want to risk further alienating President Kennedy from certain circles by giving him the medal; he therefore offered the President the choice of whether to accept the 1961 award. Fr. Hesburgh wrote in a letter to the President on February 14, 1961:


As I see the alternatives, some vocal non-Catholics might raise their eyebrows; on the other hand, I am sure it would be rather incomprehensible to the more than forty million Catholics in this country if anyone but yourself were given the award this year… It seems to me only proper that you yourself should make the this decision.” [4]












View the entire folder related to Fr. Hesburgh, here.










President Kennedy decided to accept the Laetare Medal and Fr. Hesburgh sent a handwritten note expressing his delight that the President would be receiving the award for 1961.



 View the entire folder related to Fr. Hesburgh, here.



The ceremony took place in the Oval Office on November 22, 1961. President Kennedy did not offer prepared remarks, perhaps in concession to any vocal non-Catholics who might disapprove.
















View the entire folder of photographs related to the 1961 Laetare Medal, here.


Two years later, to the day, President Kennedy was assassinated; Fr. Theodore Hesburgh lived another 51+ years and died on February 26, 2015, at the age of 97.

Just four days after President Kennedy’s death, Fr. Hesburgh published an essay in the University of Notre Dame’s campus magazine, Scholastic. In it he stated:


If John F. Kennedy’s death has any message for America and all the world, it is this: ‘Get on the road, because the hour is late’.” [5]


Hesburgh’s words resonated with those of President Kennedy in his Inaugural Address:


All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first thousand days, nor in the life of this Administration, nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.” [6]


The significance of President Kennedy’s award of the 1961 Laetare Medal was reflected in the following statement by Fr. Hesburgh following the President’s death:


The truest tragedy is not that some like John Kennedy fall victim along the way, but that so many others lack both the commitment and dedication to get started. Those who fall along the way do indeed become great beacons of light for those that follow them.” [7]



[1] The Speeches of Senator John F. Kennedy Presidential Campaign of 1960 (Washington: United States Government Printing Office), p. 210.

[2] Margaret Fosmoe, “Hesburgh Reflects on JFK,” South Bend Tribune, 21 November 2013.

[3] JFKPOF-030-011-p0008

[4] Ibid.

[5] Fosmoe.

[6] Public Papers of the President of the United States: John F. Kennedy 1961 (Washington: United States Government Printing Office), p. 2.

[7] Fosmoe.



Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2015/03/remembering-fr-theodore-m-ted-hesburgh-and-the-1961-notre-dame-laetare-medal/


Newly Processed Materials: Nancy Tuckerman Files of the Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Personal Papers

by Jennifer Marciello, Processing Archivist

We are pleased to announce that the Nancy Tuckerman Series of the Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis Personal Papers is open and available for research.

The papers contain personal and professional materials relating to Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’s public and private life and her role as First Lady of the United States. They document her interest in such topics as the redecoration of the White House, travel, State visits, arts and culture, press coverage, as well as her involvement in a variety of cultural projects, organizations, and associations. The collection spans the years 1926 to 2002, and the materials consist principally of staff files, correspondence, clippings, photographs, scrapbooks, and albums as well as other materials accumulated by Mrs. Kennedy during the course of her life.

The recently opened Nancy Tuckerman Files contain subject-based files and personal correspondence spanning Mrs. Kennedy’s last few months in the White House until her death in 1994. Nancy Tuckerman was the White House Social Secretary from June of 1963 until Mrs. Kennedy left Washington D.C. for New York in 1964, when Tuckerman then became Mrs. Kennedy’s personal secretary and chief of staff.

The subject files—the majority of material—are arranged alphabetically by type and are composed of memos, notes, and correspondence relating to general information on the First Lady and members of her family, projects and organizations with which she was associated, as well as memorials to President Kennedy.





Jacqueline Kennedy, Caroline, and John, Jr. were present at the christening of the aircraft carrier U.S.S. John F. Kennedy on May 27, 1967, in which Caroline Kennedy did the honors of christening the carrier in honor of President Kennedy.


























Jacqueline Kennedy was interested in finishing the work started by President Kennedy on June 1, 1962 regarding redevelopment of the Federal Triangle in Washington D.C. (Right) Letter from New York Senator Daniel P. Moynihan informing Mrs. Onassis that the work had been completed.











Pushinka was a dog that Nikita Khrushchev, Premier of the Soviet Union (USSR), gave to President Kennedy. (Left) Pushinka’s original paperwork from Russia and the records for other family dogs can be found within Tuckerman’s subject files.








The series also contains the White House files that Tuckerman kept in her role as White House Social Secretary. Included are materials relating to the White House redecoration project and the Fine Arts Committee, requests of the Social Office, state gifts, and state dinners such as the Nobel Prize winners dinner, which includes the guest book signed by invitees such as Pearl Buck, Robert Frost, and Robert Oppenheimer. Of note are extensive handwritten notes from Mrs. Kennedy to Chief Usher J.B. West regarding the upkeep and running of the White House.











(Right) Memo for Chief Usher J. B. West from Mrs. Kennedy outlining her specific instructions for how to photograph an official state dinner.


















(Left) Memo from Chief Usher J.B. West to Mrs. Kennedy regarding her introduction of the first White House Guidebook.


















(Right) Example of a White House menu from January 18, 1962. The Tuckerman Series contains menus from February 1961 to October 1963.











Also included in this opening is material relating to President Kennedy’s gravesite and condolence mail received by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy (and personally handled by Nancy Tuckerman) after the assassination of the President. A small segment of condolence mail includes general mail addressing requests from the public, gift acknowledgments, and tributes and memorial projects. Other condolence mail includes anniversary remembrances, flower card enclosures, and V.I.P. mail from government officials and heads of state. Of note are files relating to the volunteers who helped answer the large amount of condolence mail received after President Kennedy’s assassination. For additional condolence mail received by Mrs. Kennedy’s office please consult Series 1.2. Condolence Mail.












(Left) Mass service booklet on the Day of Burial for John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Saint Matthew’s Cathedral, Washington D.C.












(Below) Letter from John Carl Warnecke to Jacqueline Kennedy regarding the design of President Kennedy’s gravesite, as designed by John Carl Warnecke and Associates, Architects and Planning Consultants.





























(Left) Condolence telegram to Mrs. Kennedy from Martin Luther King, Jr.














(Right) Condolence telegram to the Kennedy Family from Bob Hope.

















(Left) Draft of a press release thanking the public for their messages of sympathy and recognizing the thousands of volunteers who answered Mrs. Kennedy’s condolence mail.









For additional information about the Personal Papers of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis please refer to the full finding aid of the collection.



Permanent link to this article: http://archiveblog.jfklibrary.org/2015/03/newly-processed-materials-nancy-tuckerman-files-in-the-jacqueline-bouvier-kennedy-onassis-personal-papers/

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