Bunkyo Gakuin University Students Research the Ernest Hemingway Collection


by Stephen Plotkin, Textual Collections Archivist

One of the best things about working in research is having somebody whom you first knew as a hard-working student come back as a full-fledged professional scholar. Professor Kaori Sugimoto Fairbanks first came to visit the Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in 2000. During that visit and several subsequent ones, she pored over manuscripts, transcribing lengthy passages, on her way to writing a dissertation about Hemingway’s later works.


Prof. Kaori

Prof. Kaori Sugimoto Fairbanks and Archivist Stephen Plotkin in the Kennedy Library Hemingway Room, February 2016.


This past winter, Professor Fairbanks returned with a copy of her newly-published book on the posthumous works of Hemingway. Better yet, she brought her class from Bunkyo Gakuin University, where she is on the faculty, to visit the Hemingway Collection and to work with the Hemingway manuscripts.


Bunkyo Gakuin University students in the JFK Library Mural Room, February 2016.

Bunkyo Gakuin University students in the Kennedy Library Mural Room, February 2016.


Professor Fairbanks’s students had read Hemingway’s story “Indian Camp” as part of their seminar at Bunkyo Gakuin. While they were visiting the Hemingway Collection, she had them study his original beginning to the story, which he had ultimately deleted, although he had saved it as he had saved so many of his other manuscripts.


Bunkyo Gakuin University students looking at Hemingway materials in the Mural Room, February 2016.

Students looking at Hemingway materials in the Mural Room, February 2016.


The rejected beginning attained a new life when Hemingway scholar and editor Philip Young published it under the title “Three Shots” in the posthumous collection The Nick Adams Stories.


(Below) Professor Fairbanks’s colleague, Professor Robert van Benthuysen, assists some students with a puzzling Hemingway manuscript item.

Prof. Robert van Benthuysen assisting students with a Hemingway manuscript, February 2016


The students selected manuscripts based on their personal interests. Of course, as is traditionally the case, research was conducted with reference copies of the original manuscripts.


Students in Hemingway Room

Students reviewing the Hemingway Collection (reference-copied version) in the Hemingway Room, February 2016.


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