Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cuba allows access to Hemingway papers

Great news for rabid Hemingway fans like me:

Cuba on Monday began accepting requests for electronic access to more than 3,000 documents from Ernest Hemingway's home on the island, including the unpublished epilogue of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and coded messages the author sent when using his yacht to hunt for German submarines during World War II.

Unedited manuscripts, a screenplay for the "The Old Man and the Sea," letters to the Nobel Laureate and insurance policies are among other papers at Finca Vigia, the hillside hideaway on the eastern outskirts of Havana where Hemingway lived from 1939 until 1960.

The 3,197 documents were scanned and organized electronically as part of a 2002 agreement between Cuban national heritage authorities and the New York-based Social Science Research Council, which also provided acid-free boxes and other storage materials to better protect the originals, said Ada Rosa Alfonso, director of the museum at Finca Vigia.

A quibble: you'd think that a company like Google would step in and help make the papers accessible online.

I'm not sure there'd be anything new here - the Hemingway trove has pretty much been mined - but it's good news the papers are being made available.

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