The University of South Carolina has received, through the generosity of donors, a major modern American literature collection. The Speiser and Easterling-Hallman Foundation Collection is centered on a superb collection of the books of Ernest Hemingway, with correspondence, transcripts, and proofs. There is additional strength in Maurice J. Speiser's correspondence with other friends and clients in literature, music, and the arts. While the books are in museum condition, the collection is not just for display: it is a working collection, providing material for teaching and scholarship.
Maurice J. Speiser
Maurice J. Speiser (1880-1948) first encountered the stirrings of modernism as a young attorney in Philadelphia. During regular trips to Europe in the 1920's, Speiser met Ezra Pound, Hemingway, and others. With his wife Martha Glazer Speiser, he was a patron of music and the theatre, a discerning collector of art, and a friend to many significant writers. During the 1930's, in addition to general legal practice, Speiser developed a special interest in the legal requirements of artists and writers.
The Hemingway Books
Starting with Hemingway's first small-press books, published in Paris in the 1920's, Maurice Speiser assembled a comprehensive collection of Hemingway's works, many with personal inscriptions. He actively sought out, not only the first printings, but advance copies, salesmen's dummies, British editions, translations and periodical appearances, and the collection was continued and enhanced after his death by his son Raymond A. Speiser. This collection, which has all the Hemingway rarities, could never be duplicated now.
Highlights from the collection of Hemingway publications include:
- Hemingway's earliest contributions to the Oak Park high school magazine
- his first two books in very fine condition:
Three Stories & Ten Poems (Paris: Contact Editions, 1923),
limited to 300 copies
in our time (Paris: Three Mountains Press, 1924)
limited to 170 copies
- his early magazine contributions
- first editions of major works inscribed by Hemingway to the Speisers
- pre-publication salesmen's dummies for Hemingway's books
- translations documenting Hemingway's international appeal and influence
The Hemingway-Speiser Friendship:Correspondence, Typescripts, and Proofs
Ernest Hemingway did not have a literary agent, and Maurice Speiser performed for him many of the services that an agent would have otherwise handled. Both sides of the correspondence between them--totalling over fifty letters--are preserved in this collection. Hemingway was one of the most energetic letter-writers in American literature, and even his practical letters to Mr. Speiser frequently include personal, literary or autobiographical observations.
Ernest Hemingway's marked typescripts and proofs have particular value for students, teachers, and researchers, revealing the author in the act of revision. Highlights include:
- a typescript for Hemingway's 1937 speech to the American Writers Congress, denouncing Fascism, with Hemingway's manuscript revisions.
- a series of typescripts for the published and acting revisions of The Fifth Colum, documenting the development of Hemingway's only play and Benjamin Glazer's successful New York production.
- galley proofs for To Have and Have Not, The First Forty-Eight Stories and For Whom The Bell Tolls, enabling researchers to trace authorial and editorial emendations during the publication process for the first printings of Hemingway's books
Maurice J. Speiser's Correspondence with Other Writers, Artists and Musicians
Maurice Speiser's archive also preserves more than thirty years of correspondence with other writers and artists:
- writers: e.e. cummings (thirty letters), William Faulkner, Lillian Hellman, James G. Huneker, D.H. Lawrence, Henry Miller (over thirty letters), Carson McCullers, Kenneth Patchen, Ezra Pound, John Steinbeck, Edmund Wilson
- artists and sculptors: Marc Chagall, Constantin Brancusi and Jacob Epstein.
- photographer Edward Steichen
- journalist Martha Gellhorn
- composers and musicians George Antheil, Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, George and Ira Gershwin, Josef Hofmann, Gian-Carlo Menotti, Eugene Ormandy, Serge Prokofieff, Paul Robeson, Arnold Schoenberg, Leopold Stokowski (over seventy letters), Igor Stravinsky, Edgar Varese
The Donors: How the Collection has come to the University
The Speiser and Easterling-Hallman Foundation Collection of Ernest Hemingway has come to the University of South Carolina by the generosity of two donors: Mrs. Ellen Speiser Katz, Maurice J. Speiser's granddaughter, who had maintained the collection in the Philadelphia house Mr. Speiser built in 1931; and the Donald C. Easterling-Edward S. Hallman Foundation, through the support of Mr. Edward Hallman, a 1950 graduate of the University.
The Context for the Collection
The University of South Carolina reached the bicentennial of its charter in 2001. Its libraries, which began with some 3,000 volumes, now house more than three million, and the University ranks among the top fifty libraries nationally by the Association of Research Libraries. Recent additions to its modern American literature collections have included the Matthew J. & Arlyn Bruccoli Collection of F. Scott Fitzgerald; the literary archives of Joseph Heller, John Jakes, and James Ellroy; and the extensive personal library of the late James Dickey. Other major special collections in Thomas Cooper Library include natural history (with the library's original Audubon Birds of America), the Francis A. Lord Civil War Collection, the G. Ross Roy Collection of Robert Burns & Scottish Poetry, the C. Warren Irvin, Jr., Collection of Charles Darwin, the Anthony P. Campanella Collection of Giuseppe Garibaldi, and the James Willard Oliver Collection of David Hume.
Access and Availability
Note that unpublished materials including correspondence remain subject to copyright; the library requires documentation of necessary copyright clearances before research can begin with these materials. For more information about is commenced on such materials. Information about obtaining permission can be found at http://library.sc.edu/spcoll/amlit/hemingway/hemcopy.html