Oak Park contributes archival photos to new Ken Burns film

Hemingway, the new three-part documentary by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, premieres on WTTW and PBS on April 5-7. See the WTTW schedule »

And if you watch the film, you'll see some archival images from the Oak Park Public Library, showing a young Ernest growing up in Oak Park.

Our Manager and Curator of Special Collections Leigh Tarullo started working with Burns' production company back in 2018, helping them select images for the film that show Hemingway's early life in Oak Park. Tarullo has extensive experience and familiarity with the Hemingway collections housed at the Main Library, which are owned by both the library and The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park. For the library, she led the 2016 Hacking Hemingway initiative, which digitized rare archival images for unprecedented public access through the Illinois Digital Archives.

"The production company was wonderful to work with, and we are excited to have Hemingway's Oak Park upbringing featured in the film," Tarullo says. "And we are of course delighted that they used items from our collections in the film."

About the images selected for the documentary

Images selected for the new Hemingway documentary include some never-before-digitized photos such as the one shown above, of young Ernest (the tallest one, second from right) walking with friends while on a camping trip along the Des Plaines River.

Other images used in the documentary were digitized back in 2016 through the Hacking Hemingway grant. They can now be viewed anytime in the Illinois Digital Archives (IDA) collection "The Early Years—Ernest and Marcelline Hemingway in Oak Park."

Artifacts in the IDA collection include rarely seen snapshots, family scrapbooks, school assignments, and mementos illustrating the early lives of Ernest and Marcelline Hemingway in Oak Park. Before they were digitized, the artifacts owned by The Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park and the library were accessible only by appointment at the Main Library.

See more images and learn more about Oak Park's Special Collections »

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