Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum designated a Literary Landmark by ALTAFF

Contact: Jillian Kalonick
Marketing/Public Relations Specialist

For Immediate Release
March 23, 2010

PHILADELPHIA – Â The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West, Fla., was designated a Literary Landmark on March 14 by the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations (ALTAFF), a division of the American Library Association (ALA).

The dedication of the Literary Landmark was the finale of “One Island One Book,” a program created by the Monroe County Library’s Key West Branch. The program focused on To Have and Have Not, the novel Hemingway wrote in Key West and set on the island. It is his only novel set in the United States.

Les Standiford, director of the creative writing program at Florida International University, spoke at the Literary Landmark dedication, along with Dave Gonzalez, the Hemingway Home’s events manager, and Kris Neihouse, circulation librarian at Monroe County Public Library’s Key West branch, who created the “One Island One Book” program. “This is a recognition long overdue,” Standiford said. “There are a number of other Literary Landmarks in Key West, but none dedicated to Hemingway.” The Hemingway House is the eighth Literary Landmark in Key West.

Hemingway lived at the home at 907 Whitehead St., in the heart of the island’s Old Town historic district, from 1931 to 1939. Key West suffered greatly in the Depression during those years; the city declared bankruptcy and handed its operations to the state of Florida. Hemingway was also in the Florida Keys at the time of the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, a Category 5 storm that was the strongest hurricane to hit U.S. shores. During his career, Hemingway is credited with pioneering a new, plainspoken style of writing. He was awarded Pulitzer and Nobel prizes.

The Monroe County Public Library, the Friends of The Monroe Public Library, and the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum joined ALTAFF in supporting this Literary Landmark dedication.

The Literary Landmarks Association was founded in 1986 by former Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) president Frederick G. Ruffner to encourage the dedication of historic literary sites. In 1989, the Literary Landmark project became an official FOLUSA committee. The Literary Landmark program continues under ALTAFF, the newly formed division of ALA created by the joining of FOLUSA and the Association for Library Trustees and Friends (ALTA). More than 100 Literary Landmarks across the United States have been dedicated since the program began. Any library or citizens group may apply for a Literary Landmark through ALTAFF; for more information, visit

ALTAFF is a division of ALA with approximately 5,000 Friends of the Library, Trustee, Foundation and individual members and affiliates representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. Begun in early 2009, the new division brings together Trustees and Friends into a partnership that unites the voices of citizens who support libraries to create a powerful force for libraries in the 21st Century. For more information about ALTAFF, please contact Jillian Kalonick at (312) 280-2161 or