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Catalogs of Manuscripts at Individual Repositories

Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library, Amherst College

Original records created by Amherst College; revised and expanded by the Walt Whitman Archive and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. Encoded Archival Description completed with the assistance of the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, the University of Nebraska Research Council, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Title: Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the Miscellaneous Manuscripts Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library, Amherst College

Collection Number: N/A


Creator:  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892


Repository:  Amherst College

Abstract:
This catalog aid was created from records created by Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library, and obtained by the Walt Whitman Archive. The original papers and catalogue records are held at Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library.

Scope and Content: 
Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library, holds manuscripts, galley proofs, correspondence, notes, and printed material by and about Walt Whitman. The papers are held mostly in "Miscellaneous Manuscripts," though a few items are scattered among other collections. The individual items described in this electronic finding aid are only those deemed poetry or prose manuscripts, and they are all held in "Miscellaneous Manuscripts."

Biographical Information:
For additional biographical information, see "Walt Whitman," by Ed Folsom and Kenneth M. Price, and the chronology of Whitman's Life.

Subjects:
Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892;  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892--Manuscripts; Poets, American--19th century



Whitman Archive Title: 'Probably the largest Known animal'
Whitman Archive ID: amh.00005
Date: 1872–1892
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: These notes by Whitman, beginning "Probably the largest Known animal," concern a "rorqual," a "razorback" or "finback" whale. The relationship of these notes to Whitman's published work is unknown.



Whitman Archive Title: Army Hospitals and Cases
Whitman Archive ID: amh.00010
Date: 1888
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: The first page of a fair copy draft of "Army Hospitals and Cases," an essay first published in the October 1888 issue of The Century magazine.



Whitman Archive Title: Fancies at Navesink
Whitman Archive ID: amh.00003
Date: May 1885
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten, printed
View images: 1
Content: This is a galley proof of four poems from "Fancies of Navesink," a group of eight poems first published in The Nineteenth Century in August 1885: ""The Pilot in the Mist,"" ""Had I the Choice,"" ""You Tides With Ceaseless Swell,"" and ""Last of Ebb, and Daylight Waning."" Signed, dated, and heavily annotated by Whitman.



Whitman Archive Title: National Literature
Whitman Archive ID: amh.00017
Date: 1890 or 1891
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: The first page of a draft essay that was published in the March 1891 issue of The North American Review under the title "Have We a National Literature?" Whitman's extensive revisions are done in ink and several different colors of pencil, and the two scraps of paper that constitute this manuscript leaf were pasted together by the author to create a single inscribed surface. The whole has been affixed, probably by Horace Traubel, one of Whitman's literary executors, to a backing sheet made of letterhead stationery from the office of "The Artsman." Traubel's note on the backing sheet's lower right corner is dated 1907 and indicates that he presented this item to William Gable.



Whitman Archive Title: Thoughts, no. 4 ('Of ownership')
Whitman Archive ID: amh.00006
Date: 1860
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: This is a late draft of "Thoughts," number 4 ("Of ownership"), which appeared first in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass. The poem would later be split up into three separate poems.



Whitman Archive Title: Walt Whitman's Caution
Whitman Archive ID: amh.00009
Date: about 1860
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: This is a draft of "Walt Whitman's Caution," a poem first appearing as one of the "Messenger Leaves" in Leaves of Grass (1860). The title of the poem was changed to "To the States" in the 1881–1882 edition of Leaves.



Whitman Archive Title: [Drum-Taps]
Whitman Archive ID: amh.00004
Date: between 1865-1892
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: This note indicates the proper location for the Drum-Taps poems in the page sequence of what was apparently a manuscript or some other pre-publication form of Whitman's poems. Whitman first used the title Drum-Taps for a volume of poems published in 1865. The title was also applied to a cluster of poems within later editions of Leaves of Grass.



Whitman Archive Title: [In forming the book]
Whitman Archive ID: amh.00014
Date: undated; between 1873 and 1889
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: On one side of the leaf is a heavily revised prose fragment in which Whitman claims that his literary project has been to craft poetry which, rather than exemplifying conventional notions of poetic form, offers a faithful record of the writer's life and milieu. The relationship of this draft to any one of Whitman's published works is uncertain, though it resembles passages in several, including "A Backward Glance O'er Travel'd Roads" (1888) and "Note at End of Complete Poems and Prose"" (1888). The other side of the leaf contains the last page of a letter to Whitman from James Matlack Scovel.



Whitman Archive Title: [It is in itself]
Whitman Archive ID: amh.00002
Date: about 1873
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: This is an early draft, with revisions, of the paragraph that introduced "Prayer of Columbus" when it was first published in the March 1874 issue of Harper's Monthly Magazine and then in Two Rivulets (1876). Later printings of the poem deleted the introduction.



Whitman Archive Title: [to enjoy the Panorama]
Whitman Archive ID: amh.00008
Date: about 1850
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: The handwriting on this draft fragment indicates that it was written fairly early, probably before the the publication of Leaves of Grass in 1855. Most of the fragment describes a moving panorama, a popular form of entertainment during the antebellum period, and it is possible that this manuscript is part of a review that Whitman wrote while working as a newspaper editor. No published version of the manuscript has been located.




Restrictions on Original Materials: Please consult with repository.

Preferred Citation:  To identify this catalog as a source, see the Archive's "Conditions of Use" page.


Repository Contact Information:

Amherst College Library
Campus Box 2256
Amherst College
P.O. Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000


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Distributed under a Creative Commons License. Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, editors.