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Catalogs of Manuscripts at Individual Repositories

Catalog of the Walt Whitman Literary Manuscripts in the Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Original records created by Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries; 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 Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Collection Number: N/A


Creator:  Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892


Repository:  Special Collections and University Archives

Abstract:
This electronic catalog was created, in part, from catalog records and digital images of the original manuscripts obtained by The Walt Whitman Archive. The original papers and catalog records are held at Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

Scope and Content: 
Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries, holds thirteen items, including correspondence, prose notes, proof sheets, broadsides, printed copies, and a poetry manuscript. This catalog includes item-level descriptions of the documents deemed poetry or prose 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: American literature must become distinct
Whitman Archive ID: rut.00010
Repository ID: Ac.605
Date: 1845–1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: A manuscript fragment which contains thoughts similar to those found in the 1855 preface to Leaves of Grass, and later in "Song of the Answerer." Floyd Stovall suggests that the writing of this manuscript was inspired by Whitman's reading of an article entitled "Thoughts on Reading" that appeared in the American Whig Review in May 1845 (see Stovall, "Notes on Whitman's Reading," American Literature 26 [November 1954]: 352). The likely date of composition is between 1845 and 1855.



Whitman Archive Title: Hush'd be the camps to-day
Whitman Archive ID: rut.00001
Repository ID: Ac. 545
Date: about 1865
Genre: poetry
Physical Description: 4 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Content: Draft of "Hush'd Be the Camps To-day," first published in Drum-Taps (1865). A revised version was included in the 1871–72 and subsequent editions of Leaves of Grass. Three of the leaves on which the manuscript is written are smaller and were formerly pasted to the fourth, larger leaf.



Whitman Archive Title: The money value of real
Whitman Archive ID: rut.00024
Date: Between 1845 and 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: This prose note, discussing the relationship between monetary value and "the human spirit," has no known connection to Whitman's published work. The material on the back of the leaf, which was included in the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass, suggests that the manuscript was written before 1855. The manuscript is held at Rutgers University Library along with several similar manuscripts that probably date from around or before 1855.



Whitman Archive Title: The only way in which
Whitman Archive ID: rut.00023
Date: Between 1845 and 1860
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: Edward Grier suggests that this manuscript was probably written prior to 1860, noting some similarities in language and sentiment between it and the initial line of No. 4 of the "Thoughts" cluster published first in the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass (Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts [New York: New York University Press, 1984], 1:118).



Whitman Archive Title: [more quarters--having been lost in MS]
Whitman Archive ID: rut.00009
Repository ID: Ac.546
Date: 1874
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: The recto of this item contains a draft of portion of "'Tis But Ten Years Since (Third Paper)," one of six pieces about the Civil War that Whitman published in the New York Weekly Graphic in January and February, 1874. In 1875, these pieces were gathered and republished as Memoranda During the War. The portion of the article that Whitman was drafting here is a short note that appeared at the end of the third installment, informing readers that even though these articles were written as a series, "each paper is, for the casual reader's purposes, complete in itself." This text was not found in any of the other articles and was not included in Memoranda During the War. The third installment appeared on 14 February 1874. The manuscript on the verso did not contribute to any known published piece.



Whitman Archive Title: dithyrambic trochee
Whitman Archive ID: rut.00022
Date: Between 1846 and 1855
Genre: prose
Physical Description: 2 leaves, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4
Content: This manuscript consists of notes about various poetic meters, with Whitman writing the derivation of the term, a description of the meter, and then providing an example of a poetic line employing that meter. The example for hexameter (at the bottom of leaf 1 recto) is taken from a line in Homer. Whitman marked this line in an article published in an 1846 issue of the American Whig Review ("Translators of Homer" American Whig Review 4, no. 1 [July 1846]: 364). Thus, the date of this manuscript is after 1846. The manuscript is held at Rutgers University Library along with several similar manuscripts that probably date from around or before 1855. In his transcription of the manuscript, Edward Grier includes an additional section copied from Richard Maurice Bucke's Notes and Fragments. See Notebooks and Unpublished Prose Manuscripts, ed. Edward F. Grier (New York: New York University Press, 1984), 1:355–356.



Whitman Archive Title: ground where you may
Whitman Archive ID: rut.00025
Repository ID: Ac.605
Date: 1845–1855
Genre: poetry, prose
Physical Description: 1 leaf, handwritten
View images: 1 | 2
Content: The recto is a manuscript fragment containing several lines of prose that were included, with slightly-revised wording, as lines of poetry in the initial poem of the 1855 Leaves of Grass (ultimately titled "Song of Myself"). The lines that appear in the poem begin with "Sit awhile wayfarer" and continue through the end of the manuscript, ending with "and open the gate for your egress hence." These lines would remain, with minor revisions, through all the various versions of "Song of Myself." The verso (rut.00024) contains a prose note that does not seem to have any link to Whitman's published work.




Restrictions:  None

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


Repository Contact Information:

Archibald S. Alexander Library
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
169 College Avenue
New Brunswick, NJ 08901-1163


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