Thursday, December 5, 2013

Index page updated for "In Whitman's Hand"

I tweaked the index page for "In Whitman's Hand" by noting that we now have approximately 3,000 scribal documents live on the site. We last added scribal documents in June 2013, and although we noted the addition on the "News & Updates" section of the splash page, we failed to keep the index page current.  That problem has now been addressed.


Broken links fixed for "Out from Behind this Mask" in Feinberg-Whitman finding guide

One of our users, Sam Otter, noted that when he tried to access the images (via our finding guide to Feinberg Collection at the Library of Congress) related to "Out From Behind This Mask," he received broken link messages for all the images in sub-items 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, and 8. With the help of Kevin McMullen, these broken links have now been fixed.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tweaks to UVA EAD

Ken pointed out two small errors in the individual finding aid for the University of Virginia:

  • The first, in item 169: Both the name of the folder and the title of the item were incorrect; they were listed as "The Wall about Martyrs," when they should in fact be "The Wallabout Martyrs."

  • The second error was in item 185, entitled "As I sit in twilight." The heading for "Boxes:" was missing, and the "Whitman Archive ID" line was run in with the box information, rather than being on its own line.

Both errors have been corrected.

- Kevin

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Archive staff page updated

I have added new and returning project participants as well as updated staff biographies to the Whitman Archive staff page, available at the following url: [].


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Leaves of Grass index page updated

I've added information about the source of our page images for each edition of Leaves of Grass and added language to the introductory prose that directs users to seek permission to use images from the owners from whom we got them.

~ Brett

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Support page updated

We have mentioned important new grants received from NEH and NHPRC, and we have acknowledged generous new support provided by the University of Iowa's Digital Studio for Public Arts and Humanities.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Encoding of review of Leaves of Grass (1871-72) tweaked

An anonymous June 1872 review of the 1871-72 Leaves of Grass was not displaying because of an attribute error.  I removed the rend attribute that was causing the trouble and adjusted the encoding for the section numbers in the poem excerpts. 

~ Nikki

Footnote updated in November Boughs review

A November 1888 review of November Boughs published in the Boston Evening Transcript included a footnote about Elias Hicks that should have been about Edmund Clarence Stedman.  I have corrected the reference and updated the footnote.

~ Nikki

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Typos fixed in periodical printing of "After All, Not to Create Only"

I've corrected some typos in the New York Evening Post version of the poem ("though" for "thou" and "Civilation" for "Civilization").

~ Nikki

Friday, October 11, 2013

Updates made to Civil War and Reconstruction correspondence files

Neil Mann alerted us to four letters that listed incorrect date and repository information.  I have corrected the date listed in the index for the letter to W. D. O'Connor of 27 Sept. 1867 and the dates listed in the index and the date field for the letter to John Burroughs of 18 June [1872].  I have also changed the letters from Margaret Stilwell to Walt Whitman of 25 October 1863 and from James S. Stilwell to Walt Whitman of 5 July 1864 to reflect that they are held in the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature at the New York Public Library.

~ Nikki

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

"To limn the stately and the" manuscript revised

Tim Jackson drew our attention to the fact that the second part of the first line was not showing up, a problem that turned out to be caused by the misplacement of a note tag in the transcription. This has now been corrected and the previously omitted text is now displayed.


Friday, September 6, 2013

change of authorship attribution: review of "A Child's Reminiscence," Cincinnati Daily Commercial (28 Dec. 1859)

Based on conversations with Virginia Jackson and on my own research, I have changed the attribution from "[Anonymous]" to "[Henry Clapp and Walt Whitman]." Whitman knew Murat Halstead, a long-time editor at the Cincinnati Daily Commercial, and even as late as 1876 Whitman wrote a letter to Halstead marked "Private" designed to place extracts from Memoranda During the War in the Commercial prior to the publication of the book. Several reasons, then, contribute to the attribution of the review to Clapp and Whitman: 1) this personal connection between Halstead and Whitman, 2) the speed with which the review appeared in Cincinnati (December 28, 1859) following initial publication in The New-York Saturday Press only a few days earlier (December 24, 1859), and 3) the known history of elaborate publicity campaigns orchestrated by Clapp and Whitman.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Typo fixed in vol. 3 of Traubel, With Walt Whitman in Camden

I changed "Deat Dixon"  to "Dear Dixon" on p. 571 of vol. 3 of Horace Traubel's With Walt Whitman in Camden.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Updates made to description of Integrated Guide to Manuscripts

Brett and I made some changes to the description of the integrated guide to manuscripts at, specifically by eliminating language describing the work as being in prototype form and eliminating the reference to the finding aids to collections at NYPL and the the University of Texas as being in progress.  We also added "France" to the list of countries holding Whitman manuscripts.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Scribal Documents Published

We have published an installment of approximately 100 new scribal documents, bringing to a close the first phase of our work on Whitman's Scribal Documents. This work was truly a team effort, with important contributions from Anthony Dreesen, Nima Kianfar, Courtney Lawton, Elizabeth Lorang, Kevin McMullen, Ken Price, and John Schwaninger.

As part of the release of these materials, I have updated the News & Updates section of the home page as well as the News page.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Overview and staff pages tweaked

In the "Overview" page in "About the Archive," I added a mention of our most recent grant from NHPRC (2013-2014).  I also added Literary Studies in the Digital Age to my description on the "staff" page.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Typo Corrected in Complete Prose Works

Ken spotted a typo (a closing curly brace had been substituted for a closing parenthesis), which I've now corrected.

~ Brett

Friday, May 24, 2013

Typo Corrected in Periodical Printing of "After All, Not to Create Only"

Kelly Franklin alerted us to a typo ("gorss" for "gross"), which I've now corrected.

~ Brett

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Walt Whitman, Where the Future Becomes Present now available

David Haven Blake and Michael Robertson, ed., Walt Whitman, Where the Future Becomes Present (Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 2008), is now available as a PDF via the Current Criticism section of the Archive. The book is made available with the permission of the University of Iowa Press.

Useful Links Page and Updated PDFs now available

Kyle Barton and Ed Folsom created a Useful Links page for the Resources section of the Archive, which I made available on Monday, May 6. In addition, Kyle OCR'ed the PDFs of older books from the Iowa Whitman Series to make them searchable PDFs. The updated PDFs are available via the Selected Criticism section of the Archive and are now included in the sitewide search.


Monday, April 22, 2013

Change to nar.00779 Scribal Document

Scribal document nar.00779 is a transcription of a cover letter and enclosed contract between the U.S. Government and the Union Pacific Rail Road Company. When nar.00779 was originally transcribed, only the cover letter was included in the transcription. As I was finishing up transcriptions of scribal documents, I noticed that the contract was not transcribed along with the cover letter, and so I transcribed and encoded it, changed the @facs, and made sure the images were in the directory.

See the complete document here!

~Courtney Lawton

Friday, April 19, 2013

changes to two correspondence files

The footnotes for two pieces of correspondence, nar.03604 and
nar.03605 were showing up inline rather than at the end of the
document. I have fixed the encoding, which was causing this problem.
The letters are available at:


Wednesday, March 20, 2013

change made to Texas EAD

I have updated the Texas EAD to indicate that the letter on the verso
of tex.00045 is not in Whitman's hand, which we previously indicated
that it was.

Correction to Ellen M. O'Connor letter to Whitman, 21 November 1863

I noticed a typo ("Now" for "No") while consulting this letter, so I've corrected it.

~ Brett

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Correction to transcription, Fred Vaughan to Walt Whitman, 27 March 1860

Ed Folsom pointed out a transcription error in the letter from Fred
Vaughan to Walt Whitman, 27 March 1860
The phrase "It appeared to me to be strained" had been incorrectly
transcribed as "I appeared to me to be strained." I have fixed this


Monday, March 4, 2013

Typo corrected in scribal document nar.01941

The sentence which begins, "Whether, when the bond in given by the State" has been changed to "Whether, when the bond is given by the State."


Stand alone page added for audio recordings

I have created a stand alone page for the audio recording of "America." Previously, the audio link on the homepage directed users to the index page for all multimedia materials ( The Audio link on the homepage now takes users to a page dedicated to audio recordings. The url for the new audio page is as follows: The Pictures & Sound link remains the same, and takes users to the index page for both images and audio recordings. The Portraits of Whitman link still directs users to the image gallery.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Annotations published for Reconstruction-era letters

I have published annotations for approximately 370 Reconstruction-era letters sent by Walt Whitman. Many people contributed to this work, including Janel Cayer, Eder Jaramillo, Nima Kianfar, Zachary King, Katie Kruger, Courtney Lawton, Liz Lorang, Ken Price, and Sarah Walker. Work on preparing and publishing additional Reconstruction letters and annotations is ongoing.


Friday, February 22, 2013

attribution added to a previously anonymous review of 1856 LofG

A review of the 1856 Leaves of Grass that appeared in the The Christian Examiner in November 1856 had previously been marked as anonymous. In February 2013, Ken Price received an e-mail from Gary Scharnhorst, a scholar who had published an article in the Walt Whitman Review in March 1982 (entitled "D. A. Wasson and W. R. Alger on the 1855 Leaves of Grass") in which he presented evidence that attributed the review to William Rounseville Alger. Scharnhorst sent the article to Ken and asked whether we had been aware of his attribution of the review to Alger. Ken found the article's evidence to be convincing, and the change was made to the record of the review. A note was also added, crediting Scharnhorst for the attribution and citing his article.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

New scribal documents published

I have published another 450 scribal documents on the Whitman Archive.
These documents were prepared by Anthony Dreesen, Nima Kianfar,
Melanie Krupa, Kevin McMullen, Jonathan Nitcher, and John
Schwaninger, with Ken Price and myself. The addition of these scribal
documents brings the total number of scribal documents available on
the Whitman Archive to nearly 3,000.


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

update to Overview page

I have updated the paragraph about funded projects on the Overview
page (, to
include current funding from NEH and NHPRC.


Thursday, January 31, 2013

Revised translations index page

Per Ed Folsom's suggestion, I have added a brief description about the WhitmanWeb to the translations index page. The page now includes the following section on the International Writing Project's translations of "Song of Myself":

"Song of Myself"

The International Writing Project at the University of Iowa, in cooperation with the Whitman Archive and supported by a grant from the United States Department of State, has created the WhitmanWeb, a site devoted to translations of Whitman's 1881 version of "Song of Myself" in multiple languages (currently including Persian, Russian, Ukrainian, German, French, Spanish, and Portuguese). A new section of the poem, with commentary by Ed Folsom and Christopher Merrill and with a recording in English by Eric Forsythe and a recording in Persian by Sholeh Wolpe, is being posted each week, starting in the fall of 2012 and continuing through the fall of 2013 until all 52 sections appear. This site features the first full translation of "Song of Myself" into Persian. The WhitmanWeb may be accessed here


New contemporary reviews posted

This afternoon, I posted 18 new reviews to the contemporary reviews section of the Archive. This group of documents includes reviews of Drum-Taps; Good-Bye My Fancy; the 1856, 1860-61 and 1881-82 editions of Leaves of Grass; November Boughs; and Poems by Walt Whitman. Each of these index pages have been updated accordingly.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

correction to footnote in Civil War correspondence; correction to footnote in 2 pieces of journalism

I've revised the first footnote of,
George Washington Whitman to Louisa Van Velsor Whitman, 2 October
1864, to correct the sentence "Almost the entire Fifty-First New York
Regiment was lost in killed (2), wounded (10), and captured or missing
(332)." The note now reads, "Almost the entire Fifty-First New York
Regiment was lost: killed (2), wounded (10), and captured or missing

Also, a footnote about George Washington Whitman that appears in two
pieces of published journalism has been updated. In
("Return of a Brooklyn Veteran") and
("A Brooklyn Soldier, and a Noble One"), the note "George W. Whitman,
Walt Whitman's younger brother by ten years, served in the New York
Fifty-first during the Civil War and was wounded at the First Battle
of Fredericksburg. He was taken prisoner at Poplar Grove, Virginia, on
September 30, 1864, and spent time in several Confederate prisons in
the days following his release before being transferred to the prison
at Danville, Virginia, on October 22, 1864. He was released in
February 1865. See Jerome Loving's introduction to the print edition
of the Civil War letters of George Washington Whitman" had been
revised to "George W. Whitman, Walt Whitman's younger brother by ten
years, served in the New York Fifty-first during the Civil War and was
wounded at the First Battle of Fredericksburg. He was taken prisoner
at Poplar Grove, Virginia, on September 30, 1864, and spent time in
several Confederate prisons in the days following his capture before
being transferred to the prison at Danville, Virginia, on October 22,
1864. He was released in February 1865. See Jerome Loving's
introduction to the print edition of the Civil War letters of George
Washington Whitman." (Brett made these changes.)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Transcription error fixed in "Letter from Washington"

Ed Folsom pointed out a transcription error in "Letter from
Washington," which I have fixed. In the phrase "which has long
surmounted the dome," "dome" previously (and erroneously) read "done."
This piece of Whitman's journalism is available here:


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

two typographical errors corrected

I have corrected the typographical error "receieved" in two documents:

Volume 7, of Horace Traubel's With Walt Whitman in Camden, where the
text (now) reads, " Hereupon showed W. the following note from Baker
(received early evening)"

and in

Henry Stanbery to Ellen A. Brodnax, 13 December 1867
where the incorrect spelling "receieved" appeared in the opening line
of the letter.

Both instances of this error were identified by Ed Folsom.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Correction in periodical printing of "Bardic Symbols"

I have supplied a space that Tim Jackson pointed out was missing in section 16 ("you,or").

~ Brett

Corrections in LG 1891-92

Tim Jackson pointed out that on p. 436 of our transcription of "A Backward Glance o'er Traveled Roads" a closing parenthesis had been substituted for a comma after the word "confession." This has been fixed. I also added a horizontal bar to separate the footnote from the body of the text on the same page.

~ Brett

Corrections to Walt Whitman in Camden, Volume 2

Ed Folsom pointed out several errors in our transcription and display
of With Walt Whitman in Camden, volume 2:

*On page 67, we had an empty (and unnecessary) <hi> tag that was
causing the rest of the text to be presented in italics in the HTML
view. I have removed this empty <hi> tag.
*There were two transcription errors on page 142. "gags at my
'catalogues.' Oh God! how tired I get of hearing that said about the
'catalogues!'" erroneously "gasps" instead of "gags" and "bout"
instead of "about."


Monday, January 7, 2013

Correction to "Song of the Universal" in 1881 Leaves

Ken noticed that the section number headings did not appear in our transcription of this poem. I've added them. 

~ Brett

Friday, January 4, 2013

Two corrections

In the 1860 edition of Leaves of Grass, I corrected type in line three of "With Antecedents" to read "would not now be here" instead of "would not now be hero."

In the 1881-82 edition, in the line, "In each house is the ovum, it comes forth after a thousand years," I inserted a space between "comes" and "forth" (previously read "comesforth").

Both errors were pointed out by Archive users, Mario Corona and Robin Seguy, respectively.