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Walt Whitman Collection

Early editions of Walt Whitman's writings

The outstanding Whitman collection formed by Carolyn Wells Houghton (D. 1942), American mystery writer and anthologist, was received by bequest in 1942. Miss Wells secured copies of every publication cited in A Concise Bibliography of the Works of Walt Whitman, With a Supplement of Fifty Books About Whitman (New York and Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1922. 106 p. Z8971.5.W45; reprint, New York: B. Franklin [1968]), which she compiled with Alfred F. Goldsmith. The collection contains nearly one hundred copies of Leaves of Grass, included both issues of the first edition published in Brooklyn in 1855; an autographed copy of the exceedingly rare Memoranda During the War (Camden, N.J.: 1875-76); and one of the five known copies (the Library received a second copy through copyright deposit) of Letters Written by Walt Whitman to his Mother from 1866 to 1872 (New York and London: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1902), a work which was edited by Thomas B. Harned, Whitman's close friend and an executor of his literary estate. The Wells bequest is shelved in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division with other Whitman publications (some copyright deposit copies) selected from the Library's general collections. Many of the 480 volumes in the Whitman collection are listed in Walt Whitman: A Catalog Based Upon the Collections of the Library of Congress, with notes on Whitman collections and collectors by Charles E. Feinberg. The Feinberg-Whitman Collection in the Manuscript Division is probably the finest collection of Whitman materials ever assembled.

Digitized Items from the Collection

Leaves of Grass Whitman, Walt, 1819-1892. Leaves of Grass. Brooklyn, New York: [Walt Whitman], 1855 ([Brooklyn, New Yor0: Rome Brothers]).
Page Turner - Bibliographic Information

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  November 12, 2014
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