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Walt Whitman Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: Walt Whitman Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1860-1957
Bulk Dates: 1860-1892
Quantity: 0.5 linear ft.
Abstract: American poet. Collection contains correspondence (incoming and outgoing), printed material, clippings, one reel film.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) was an influential and well-known American poet, essayist and journalist. Among his best-known works are poems "I Sing the Body Electric" and "Song of Myself," and the poetry collection Leaves of Grass. He is buried at Harleigh Cemetery in Camden, New Jersey, where he lived for the last twenty years of his life.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Walt Whitman Collection consists of clippings, correspondence, one media item, and printed material.

Clippings consists of a scrapbook of clippings about Whitman and his work, compiled by William Douglas O'Connor and included his annotations on the articles.

The bulk of Correspondence is incoming, mostly from friends such as clergyman William Sloane Kennedy, publisher James Gordon Bennett, author William Douglas O'Connor, and journalist and reformer James Redpath. A complete list of correspondents is given in the inventory below.

Media consists of one reel of 16mm film, an 11-minute sequence consisting of a short biography of Whitman and one of his poems set to a scenic background. The film canister is labeled "color" but the accompanying card says "black and white."

Printed material contains a prospectus for book, a reprint of "At the Graveside of Walt Whitman," and several items related to a 1957 exhibit on Whitman mounted by the Rumanian Institute for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Access to media requires advance notice to produce a use copy.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Whitman-related material may be found in several other collections, particulatly the Charles Wharton Stork Papers and the Frederick P. Hier Papers. Please search the manuscript collections for "Whitman" to locate all relevant material.

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Subject Headings


Whitman, Walt.


Poets, American.

Genres and Forms

16mm (photographic film size)
Clippings (information artifacts)



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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Walt Whitman Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Unspecified, 1964.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 24 Nov 2010
Revision history: 6 Sep 2019 - media processed, series title updated (MRC)

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Box 1 Scrapbook of critics' newspaper columns 1860-1887 - compiled by William Douglas O'Connor, with his handwritten notes
Box 1 Incoming 1860-1889
W. Angus, Mary Ashley
Herbert J. Bathgate, James Gordon Bennett, R. Brisbane, John Burroughs
Edward Carpenter, Matt H. Carpenter
J. Chamberlin, Henry Clapp, Richard W. Colles, M. Daniel Conway
William Sloane Kennedy
F.C. MacDonald, Joseph B. Marvin
William Douglas O'Connor, Nelly O'Connor
Edward Potter
James Redpath, Ernest Rhys, A. Rice, Thomas William Rolleston
Rudolf Schmidt, Susan Garnet Smith, Louisa Sowdon
Ticknor and Fields
Allen Upward
Box 1 Outgoing 1887-1889, 1892
Box 1 Of others, related to Whitman 1891-1892 - letters and telegrams from J.W. Wallace to H. Buxton Forman, concerning Whitman's ill-health
Reel A Carol of Harvest 3/21/1957 - visual interpretation of Walt Whitman's famous poem; includes old label and handwritten note, which reads: "Bio and poem of W. Whitman against a scenic background". (Film: 16mm; running time 11:00) (ID#: whitman_w_001)
Printed material
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1892, 1893, 1957 - prospectus for book; reprint of article "At the Graveside of Walt Whitman"; items related to exhibit by Rumania Institute for Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries

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