Today, 31 May 2013, is the 194th birthday of Walt Whitman. The Trent Collection of Whitmaniana in the Rubenstein Library is one of the largest collections of Whitman’s manuscripts and printed works in the world. Just in time to celebrate the Good Gray Poet’s birthday, a beautifully “wrapped” new addition to the collection is available for research.
From an otherwise unremarkable edition of Whitman’s Prose Works, the copy newly arrived at the Library was lavishly extra-illustrated and expanded into two leather-bound volumes by an early owner, with the addition of 26 autograph letters and manuscripts and one hundred portraits and views. Extra-illustration, also known as Grangerization, involves the addition by a collector of separately produced items such as portraits and manuscripts to a printed text. Controversial today because it involves dismantling and transforming books, the practice was quite popular in the nineteenth century; this example is from the early twentieth century, perhaps the 1920s.
Many of the added items are of interest, including a manuscript slave deed and letters by Whitman friends and notables such as John Burroughs, John Swinton, William Cullen Bryant, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and General William T. Sherman. Most importantly for Whitman scholars, the first volume contains a page of Whitman’s manuscript notes on the Quaker preacher Elias Hicks. The manuscript had fallen into three pieces due to being folded into the binding; thanks to the work of Conservator for Special Collections Erin Hammeke, it has been repaired and remounted.
While we cannot say with certainty who created these extra-illustrated volumes, the second volume bears the bookplate of Mary Young Moore, a Papal countess for whom a high school on Staten Island, New York is named. Given the connections of both Whitman and Hicks to New York City, this manuscript fragment may have especially appealed to Countess Moore.
Post contributed by Will Hansen, Assistant Curator of Collections, Rubenstein Library.
Search The Devil’s Tale
Tag Cloud2011acquisitions 2012acquisition 2013acquisition advertisements advertising African American history archives artistsbooks civilwar conservation diaries digitization documentary dorisduke dukehistory durham durhamhistory economists events film fullframe games Haiti Heschel holidays human rights letterhead literature longcivilrights madmen Mad Men madmenmondays medicine movediary move prep movinghom photography recipes renovation rubensteinstaff scrapbooks sports students women's history zines
The Devil’s Tale Archive
- William C. Hall papers, 1873-1876 and undated. October 17, 2014
- Dainty-Maid product brochures, 1947,1953 and undated. October 16, 2014
- Noma Lee Goodwin congressional letters on price controls, 1946. October 15, 2014
- Ernest F. Hollings senatorial report to South Carolina 1968 May 7. October 14, 2014
- Works Progress Administration of Virginia notes for a Virginia tourist guide, 1936-1937 and undated. October 14, 2014
- Ricordo di Roma : 48 vedute October 16, 2014
- Manures, how to make and how to use them : a new, practical treatise on the chemistry of manures and manure-making October 16, 2014
- La photographie judiciaire October 15, 2014
- The last bizarre tale : stories October 14, 2014
- Tell the world you're a wildflower : stories October 14, 2014
- The Stork family in the Lutheran Church : or biographical sketches of Rev. Charles Augustus Gottlieb Stork, Rev. Theophilus Stork, D. D., and Rev. Charles A. Stork, D. D. October 17, 2014
- The Christian's faith a rational assent : in answer to a pamphlet, entituled, Christianity not founded on argument, &c. October 15, 2014
- The military services of Maj.-Gen. Ambrose Everett Burnside in the Civil War, and their value as an asset of his country and its history October 15, 2014
- Antony and Cleopatra: : a tragedy. As it is acted at the Dukes theatre. October 15, 2014
- A sermon on the church : delivered before the annual convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church of N.C. October 15, 2014