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University of Texas, Austin (Austin, TX 78712-0100)
Matt Cohen (Project Director: July 2010 to July 2014)

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

$168,519 (approved)
$143,590 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2011 – 4/30/2014

Walt Whitman's Annotations

Creation of an online archive of Walt Whitman's manuscript annotations, which would allow users to explore Whitman's reactions to the literature, history, science, theology, and art of his time.

This project aims to preserve and give free electronic access to Walt Whitman's manuscript annotations. This hitherto uncollected and largely unpublished set of documents shows America's most famous poet in-the-making. From classical writings to Tennyson, from Persian poets to phrenological journals, the influences on Whitman's work were manifold. For the first time, students, scholars, and casual readers will be able to explore Whitman's self-education, through his reactions to the literature, history, science, theology, and art of his time. The annotations will be published at the Walt Whitman Archive, allowing us to link these annotated documents to later ones they influenced. We will also offer a database of Whitman's reading. Finally, using a customized search engine and the interface created in this project, we will offer analytical tools for archive users that will help researchers shed new light on Whitman's writing in the broad context of 19th century literature and culture.