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The Walt Whitman Archive

Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price, Editors

Emily Janas
LIS 740
Digital Project
2/17/2015

Mission & Vision Statement


The

Walt Whitman Archive endeavors to


make Whitmans vast work freely and
conveniently accessible to scholars,
students and general readers. (About
the Archive)
Eventually, we plan to present all of
Whitman's manuscript notes toward and
versions of every poem inLeaves of Grass.
(History of the Project)

Mission & Vision Statement


Our

long-term goal is to encode and to


provide digital images of all the documents in
Whitman's vast oeuvre, including manuscripts,
letters, notebooks, daybooks, and
published work. These documents will be
made available in facsimile (when permissions
can be secured), so that users of the
transcriptions will have access to a clear image
of the documents on which transcriptions are
based. (Technical Summary)

Mission &Vision Statement


Whitman

remains one of the most discussed figures in


American literary and cultural studies.
Difficult to study his work because several of the important
editions ofLeaves of Grasshave been inaccessible.
Scholarship has largely ignored Whitman's poetry
manuscripts because of related problems of access.
The manuscripts are scattered over 60 different libraries.
Our work on the manuscripts ought to significantly alter
the conversation about the nature of Whitman's creative
process, his compositional practices, and the meaning of
some of his key poems.

Staff & Responsibilities


Co-directors

of the Project:

Ed Folsom, Ph.D.
English professor, University of Iowa

Kenneth M. Price, Ph.D.


American literature professor, University of NebraskaLincoln

Staff & Responsibilities


Library Connections
Elizabeth

M. Lorang, digital humanities project


librarian, Center for Digital Research in the Humanities
at University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Co-edited
Whitmans Poems in Periodicals.
Katherine L. Walter, MLS, Founding director of the
Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at UNL,
now co-directs with Ken Price. Chair of Digital Initiatives
& Special Collections, UNL library. Senior advisor to
Archive. Project team member for
Poetry Manuscripts Finding Guide

Staff & Responsibilities


Library Connections
Stephanie

Blalock, Ph.D., M.A. student in


School of Library & Information Science,
University of Iowa, contributing editor for the
Archive, currently encoding Whitmans
Franklin Evans
Terrence H. Catapano, Special Collections
Analyst, Columbia University Libraries

Staff & Responsibilities


Library Connections
A

couple of well-funded private libraries are


resistant to having parts of their collections
displayed on the web. They are working on a
more proprietary and protective model. I'm
guardedly hopeful we can gain their
cooperation over time.

Methods of Communication

Methods of Communication

Methods of Communication

Methods of Communication

Methods of Communication

Services
TokenX
Finding

Aids
Integrated Guide, 100 poetry manuscripts,
fully transcribed and annotated, scattered
over 60 institutions.
8 Links to Whitman-related sites

Services
TokenX

Text analysis, visualization, and play tool


Analyzes XML files to mark each word across the
editions individually.
Highlight
Word cloud of frequent words
Substitute words
Search specific word frequency across all files
comparatively

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

TokenX

Finding Aids
38

collection titles
Libraries
Colleges
Universities
Library of Congress
American Antiquarian Society
Archives
Walt Whitman house in Camden, NJ

Finding Aids

Integrated Guide
This

Integrated Guide to Whitman's Poetry


Manuscripts arranges by uniform title, and
then by item title, all identified poetry
manuscripts located in archival repositories
throughout the United States, United
Kingdom, and France. Each item-level entry
provides a title, date, and descriptive
information, including physical characteristics
when available.

Integrated Guide
Access

to an image of the original item, a


transcription of the item, and a link to the
repository finding aid are provided where
available.
However, no transcriptions found
Chaotic layout

Integrated Guide

Audio & Images


128

photographs of Whitman
Most photographed author in 19th c.
"I find I often like the photographs better than
the oilsthey are perhaps mechanical, but
they are honest. The artists add and deduct:
the artists fool with nature
3 Audio links for America, Poets to Come,
and Song of Myself

Audio & Images

Audio & Images


No

option for faceted searching


Only browse, or specific-item search

Links
Links

to useful sites devoted to Whitman, his


writings, his associates, the places he lived, and
the culture of his time
Journal devoted to Whitman
WhitmanWeb 1881 Song of Myself translated into
10 languages
Whitmans Brooklyn
Vault at Pfaffs - Biographies of/writings by the
artists who gathered with Whitman at Pfaff's Beer
Hall in New York City

Links
Mickle

Street Review - Online journal devoted


to Whitman
Leaves of Grass - audio text of 1855 version,
read by six different readers
Civil War Washington
Brooklyn Daily Eagle - Searchable complete
run of the newspaper Whitman edited from
March 1846 to January 1848

Links

Information Retrieval
User

can search across multiple collections


with Google Custom Search
Boolean, truncation

Comprehensive

search, known-item search

Browse
Interface

easy to navigate
Easy to learn how to access resources

Information Retrieval

Information Retrieval

Information Retrieval

Information Retrieval

Information Retrieval

Funding

Funding
We

have enjoyed formal grant-based


partnerships with libraries at Duke University,
the New York Public Library, the Humanities
Research Center at the University of Texas at
Austin, Brown University, and the University
of Virginia. (Overview)

Funding
Grants

from National Endowment for the


Humanities
Research Division - $175,000 (2000-2003)
Preservation and Access (2003-2005)

Funded

by Institute of Museum and Library


Services
$245,723, Nov. 2002 Oct. 2005

Funding
National

Historical Publications and Records


Commissions (NHPRC, 2008-2014)
Current funding from NEH (20122015)
supports work on an integrated guide to all of
Whitman's literary manuscripts. In addition,
from 20132016, NEH funding will also
support our efforts on a new project,
"Whitman as an Author before Leaves of
Grass."

History
In

the mid 1990s, some scholars (especially Ed


Folsom) began talking about the need for a hypertext
edition of Whitman's works.
Digital archives just beginning to appear
Ken Price & one of his graduate students, Charles
Green, took special interest in creating a Whitman
digital archive.
Price located near University of Virginia at the time,
which had a large collection of Whitman manuscripts
Later, Ed Folsom agreed to be co-director

History

History (1995-2000)

History (2000-2007)

Content
Selection

policy
Restrictions
TheWalt Whitman Archiveis guided by pragmatic
principles in its attempt to achieve two goals
1) Edit the vast textual corpus Whitman produced
2) Provide access to a wide range of related
materials that shed light on his writings, including
photos, reviews, translations, criticism of his
writings and accounts of his life, finding guides to
his manuscripts, and bibliographies of criticism.

References
http://

cdrh.unl.edu/about/faculty/cvs/walter_cv14.pd
f
http://
www.unl.edu/english/faculty/profs/kprice.html
http://
www.english.uiowa.edu/people/ed-folsom
http://civilwardc.org/