Database Information

Walt Whitman Archive

Connect to: Walt Whitman Archive

The Walt Whitman Archive is an electronic research and teaching tool that sets out to make Whitman’s vast work, for the first time, easily and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers. Whitman, America’s most influential poet and one of the four or five most innovative and significant writers in United States history, is the most challenging of all American authors in terms of the textual difficulties his work presents. The Archive sets out to incorporate as much of this material as possible, drawing on the resources of libraries and collections from around the United States and around the world. The Archive is guided by pragmatic principles in its attempt to achieve two goals 1) to edit the vast textual corpus Whitman produced and 2) to 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. The Archive’s approach to editing is to establish documentary texts rather than to reconstruct what are assumed to be authorially-intended texts. It is concerned with historical and social aspects of the texts, how the texts made their way into the world, and the multiple agents that brought them into being, and confines any speculation about Whitman’s intentions to editorial notes.