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Walt Whitman Manuscript Collections

Date range: 1880-1948.

The Library holds two collections of papers relating to Walt Whitman (1819-1892), the American journalist, essayist and poet, whose Leaves of Grass made him a revolutionary figure in American literature.

The Sixsmith Collection (English MSS 1170, 1172, 1330, 1331) comprises papers of Charles F. Sixsmith of Anderton, Lancashire, respecting his Whitman interest.

It includes 39 letters to Whitman from various correspondents, and miscellaneous correspondence of Horace L. Traubel, the intimate friend of Whitman, mostly addressed to J.W. Wallace, Dr John Johnston and Sixsmith.

Another collection (English MS 1186) relates to James William Wallace (1850-1926), the friend of Walt Whitman, and the Bolton Whitman Fellowship.

It contains 53 drafts or copies of letters from Wallace to Whitman, 1887-1891, copies of 8 letters from John Addington Symonds, 1890-1893, and a typescript diary of Wallace's visits to Whitman in 1891.

See also the Walt Whitman book collection.

Finding aids

Catalogues available online via ELGAR for:


The John Rylands Library

Using the reading rooms in the John Rylands Library

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