Skip to main content

Walter Whitman Collection

Identifier: exws_whitman

Scope and Contents

Collection consists of 5 framed photographs and one framed poem, illustrated. The photographs feature portraits of Walt Whitman. Poem entitled Leaves of Grass.


  • Creation: 1871-1882


Walter Whitman Biography

Walter Whitman (1819-1892), born in Long Island, New York, spent his early years working for newspapers. In 1849 Whitman left the newspaper business and sustained a book / stationery / printer shop in order to write poetry. In 1855 Whitman published the first edition of "Leaves of Grass".

It consisted of twelve untitled poems, and was limited to 800 copies. Based on years of experience as a journalist, he began promoting his book by publishing positive, unsigned reviews as well as sending copies to the leading literary figures of the day. The book was looked at favorably by transcendentalists, but not well liked by others. He printed a second edition in 1856, with more than 400 pages with several new poems that would become instant classics.

Charles E. Feinberg Biography

Charles E. Feinberg was an editor Emeritus of the Walt Whitman Quarterly Review.


5 boxes

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Charles E. Feinberg.

Related Materials

Special Collections has five of Whitman's books that were printed during his lifetime, and another three about him which were printed before his death in 1892. We have a copy of Leaves of Grass from 1882, his last revision. Also in our collection is a large assortment of pamphlets, reprints, and catalogues of exhibitions pertinent to Whitman and photographs taken of Whitman between 1872-1882.

Walt Whitman Photographs Collection
Stephanie Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Special Collections Repository

Western Michigan University Libraries, Special Collections
Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490