Southern Illinois University Edwardsville has received a special collection of historical research about Walt Whitman’s journalism career, which is now available in SIUE’s Bowen Archive. The collection is entitled, “The Douglas and Betty Noverr Collection of Walt Whitman’s Journalism”.
SIUE’s Jason Stacy, Ph.D., professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of History, was gifted research papers from the late Douglas Noverr, Ph.D., a noted Whitman scholar from Michigan State University.
Noverr was instrumental in editing the first two volumes of Whitman’s complete journalism, along with a collection of the poet’s selected journalism, which he edited with Stacy. Stacy received materials related to Noverr’s final two, unpublished, volumes of Whitman’s journalism which will be included in the SIUE archives.
“This collection holds notes, letters, and transcripts, some over 100 years old, regarding Whitman’s journalism between 1848 and the 1880s,” said Stacy. “So far, no comprehensive collection of Whitman’s journalistic output for these years has been published, and this collection offers a wealth of material for future scholars who work in this field.”
Stacy, along with other Whitman scholars, reviewed the materials and cataloged them for future scholars. The team included Stephanie M. Blalock, Ph.D., digital humanities librarian at the Digital Scholarship and Publishing Studio in the University of Iowa Libraries; Kevin McMullen, Ph.D., research assistant professor in the English Department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Stefan Schöberlein, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and director of the digital humanities at Texas A&M University-Central Texas; and Zachary Turpin, Ph.D., assistant professor of American literature at the University of Idaho.
“Like the previous acquisitions of the John Francis McDermott and Andrew Theising collections, the Noverr Collection constitutes a noteworthy gift of national significance in multiple academic disciplines such as history, journalism, and literature and that will especially benefit SIUE faculty and student researchers for generations to come,” said Stephen Kerber, Ph.D., university archivist and unique collections librarian. “It is an honor as well as a pleasure to work with scholars of Dr. Stacy’s stature to preserve such historical research materials and make them accessible.”
“The study of Whitman’s journalism is a burgeoning field that has been revolutionized by the possibilities of digital editing,” Stacy added. “My hope is that this collection in the Bowen Archives brings Whitman scholars to SIUE and furthers the university’s goal of being a regional university with a national impact.”