The Walt Whitman Collection
The Walt Whitman Collection was donated by Alice and Rollo G. Silver. It is made up of first editions, collected editions, translations, and reprints of the poet’s own work, as well as contemporary works about him; many are inscribed or association copies. It also includes holograph letters and literary manuscripts, many photographs, engravings and memorabilia, and correspondence with Whitman’s biographers and other collectors. Selected highlights include the first printing of Leaves of Grass (Brooklyn, 1855), the famous “Death Bed” edition of the same work (Philadelphia, 1891/92), and nearly all of the revised editions published in the thirty-six years between the two. Also present are the novel Franklin Evans (Whitman’s first book), an unpublished manuscript version of “Sail Out for Good, Eidólon Yacht!” from Leaves of Grass, and books from Whitman’s library.
Examples of the work of the most influential private presses are represented in the Collection: the Dove Press's edition of Milton's works; the Golden Cockerel Press (Canterbury Tales, and Troilus and Criseyde); the Allen Press; an impressive assemblage of Nonesuch Press books and ephemera; and bibliographies and works about the presses. The collection also contains Mr. Silver's writings on printing history and kindred subjects in books and scholarly journals.
An example of fine modern printing from the Allen Press.