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Keywords: 'Walt Whitman Archive' (this phrase)
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University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE 68503-2427)
Matt Cohen (Project Director: July 2019 to present)

PW-269321-20
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

Totals:
$349,856 (approved)
$349,856 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2020 – 5/31/2023

Walt Whitman Archive Infrastructure Revitalization

Revitalizing the digital architecture of the Walt Whitman Archive to make it easier to search and use the materials on the website.  Specific improvements would include changing the programming framework, creating a machine-readable interface for the website’s code, images, and metadata, revising files to improve the metadata, and leveraging existing metadata through a new search engine.

The Walt Whitman Archive (https://whitmanarchive.org) is one of the most prominent open-access digital archives, with hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, many from secondary and post-secondary schools. Now nearing its 25th year, the Archive is the leading resource for scholars of Whitman and a model for digital editions. Its depth has enabled its success, but has also created an infrastructure that is showing its age. We propose a critical redevelopment of the project's technical framework for both broad access and long-term sustainability, overhauling its information architecture, access framework, and public interface. Such a rebuild will make it easier for users to search, organize, and re-use our materials and to access it from mobile devices, and will allow more flexibility for future development. It will also serve as a model for other major scholarly resources whose digital infrastructure needs preservation, lest past investments of money, time, and energy be lost.

University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Lincoln, NE 68588-0007)
Matt Cohen (Project Director: July 2016 to March 2021)

PW-253797-17
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

Totals:
$126,301 (approved)
$120,273 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2018 – 12/31/2019

Walt Whitman's Annotations

The addition of 1,400 new documents, updates to the database of Whitman’s reading, and creation of curated theme portals for the Walt Whitman Archive.

America's most famous poet, Walt Whitman, left behind an unusual and extraordinary collection of marginalia and annotations. This hitherto uncollected and largely unpublished set of extraordinarily diverse and sophisticated documents shows America's most famous poet in-the-making. With NEH support, we published 800 pages of these documents in 2015, and for the first time, by way of the freely accessible Walt Whitman Archive, students, scholars, and casual readers are now able to explore Whitman's self-education, through his reactions to the literature, history, science, theology, and art of his time. Having achieved our goals for that grant, we now apply for NEH funding to preserve and give free public electronic access to more of Walt Whitman's manuscript annotations. We apply for two years of implementation funding to publish 1400 more pages of documents, update our database of Whitman's reading, and create curated thematic subsections to draw more attention to the project.

University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Lincoln, NE 68588-0007)
Kenneth Price (Project Director: December 2015 to present)
Ed Folsom (Co Project Director: February 2016 to present)

RQ-249901-16
Scholarly Editions and Translations
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Totals:
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2017 – 6/30/2020

Unearthing The "Buried Masterpiece" of American Literature: A Digital Variorum of the 1855 Leaves of Grass

Preparation for online publication of 19th-century American author Walt Whitman's first edition of Leaves of Grass, as part of an existing digital archive devoted to Whitman. See website at http://www.whitmanarchive.org.

The Walt Whitman Archive seeks NEH support to edit the first edition of Leaves of Grass and the constellation of draft documents that contributed to it by developing a digital variorum of this edition of Leaves from manuscript and notebook beginnings through its many variations in print. Whitman wrote the poetry, designed the book, and set some of the type, and his first Leaves was stunning both as verse and as a material object. This project will entail careful work on at least ninety-nine manuscripts contributing to the volume. Our goals are to advance understanding of this paradigm-shifting book and to enable future scholarship by drawing on some of the opportunities for representation unique to digital editing.

University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE 68503-2427)
Malte Rehbein (Project Director: October 2012 to May 2013)
Brett Barney (Project Director: May 2013 to April 2016)

HG-50047-13
NEH/DFG Bilateral Digital Humanities Program
Digital Humanities

[White paper]

Totals:
$165,005 (approved)
$165,001 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 12/31/2015

Diachronic Markup and Presentation Practices for Text Editions in Digital Research Environments

Using three case studies -- the Walt Whitman Archive; an edition of James Joyce's Ulysses; and an edition of J.W. Goethe's Faust -- the proposed project will experiment with methods of advanced TEI markup, create methods for detailed scholarly queries currently unavailable, and develop user interfaces to best display the variants exposed through diachronic markup. The German partner, the University of Frankfurt, is requesting 139,634€ from DFG.

The project is situated in the Digital Humanities area of literary criticism and textual scholarship, in particular the analysis of literary works in diachronic depth, that is: under perspectives of the genesis of their texts. Here, only the digital medium allows substantial future research and education in literary studies. In this context, the project addresses three major desiderata: 1. testing, improving, and making usable diachronic markup, that is the digital representation of document sources (based on TEI), 2. tools to operate on this data under the light of research requirements, and 3. means to publish and visualize the results of these operations. The project promises to develop and publish such tools and to provide best practices for a wide range of use cases. It does so by bringing together three leading projects in digital literary studies, covering different eras of German, US, and British literature: J.W. Goethe, Walt Whitman, and James Joyce.

University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Lincoln, NE 68588-0007)
Kenneth Price (Project Director: December 2011 to June 2021)
Ed Folsom (Co Project Director: December 2011 to June 2021)

RQ-50658-12
Scholarly Editions and Translations
Research Programs

[Grant products]

Totals:
$330,000 (approved)
$329,846 (awarded)

Grant period:
8/1/2013 – 1/31/2017

Walt Whitman as an Author Before Leaves of Grass

The preparation for online publication of a selection of 19th-century American author Walt Whitman's early published and unpublished writings as part of an existing digital archive devoted to Whitman. (36 months)

The Walt Whitman Archive, a digital archive that makes Whitman's vast work easily and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers alike, seeks to expand its content to include Whitman-authored materials written before the 1855 edition of Leaves of Grass. This "foreground" period consists of Whitman's novel, Franklin Evans (1842); his roughly two dozen short stories and vignettes initially published between 1841 and 1848 in news and literary papers; his unpublished pre-1855 prose manuscripts; his pre-Leaves of Grass notebooks; and a significant selection of Whitman's journalism in which he develops a persona across multiple articles. The Whitman Archive proposes to gather, edit, and annotate Whitman's early materials for digital publication and will offer, for the first time, a seamlessly integrated presentation of Whitman's literary contributions in the lead-up to his masterpiece, Leaves of Grass.

University of Nebraska (Lincoln, NE 68503-2427)
Kenneth Price (Project Director: July 2011 to April 2016)

PW-51082-12
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

[Grant products]

Totals:
$275,000 (approved)
$275,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2012 – 7/31/2015

An Integrated Guide to Walt Whitman's Literary Manuscripts

Creation of finding guides to Walt Whitman's prose manuscripts held at more than 70 repositories together with images of the documents. The project would also develop an integrated guide that relates each manuscript to the work to which it contributed.

The Walt Whitman Archive (whitmanarchive.org) seeks a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to create item-level finding guides to Walt Whitman's prose manuscripts, which are held at more than seventy individual repositories. The finding guides will be written in Encoded Archival Description (EAD) format, and we will associate with each description high-quality digital images of the manuscript material. These individual guides, linked to digital images, will then be dynamically joined in an integrated guide, using a system of identification that relates each prose manuscript to the conceptual "work" to which it contributed. When joined with the Archive's similarly implemented, award-winning guides to Whitman's poetry manuscripts, the EAD records created for Whitman's prose manuscripts in this project will provide unprecedented documentation of and access to the literary manuscripts of a major literary figure.

University of Texas, Austin (Austin, TX 78712-0100)
Matt Cohen (Project Director: July 2010 to July 2014)

PW-50772-11
Humanities Collections and Reference Resources
Preservation and Access

Totals:
$168,519 (approved)
$143,590 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2011 – 4/30/2014

Walt Whitman's Annotations

Creation of an online archive of Walt Whitman's manuscript annotations, which would allow users to explore Whitman's reactions to the literature, history, science, theology, and art of his time.

This project aims to preserve and give free electronic access to Walt Whitman's manuscript annotations. This hitherto uncollected and largely unpublished set of documents shows America's most famous poet in-the-making. From classical writings to Tennyson, from Persian poets to phrenological journals, the influences on Whitman's work were manifold. For the first time, students, scholars, and casual readers will be able to explore Whitman's self-education, through his reactions to the literature, history, science, theology, and art of his time. The annotations will be published at the Walt Whitman Archive, allowing us to link these annotated documents to later ones they influenced. We will also offer a database of Whitman's reading. Finally, using a customized search engine and the interface created in this project, we will offer analytical tools for archive users that will help researchers shed new light on Whitman's writing in the broad context of 19th century literature and culture.

University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Lincoln, NE 68588-0007)
Kenneth Price (Project Director: November 2007 to April 2016)

RQ-50338-08
Scholarly Editions and Translations
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Totals:
$300,000 (approved)
$300,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2008 – 6/30/2011

Walt Whitman's Civil War Writings

A comprehensive electronic edition of Walt Whitman's Civil War writings. (36 months)

The Walt Whitman Archive will create a comprehensive edition of the Civil War writings of Walt Whitman, probably the most important literary interpreter of this conflict. Support from the National Endowment for the Humanities will allow us to complete this work by 2011, in time for the observance of the sesquicentennial of the outbreak of the War. The War profoundly shaped Leaves of Grass, the first masterpiece of American poetry, and Whitman extensively depicted and analyzed the Civil War in journals, notebooks, letters, essays, journalism, memoirs, and manuscript drafts. We will electronically edit, arrange, and publish -- often for the first time -- the hundreds of documents that give voice to Whitman's experience of the war. In addition to making these documents freely available, our work will help to model for other scholars best practices in creating, publishing, and sustaining electronic editions.

University of Nebraska, Lincoln (Lincoln, NE 68588-0007)
Kenneth Price (Project Director: February 2005 to June 2009)

CZ-50114-06
Special Initiatives
Challenge Programs

Totals (matching):
$500,000 (approved)
$500,000 (offered)
$500,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2004 – 3/31/2009

The Walt Whitman Archive

Endowment for staff and other costs of managing the digital Walt Whitman Archive.

The year 2005 marks the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass (1855), a declaration of American literary independence and the founding book of American literary democracy. Whitman gave epic voice to our country, memorable articulation to American ideals, and expressed through his art the crisis of Civil War and the cultural possibilities of democracy. Founding principles of our country--freedom and equality--shaped his free verse style, his vernacular usage, and his subject matter. The 150th anniversary of Leaves of Grass is also the 10th anniversary of the Walt Whitman Archive < http://www.whitmanarchive.org > (1995-present). The Archive is providing a complete record of the "American bard," thus giving the general public and scholars at all levels the opportunity to read and study the work of this central spokesman for America. The Archive has begun the unprecedented process of providing free access, via the world-wide web, to the entire corpus of a writer who deepens and enriches our sense of who we are and of what we can become as Americans. We have accomplished a great deal in our initial ten years of long-term undertaking (a projected thirty years of major editorial work along with concurrent and indefinitely ongoing work to foster the scholarship, teaching, and learning the Whitman Archive makes possible). We have produced a large amount of high quality content, garnered grant support from three different federal agencies and a private foundation; established the infrastructure for our work; and built a talented and cohesive team of scholars, technical experts, and library staff. We need, however, to establish secure financial footing. With the support provided by an NEH Challenge Grant, we will create the first fully realized "born digital" edition of a major American writer.