At a Glance


Experience personal accounts of Civil War hospitals and read poetry drafts in Walt Whitman's journals.

American Memory, Library of Congress

Recovered Notebooks from the Thomas Harned Walt Whitman Collection

This site contains facsimiles of four of Walt Whitman's original notebooks—ranging in length from 24 to 210 pages—and two color photographs of a cardboard butterfly—with words from a poem by John Mason Neale printed on its ventral side—photographed on the poet's finger. These items disappeared from the Library of Congress in 1942 but were returned in 1995.

The notebooks contain both prose and poetry, and include ideas for prospective journal articles, early versions of poems that were used in Leaves of Grass, and notes taken during hospital visits to wounded Civil War soldiers. The site also includes articles on the preservation of these items.