The Walt Whitman Archive (NINES)
The Walt Whitman Archive is an electronic database that collects Walt Whitman’s published works, manuscripts, biography and correspondence, criticism, pictures and sound, resources, and information about the archive. The purpose of the archive is to provide an electronic research and teaching tool for the convenience of scholars, students, and general readers. Incorporating written material, major life work, notebooks, manuscript fragments, prose essays, letters, and voluminous journalistic articles, the archive aims to compile Whitman’s writing in order to provide an accessible research database to a large audience.
Considering that The Walt Whitman Archive is distributed by the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities at the University of Nebraska, the audience is directed toward but not limited to professors and college students. In affiliation with the University of Nebraska, researchers trust the database for accurate information regarding the works and biography of Whitman. The archive is well organized and easy to manipulate, thus allowing professors and college students quick and easy access to specific information. The format of the archive is a similarly divided to that of an outline: Main topic, subtopics, and specific documents. With each subtopic, a brief description informs the reader of what individual files contain.
The purpose of this archive is to compile the extensive works of Whitman and organize the information in an research friendly database. The Walt Whitman Archive achieves its purpose effectively and is a successful research and learning tool for college campuses nationwide. From a single organized database, researchers can readily find material regarding their topic of interest without having to refer to multiple archives on Whitman. The archive proves useful in its simplistic appearance and easy access links. From the News and Updates section on the homepage, it is apparent that the website is frequently updated. There are links to Facebook, Twitter, and Blogspot thus making a scholarly database accessible to a large and popular audience. With the organization of the database, frequent updates, and popular links, I expect this archive to have long-lasting success for future Whitman researchers. As a college student and an English major, I directly benefit from this database through extensive research and or analytical writing on Whitman.