Walt Whitman: Design and Typography

I began my search for a secondary journal article on Walt Whitman by using Jstor, one of my favorite sites for gathering scholarly research.  I kept an open mind by conducting a very broad search. I knew that I wanted to focus on Leaves of Grass in my initial search; however, aside from that, I kept an open mind by conducting very broad search.

Step 1: Go to jstor.org.

Step 2: Enter “Walt Whitman Leaves of Grass” into the search bar and hit “Search.”

Step 1 & 2

Step 3: Find an article of interest. In this case, I chose an article titled “The Design and Typography of Leaves of Grass (1860).”

This particular search yielded a plethora of results. I scrolled through the article titles until I found one that caught my eye.

Step 3

This article from the Huntington Library Quarterly stood out to me because of the words “Design” and “Typography” in the title. I am interested in learning more about Whitman’s role in the publishing process, as well as the changes in design and typography that vary depending on the edition. I hoped to discover the significance behind such changes.

Step 4: Click on the article and read the abstract to gain a better idea of what the article focuses on.

Step 4

After reading the abstract, which discussed Whitman’s role as a printmaker and his role in the design of Leaves of Grass, I decided that this article might yield valuable information.

Step 5: Download the file in PDF format by clicking on the “View PDF” button.

Step 5

This article by Barbara Henry focused on the production of the third edition of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. It provided insights on the difference in the design and typography of the first and second editions of Leaves of Grass in comparison to the third edition. Whitman’s goal for the third edition of Leaves of Grass was to ensure that the typographical design echoed the originality of his work.

Henry also focused on Whitman’s introduction to design and typography, as well as the typographical norms of the time. It would be interesting to use this article to compare and contrast the printing process of the third edition of Leaves of Grass with earlier and later printings of the work.

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