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Celebrating Camden's World-Famous Poet

Photography by Hoag Levins ...| ...June 1, 2006

CAMDEN, N.J. -- The Camden County Historical Society, whose headquarters and library are located just a few hundred yards from Walt Whitman's tomb, is a literary treasure trove for those interested in the poet's life and works. Selections from its holdings of rare Whitman books, documents and images were put on display as part of the 'Walt Whitman & His Invincible City' tour jointly sponsored by the Society, the The South Jersey Tourism Corporation and Harleigh Cemetery.

The Society's archives include original editions of various versions of "Leaves of Grass,' the verse-based autobiography and social commentary that catapulted Whitman to fame and national controversy. Other works, like Horace Traubel's multi-volume 'With Walt Whitman in Camden,' and collections of Whitman's speechs, newspaper and magazine articles cover the arc of his entire life.

The collection includes items such as richly-bound Victorian leather editions of some of Whitman's poems (above, left) published shortly after his death. There are also numerous special editions of his collected poems published during the early 20th century, such as the 1940 'Leaves of Grass' illustrated by Lewis C. Daniel (above, right).

The Whitman image collections includes photographs, illustrations and commercial art such as the cigar box logo created by Camden tobacconist F. Hartmann & Sons who sold a Walt Whitman brand Cuban cigar (above, left). Among the Whitman documents on file is a copy of the poet's handwritten will (above, right).

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