University of Chicago Library

Guide to Walt Whitman, "The Bible as Poetry." Manuscript 1883

© 2012 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary


Whitman, Walt, "The Bible as Poetry." Manuscript



Manuscript Number:

Codex Ms263


0.1 linear feet (1 volume)


Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.


Original manuscript of Whitman's essay, first published in The Critic in 1883. Included with the manuscript are two portraits of Whitman, a copy of the published essay and Whitman's cover letter to the publishers Jeannette Leonard Gilder and Joseph B. Gilder. Codex MS 263.

Information on Use


The manuscript is open for research.

Digital Images

Original documents, texts, and images represented by digital images linked to this finding aid are subject to U. S. copyright law. It is the user's sole responsibility to secure any necessary copyright permission to reproduce or publish documents, texts, and images from any holders of rights in the original materials.

The University of Chicago Library, in its capacity as owner of the physical property represented by the digital images linked to this finding aid, encourages the use of these materials for educational and scholarly purposes. Any reproduction or publication from these digital images requires that the following credit line be included: Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

The images presented here may include materials reflecting the attitudes, language, and stereotypes of an earlier time period. These materials are presented as historical resources in support of study and research. Inclusion of such materials does not constitute an endorsement of their content by the University of Chicago.

The University of Chicago Library appreciates hearing from anyone who may have information about any of the images in this collection.


When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Whitman, Walt, "The Bible as Poetry." Manuscript, Codex Ms 263, Hanna Holborn Gray Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library

Scope Note

Walt Whitman’s essay “The Bible as Poetry” was first printed in a literary weekly called The Critic on February 3, 1883. A revised version appeared in November Boughs, a collection of Whitman’s prose and verse published in Philadelphia in 1888.

This volume includes the original manuscript of “The Bible as Poetry,” in Whitman’s hand, with his corrections and marginal notes probably made by the editorial staff of the The Critic. Bound with the manuscript are a title page and pages featuring the essay from a copy of November Boughs, two portraits of Whitman and a letter in which Whitman offers his essay to the publishers Jeanette Leonard Gilder and Joseph B. Gilder for a fee of $15.

Bound in red morocco, with gold lettering. 31cm x 24 cm.

22 fols. (including printed title page, inlaid portraits, leaves of MS, printed text, letter and envelope, fully foliated.)

Related Resources

The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:


Subject Headings


Volume 1

Codex Ms 263

View digitized documents.