UH Moment

UH Moment: Walt Whitman

“I would say I have very warm leads, so I am going to be unblinkingly looking at these newspapers all day, every day,”

For Zachary Turpin, the Library of Congress is more than the largest library in the world.

“It is like the proverbial candy store,” Turpin said.

Over the next two summers, Turpin will be like a kid in said candy store. As part of the prestigious Kluge Fellowship, he will have full access to the Library of Congress to search for lost works from American authors.

“I feel truly honored that I am one of the 12 that get to go,” Turpin said.

Turpin, a doctoral candidate in English at the University of Houston, made international news last year when he uncovered a 165 year old Walt Whitman novel. That led to the Kluge Fellowship, which will give him the chance to search through and digitize thousands of old newspapers and periodicals that have not been read in centuries.

“To be able to go see these and be one of the only people who has opened them in 100 years is going to be quite the privilege,” Turpin said.

Turpin does not know what he will find, but he is confident that there are more lost works to be found.

“I would say I have very warm leads, so I am going to be unblinkingly looking at these newspapers all day, every day,” Turpin said.

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