d'Archive Episode 44: Melville, Marginalia, and Olson's Moby Dick (Part 2)

This episode continues a conversation from Episode 43 with archivist Melissa Watterworth Batt about poet Charles Olson (1910-1970) and his collection which documents an intensive study into Herman Melville’s personal library and the marginalia found within it. Olson worked with Melville’ relatives as well as librarians, private collectors, and book dealers to attempt to track down the “lost five hundred,” the approximate number of books Melville’s widow had sold to a Brooklyn dealer in 1892 after Herman’s death. In addition we discuss Olson’s book, Call Me Ishmael (1947) which incorporated his research, the history of Herman Melville’s whaling experiences, and his own postmodern poetics. This is part 2 of 2 featuring seafaring songs and archival recordings, and you are encouraged to go back to part 1 first.

Featured Collections

Call me Ishmael

The Charles Olson Research Collection

Melville in the Berkshires

Portents 13: Ann Charters – Melville in the Berkshires

Featured Media

The Dying Sailor To His Shipmates by Paul Clayton – Whaling And Sailing Songs (From The Days Of Moby Dick)

Logo by Melica Stinnett

About The Author

Graham is an Archivist overseeing the Human Rights and Alternative Press Collections at the UConn Library, Archives & Special Collections. His work focuses on the archivist as activist and expanding access to archives for a diverse audience.

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