Harding and the Thoreau Society

Dublin Core


Harding and the Thoreau Society


As a founding member of the Thoreau Society whose passion and perseverance made the group a reality, Walter Harding was a core part of the oldest society devoted to the study of an American author. He served as secretary from 1941-1991 and was instrumental in the organization and publication of the Thoreau Society Bulletin, which incorporated the Thoreau-related work of many different scholars as well as that of Harding himself. The Bulletin served as an outlet for his thoughts and insights on Thoreau, and gave him a chance to share his enthusiasm with like-minded individuals nationwide.


These documents serve to illustrate Harding's intimate involvement in the Thoreau Society and what it meant to him.


Walter Harding


SUNY Geneseo Milne Library Archives Collection




Casey Vincelette



Collection Items

A Thoreau Collection
Beginning with a brief overview of the foundations of his interest in Thoreau, this heartfelt address made before the Thoreau Society was Harding's way of announcing his plans to bequeath to them his collection of "Thoreauviana", as he was inclined…

A Rambling History of the Thoreau Society
Harding discusses the formation of the Thoreau Society from his own very informed point of view. Note that he mentions his use of the Thoreau Society Bulletin to publish features which were important to him on a personal level. He describes the…

The Concord Summer Seminars
What began as a summer course for Geneseo students became a wide-reaching retreat with many scholarly works stemming from the inspiration which Harding provided. The same drive which led him to found the Thoreau Society continued to drive other,…

Thoreau Society Bulletin-- Gandhi and Thoreau
Harding was highly involved in his role as secretary, and used the Thoreau Society Bulletin to talk about important contemporary events--such as the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi--through the lens of Thoreauvian thought.

The Early Days of the Thoreau Society
One of the last memoirs that Harding would write on the origins of the Thoreau Society, the decades of hindsight between Harding's account and the events he describe allow him to recount many events familiar to those who have read a great deal of…

Thoughts on Editing Bulletin 150
A very condensed version of Harding's tale of the Thoreau Society's beginnings, this blurb appeared as the front page article in the 150th Thoreau Society Bulletin. It is a personal but brisk recollection from Harding's perspective, and is a summary…

The Thoreau Society: A History
In four parts, Harding reminisces on the roots of the Thoreau Society for the enjoyment and reflection of his fellow members. Inserted among other Thoreau-related items in the semiannual bulletin, this casual and personal reflection is a shortened…

The Thoreau Society Bulletin #1
As a creation of the very early days of the Thoreau Society, this bulletin gives a fascinating glimpse into the process of the organization coming into being. At the time of this publication, the Thoreau Society was still in its formative stages, and…

The Thoreau Society Bulletin #2
An interesting contrast arises when this bulletin is compared to the first one, which had been published the previous year. There seems to be more direction and structure, and the activities of the Thoreau Society seem more clear. The evolution of…

Thoreau Society of America. Bulletin.
The devoted work which Harding put into his homemade bulletins can now been seen in published volumes, courtesy of the Thoreau Society.
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