Browse Exhibits (4 total)

1968 - Civil Disobedience and Walter Harding at SUNY Geneseo


Walter Harding was an advocate for social change during the tumultuous 1960s on campus at the State University at Geneseo where he worked as a professor of English. This exhibit incorporates Harding's speech to protesting students, while also connecting to the works of Henry David Thoreau's "Civil Disobedience."

The Spring of '65: Walter Harding and William Kelley


An exhibit exploring the story of how Walter Harding brought "the lost giant of American literature" to SUNY Geneseo in 1965. 

Walter Harding Chronology


This exhibit is dedicated to the history of Walter Harding and his relationship to Thoreau. Each collection highlights different periods in Walter Harding's life: his early interest in Thoreau, his work as a founding member of the Thoreau Society, his career as a professor of English at SUNY Geneseo, and his work in his later career. Walter Harding's study and enthusiasm for Thoreau was unremitting and resulted in some of the finest and most thorough scholarship of Henry David Thoreau.

This exhibit was compiled by students in SUNY Geneseo's English 340 class throughout the spring 2015 semester. 

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Walter Harding's Contributions

This exhibit focuses on the contributions that Walter Harding made throughout his lifetime. Harding is one of, if not the reason why people today read and enjoy Henry David Thoreau’s works. Walter Harding, a beloved Geneseo professor, made a lasting impact on his students and all he encountered while teaching.  

The four collections presented on this website (Interview with Allen Harding, State University of New York at Geneseo Contributions, Nationwide Contributions, and Global Contributions) all explore how Walter Harding’s influence is still present, and important, today. The Interview with Allen Harding, Walter Harding’s son, is a fascinating, personal account about what sparked his father’s interest in Thoreau. The State University of New York at Geneseo Contributions collection has various articles that were written by Geneseo’s own newspaper, and other sources that described his work while he worked at the college. The Nationwide Contributions collection contains amazing letters from both Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King Jr. addressed to Harding about Thoreau and his incredible book Walden. Finally, the Global Contributions focuses on his Japanese lecture tour series, proving that his influence spread across the globe.

Walter Harding’s legacy is still apparent today, and it is obvious that without him many of us would not have experienced and enjoyed Thoreau’s writings.