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.