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Norman & Jeanette Gould Library Launch

Walt Whitman Birthplace Association (WWBA) is proud to announce that the Jeffrey S. Gould Foundation, established by WWBA Trustee Jeffrey S. Gould, has generously donated funds to complete WWBA’s acquisition of the Feinstein Collection of 300 Whitman-related books. The collection includes many rare books, including first-editions of Leaves of Grass and November Boughs.

Jeanette and Norman Gould

The collection will be housed and preserved on the Walt Whitman Birthplace premises and it will be available to the public for scholarly research, historic documentation, and general appreciation of Whitman’s individual and collective writings. All usage of WWBA’s library collection is by appointment and under the supervision of Curator Richard Ryan to best preserve and maintain the books for generations to come. This acquisition increases the WWBA book collection by 18% to total 1,800 volumes.

Miriam with a photo of her late husband Marvin, in front of the Feinstein family’s Whitman collection

Marvin Feinstein was a lifelong book collector and bookseller who lived in Northport, Long Island. His widow, Miriam, and sons, David and Allen, wanted to keep his Whitman collection intact and approached the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association with a donation of forty books and an offer to donate half the value of the remaining collection of 250 books. The Association first appropriated funds to purchase ten books but, upon reviewing the items in the collection, decided to try and raise funds to purchase the entire collection.

When Trustee Jeffrey S. Gould heard of the literary and historic significance of the collection, he generously secured the collection in honor of his parents, Norman and Jeanette Gould. WWBA extends many thanks to Trustee Jeffrey S. Gould and to the Feinstein Family for their work on behalf of literary scholarship and historic preservation. The Gould and Feinstein families will be in attendance at the launch.

Free and open to the public. Refreshments will be provided.

Attendees are asked to email an RSVP to by April 13.