Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version

Spring 2006

Document Type



Documentary Editing, Vol. 28, no. 1, Spring 2006. ISSN 0196-7134


2006 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


I began working as a literary textual editor in the summer of 1968, my second year of graduate school at Northwestern University. At that time Northwestern housed The Writings of Herman Melville and I was taken on board as a trainee. I will always remember the shining moment when I realized that I had mastered the Hinman Collator and that a great future awaited me because of it. I spent the next three years working there, and in the next decade got up to speed on my own. I served as a vettor for the Center for Editions of American Authors, which, incidentally, sealed over one hundred volumes between 1966 and 1976, which gives you an idea of how exciting things were at this time in the editorial field. Later, I began work on my own editions of Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Margaret Fuller. Let us now go back, briefly, to those glorious years, when there was truly a textual moment.