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Originally published in Teaching the Works of Willa Cather, ed. Steven Shively and Virgil Albertini. Maryville, MO: Greentower Press, 2009. 228-244.


This essay discusses many of the opportunities for teachers I believe are present in the Willa Cather Archive (, particularly in the way the Archive makes new materials available or older materials available in a new way. Additionally, this essay suggests some of the implications of the Archive’s digital presentation of resources. However, the place of digital scholarship in academic life is still evolving, and students and teachers are just getting accustomed to using the form. Given this circumstance, many of my thoughts are inconclusive, observations based upon preliminary understandings into how this resource affects our classrooms. I avoid confident pronouncements on the nature of these effects and instead articulate what I see as the most likely changes the Cather Archive might bring to the teaching of Willa Cather’s works.