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UCSB Editor-in-Chief Receives Award for Thoreau Work

Medal Given for Work on Collection Spanning All of Author’s Writings


Elizabeth Witherell, editor-in-chief of The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau, received the Thoreau Society Medal in recognition of “significant and sustained contributions that exemplify the ideals and values represented by Henry David Thoreau.” Witherell was presented with the award at the society’s annual meeting in Concord, Massachusetts, on July 12, Thoreau’s 191st birthday.

The Thoreau Edition has resided at several universities since 1966, and finally made UCSB its permanent home in 2005. The 30-volume series is currently located in Davidson Library; once finished, it will contain the contents of all 47 volumes of Thoreau’s journal, his work for publication and correspondence.

Witherell became a part of the Thoreau Edition staff in 1974 and became editor-in-chief six years later. Ten of the project’s current 15 volumes have been published under her direction by the Princeton University Press.

The Thoreau Society Medal means a great deal to me, coming as it does from people whose own commitment to the study of Thoreau is so deep,” said Witherell. “The award is not only a validation of the work I’ve done so far, it’s an encouragement to continue the work and complete it.”

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