Today’s writers turn on their computer and type a way. They can edit, add or delete, and get suggestions with the tap of a key. That has not always been the case and the Theodore Roosevelt Center in partnership with the New York Public Library have posted the digitized original manuscript of The Winning of the West by Theodore Roosevelt.
The manuscript is composed of 363 images and shows the steps of Roosevelt’s writing process. As a writer I am interested in TR’s process. To see his own handwriting and to think of him sitting at his desk, rubbing his head, cleaning his glasses, and taking up a pen to cross out and rewrite a phrase sparks my imagination. Looking at this document I again see not only the “legend” of TR, but the man. The man who sometimes struggled to find the right word or phrase.
This manuscript also marks the beginning of a new and exciting partnership with the New York Public Library. A conversation with the library began in the fall of 2014, a research trip was made in March of 2015, and we received the digitized manuscript in December of 2015. We hope to collaborate with the NYPL on digitizing additional materials in the future.
Please click here to see full manuscript.
The Winning of the West. 1889. Theodore Roosevelt Digital Library. Dickinson State University. From the New York Public Library.