The Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays is located in the John Hay Library. It is composed of approximately 250,000 volumes of American and Canadian poetry, plays, and vocal music dating from 1609 to the present day. It is perhaps the largest and most comprehensive collection of its kind in any research library. The works of most well-known (and many thousands of little-known) American and Canadian poets and playwrights, from the 18th century to the present day, are held comprehensively. There are significant holdings of early American literature, hymnals, songsters, little magazines, contemporary fine printing, extensive collections on Walt Whitman and Edgar Allan Poe, women's writings, gay and lesbian literature, modern first editions, Yiddish-American literature, and French-Canadian literature.
Illustration: Walt Whitman; frontispiece to Leaves of Grass (Brooklyn, 1855)