Imagine standing in an endless field. Each blade of grass represents a possibility, a scrap of information, a piece of knowledge. Your task is to search this landscape and know its seemingly boundless contents, in hopes that one – just one – strand proves valuable.

What sounds like some sort of mythical punishment thought up by ancient Greek poets is actually a modern-day labor of love for many a literary detective, like Zachary Turpin ’07 (M.A.), who scours archives, both real and virtual, in the hopes of discovering lost works from some of the most famous names in American literature.

By Mark Berry
Photography by Leslie McKellar