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Under the Banner of Waverley explores connections between the fictional worlds of Walter Scott’s global bestsellers, entitled the Waverley novels, and the swath of American towns that bear their name, from the Mid-Atlantic states through the Midwest. Drawing upon colorful visuals, community archives, interactive maps, and work by Scott scholars, this site charts the establishment of these communities while investigating themes that may have resonated with town founders.

Goals: to highlight the distinctiveness of this little-examined phenomenon; to collect data and resources of interest to Waverly denizens, students, academics, librarians, and aficionados of Scott’s fiction; to share stories, maps, and illustrations that collectively develop a narrative about Midwest migration and culture; and to welcome suggestions and collaborators. 

Envisioned and written by Anne Stapleton (Associate Professor of Instruction, Dept. of English), Under the Banner of Waverly would not be possible without the expertise of many individuals in the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, in particular the insights and digital wizardry of Nikki White (Digital Humanities Research and Instruction Librarian), Rob Shepard (GIS Specialist), and Heidi Wiren Bartlett (Creative Coordinator/Designer); support from the Department of English, University of Iowa; generous assistance from many people met during travels to Waverly communities; private collections of historians and scholars; and abundant archives housed in the University of Iowa Libraries and public libraries across the United States.

If you are interested in contributing stories, data, memoirs, photographs, or other documents, please contact Anne Stapleton: https://english.uiowa.edu/people/anne-stapleton