Harris Collection of American Poetry and Plays -- Research Guide

Edgar Allan Poe

The Collection

Poe daguerrotype

The holdings in the Harris Collection of works by and relating to Edgar Allan Poe are some of the Library's most distinguished. Over 1,100 titles are held, ranging from rare works published during Poe's lifetime to modern editions of his letters, illustrated works, and comics based on his writings.

Perhaps the best-known and most frequently requested Poe title is the daguerreotype taken in Providence on November 13, 18 48 . Known as the Whitman or Hartshorn daguerrotype, it is one of only seven daguerreotypes of Poe taken during his lifetime. The image was given by Poe to the local poet Sarah Helen Whitman, whom Poe was courting at the time. The Masury and Hartshorn Daguerrotype Studio was in downtown Providence, just across the river from College Street.

Sarah Helen Whitman's papers, also in the John Hay Library, provide a fascinating window into the life of the poet, particularly in his last year.

Poe is an author whose writings particularly lend themselves to illustration, and the holdings of illustrated editions of Poe are exceptional. Notable are: Histoires Extraordinaires (1927) and Nouvelles Histoires Extraordinaires (1928), both Baudelaire translations published in Paris by KRA, Editeur, and illustrated with velvety black "eaux-fortes à la manière noire" by Carlo Farneti; Le corbeau, The raven, poeme (1875) translated into French by Stephane Mallarme, and with illustrations by Edouard Manet; The masque of the red death : a twentieth century version of Poe's classic tale(1996), text and images by Maureen Cummins; Robert Creeley's libretto for Ligeia (1996), designed and printed by Philip Gallo at the Hermetic Press; Al Aaraaf (1995), an artist's book by Joe D'Ambrosio, among many others.

Early editions of Poe's works in the Collection include: Poems (Second Edition, 1831); first printings of "Manuscript Found in a Bottle", "William Wilson", and "The Pit and the Pendulum", all published in The Gift: a Christmas and New Year's Present between 1835 and 1842; the 1838 New York and London editions of The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym of Nantucket, the New York edition being S. Foster Damon's copy; The Conchologist's First Book (1839); and the two-volume Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque (1840), among others.

See Also:

Related Collections:
Sarah Helen Whitman Papers

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Related Internet Resources

Brown University Library Resources: Licenced Databases and Electronic Books:

American Poetry (1600-1900)
Over 40,000 poems by more than 200 American poets from the Colonial period to the late nineteenth century, including Edgar Allan Poe.

Bibliography of American Literature
Nearly 400,000 records of the literary works of approximately 300 American writers from the per iod of the Revolution to 1930. Includes a bibliography of first printings of the works of Edgar Allan Poe.

The Cambridge companion to Edgar Allan Poe[electronic resource] / edited by Kevin J. Hayes 260 Cambridge ; New York :Cambridge University Press, c2002

A historical guide to Edgar Allan Poe [electronic resource] Edited by J. Gerald Kennedy
Oxford, New York : Oxford University Press, 2001

Literature Resource Center
Current; provides access to biographies, bibliographies and critical analysis of authors from every age and literary discipline. The LRC covers more than 90,000 novelists, poets, essayists, journalists and other writers, and indexes publications such as Contemporary Literary Criticism , Dictionary of Literary Biography , and Contemporary Authors . Includes some basic information on Poe.

MLA International Bibliography
1926-present; the MLA International Bibliography is a bibliography of journal articles, books and dissertations. The electronic version of the bibliography contains over 1.5 million citations from more than 4,400 journals and series and 1,000 book publishers. Excellent source for citations to critical works on Poe.

Nineteenth Century Masterfile
1802-early 20th Century; provides online access to an enhanced version of the major Anglo-American subject index for periodicals of the 19th century, as well as a number of other general and publication specific indexes for journals, newspapers, and books of the era. Includes many citations to Poe.

The Poe encyclopedia [electronic resource]. Frederick S. Frank and Anthony Magistrale
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1997

Walker, I. M. Edgar Allan Poe [electronic resource] : the critical heritage / edited by Ian Walker
London ; New York : Routledge, 1997

See also the Library's Resource Guide for literature in English

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Other Internet Resources

Edgar Allan Poe Cottage (Bronx, New York)

Edgar Allan Poe Museum (Richmond, Virginia)

Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site (Pennsylvania)

John Henry Ingraham's Poe Collection (University of Virginia)

Works by Edgar Allan Poe at Project Gutenberg


Essential References

Blanck, Jacob,1906-1974
Bibliography of American Literature. Compiled by Jacob Blanck for the Bibliographical Society of America.
New Haven :Yale University Press,1955-1991.
Vol. 7 includes descriptive bibliography of first printings and other works by Poe.

A companion to Poe studies. Edited by Eric W. Carlson
Westport, Conn. :Greenwood Press, 1996

The Edgar Allan Poe review
Fogelsville, Pa. : Penn State Berks-Lehigh Valley College
v.1:no.1- spring 2000-

Heartman, Charles F.(Charles Frederick), 1883-1953
A bibliography of first printings of the writings of Edgar Allan Poe; together with a record of first and contemporary later printings of his contributions to annuals, anthologies, periodicals and newspapers issued during his lifetime, also some spurious Poeana and fakes. Compiled by Charles F. Heartman and James R. Canny.
Rev. ed
Hattiesburg, Miss., The Book farm, 1943

Poe, Edgar Allan, 1809-1849
John Henry Ingram's Poe collection [microform]. Paul P. Hoffman, editor; Mary F. Crouch, assistant editor; Richard S. Pride, editorial assistant
[Charlottesville, University of Virginia Library], 1967 [c1966]
9 microfilm reels.

Poe, Edgar Allan,1809-1849 245 10
John Henry Ingram's Poe collection. Guide to the microfilm edition of John Henry Ingram's Poe Collection
[Charlottesville : University of Virginia Library], 1967

The Poe encyclopedia [compiled by] Frederick S. Frank and Anthony Magistrale
Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 1997

Poe studies
[Pullman, Wash., Washington State University Press]
v.4- 1971-

Pollin, Burton Ralph
Dictionary of names and titles in Poe's collected works
New York: Da Capo Press, 1968

Pollin, Burton Ralph
Images of Poe's works : a comprehensive descriptive catalogue of illustrations.
New York : Greenwood Press, 1989

Pollin, Burton Ralph
Word index to Poe's fiction

New York : Gordian Press, 1982

Robertson, John W.
Bibliography of the writings of Edgar A. Poe
2 vols.
San Francisco, Russian Hill private press, Edwin & Robert Grabhorn, 1934

Thomas, Dwight
The Poe log a documentary life of Edgar Allan Poe, 1809 -1849 . Dwight Thomas and David K. Jackson
Boston, Mass. :G.K. Hall,c1987

Whitman, Sarah Helen,1803-1878
Edgar Poe and his critics.
Providence, R.I., Tibbitts and Preston,1885


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Image: Edgar Allan Poe. Daguerreotype photograph by Samuel W. Hartshorn. Providence, 14 November 1848. Gift of Hortense Webster. Harris Collection of American Poetry and PLays, John Hay Library.