Exhibit Preview: Poe in the Classroom

After many months of research and sifting through rare books, manuscripts, newspaper articles, and more, it’s finally time to start putting together our exhibits. In just a few short weeks the online exhibition will be up and ready for public viewing. My group has decided to showcase how perceptions of Poe have changed over time by looking at various aspects of him and his work. For my specific focus, I’ve chosen to research how Poe is examined in the classroom. I’m going to be looking at how Poe has been taught at different points in history and how perceptions of him or points of focus may have changed over time. The following is a preview of the objects that will be displayed in the exhibit.

The first object is one that I’ve already mentioned in a previous blog post. This is the children’s book The Story of Edgar Allan Poe for Young Readers by Sherwin Cody. This book is interesting for my exhibit because it is a biography of Poe written in 1899 published by the Werner School Book Company. The name of the publisher hints that this series was probably widely read and used by schoolchildren throughout the U.S. with publishing houses in Chicago, New York, and Boston.

The second object that I have chosen comes from the Edgar Allan Poe Collection here at Hopkins. I’ve not been able to view this object yet, but it seems very promising. It is a copy of lecture notes from an American Literature class that contains notes on Poe from the early twentieth century. This is going to be great to look at, especially for comparison to my own notes I have on Poe as a student in the twenty-first century.

The third object is an article on Poe from The Johns Hopkins Alumni Magazine in 1930. This article, titled “Poe in the light of literary history” was written by Professor of English Edwin Greenlaw and focuses on how to view Poe in comparison with the rest of the literary world. It’s interesting that this comes from one of Hopkins’ own professors and sheds a light on how Poe was studied during this time.

My fourth object comes from the book Approaches to Teaching Poe’s Prose and Poetry. This is a modern guide to teaching Poe as it was published in 2008 and will give insight into how Poe is taught in classrooms today.

Lastly, I chose a poster of the poem “Annabel Lee” printed in Baltimore in 1935. This specific poster was meant for classroom use with the intention of many children viewing it day after day. It gives a unique perspective on Poe in the classroom because it is a different tool for learning than the books or essays described above.

That’s all there is for now but be sure to check out the full exhibit coming soon!


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