Harry Ransom Center Introduces Edgar Allan Poe Digital Collection

The Harry Ransom Center, a humanities research library and museum at The University of Texas at Austin, has introduced the Edgar Allan Poe digital collection, an archive of 4,000 images of more than 200 materials.

Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe's fair copy manuscript of the final stanza of "The Raven," ca. 1846.Image courtesy of Harry Ransom Center

The collection includes materials ranging from Poe's correspondence and manuscripts to letters about Poe and his writings by Arthur Conan Doyle, Stephane Mallarme and Charles Baudelaire.

The materials can be viewed online.

The digital collection accompanies the 2009 bicentennial exhibition "From Out That Shadow: The Life and Legacy of Edgar Allan Poe," a joint venture between the Ransom Center and the Small Special Collections Library at the University of Virginia. The exhibition opens at the Ransom Center on Sept. 8 and runs through Jan. 3, 2010.

The digital collection, which will remain on the Web site after the exhibition concludes, includes images of all Poe manuscripts and letters at the Ransom Center with a selection of related archival materials, two books by Poe annotated by the author, sheet music based on his poems and portraits from the Center's collections. Poe's manuscripts and letters are linked to transcriptions on the Web site of the Poe Society of Baltimore.

Visitors will be able to view Poe's manuscripts of short stories such as "The Domain of Arnheim" and "The Spectacles" and poems such as "Annabel Lee" and part of "The Raven." Also featured are books belonging to Poe, including the author's annotated copies of "Eureka" and "Tales and Poems," showing how he added several sentences to the end of "The Gold Bug."

More than 15 interactive page-turning simulations are also online for some of the manuscripts and books, including "Tamerlane and Other Poems/by a Bostonian," "The Spectacles," "Eureka: A Prose Poem," "The Red Masque," "The Raven" and "Other Poems [and] Tales."

The Ransom Center acquired the majority of its Poe holdings with the purchase of the William Koester collection in 1966.