Saturday, September 12, 2009

Edgar Allan Poe in Austin

Last week two new exhibits went up at the Harry Ransom Center on the University of Texas campus, which is literally about a city block from where I work. The Harry Ransom Center (or HRC to us hip kids) is one of a few* very important and impressive repositories on campus at UT. It houses all sorts of stuff, from what is supposed to be the first daguerreotype to one of the Gutenberg Bibles to Robert DeNiro's personal memorabilia collection.

One of these exhibits is the Edgar Allan Poe collection. I plan to take a couple of hours next week during work (an extended lunch break, don't get in a tizzy) and check it out. Items include handwritten items by Poe, artwork tied to publications of his work, etc... Seems quite nifty.

There's also an exhibit called "Other Worlds: Rare Astronomical Works". I guess its an exhibit on the history of astronomy which, between you and me, I know absolutely nothing about.

For the benefit of my family, who mostly don't usually seem to understand what the group I work for does for a living: I'm linking to the Edgar Allan Poe Digital Collection. Now, this isn't our work, but its representative of the technology we manage and are bringing to 18 separate institutions across Texas. So, they might now have a Poe collection, but they are likely to have some collection between their walls that could easily be shared with the world.

I agree that I am much more excited about seeing these items in person than I am about looking at images on my monitor, but I am also thrilled that the HRC is working to put these sorts of things online as part of their exhibit. I'm just trying to figure out if they're using Content DM as their repo...

Anyway, if you took high school English, you most likely are the barest bit familiar with Poe's work. I've only read chunks of it, but I think it will be fun to get down there and maybe learn a little something. Several items appear to be on loan from other institutions, so Austinites should come see them while they're in town.

*UT also houses the Benson Latin American Collection, The LBJ Presidential Library, The Blanton Art Museum and, I think, at least another two museums, a Federal Depository Library (with several component sub-libraries), and a ridiculously large football stadium which will be used 6 days this year.


Jason said...

We know what you do for a living. You work in the bowels of the machine that is the University of Texas, paving the way for the domination and subjugation of the people of Texas following the imminent appearance of our robot overlords.

The League said...

I am trying to make things easier for SkyNet. This is true.