American Literature

American literature includes first editions of Anne Bradstreet, Phillis Wheatley, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, presentation copies of books by Herman Melville housed in a bookcase that once belonged to him; 19th-century dime novels; and first editions and letters of Emily Dickinson and Christopher Morley. The single largest collection, that of the poet Marianne Moore, encompasses her personal and literary papers, including correspondence with contemporaries such as Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, H.D., William Carlos Williams, Elizabeth Bishop, and Langston Hughes; as well as her working library, which spans a wide range of subjects, including literature, religion, art history, natural history, and sports.

Collection Highlights

Related Posts

Unwrapping Poe’s Mummy

When we think of Edgar Allan Poe, we think of his horror tales.  His face is the icon of macabre fiction.  And so when we see that he once wrote a tale about a mummy, we expect the full panoply of a monster story: Egyptian curses, the dead revivified, perhaps a monstrous beetle that devours …

Romance at the Rosenbach

Love is in the library: over the holidays, two visitors got engaged while on a tour of the historic house. Admittedly, some of us were in on the plan. One of our artistic staff members created a library display case with a copy of the bride-to-be’s favorite book, Jane Eyre, opened to the page with the famous line “Reader, I …

Call me Rosenbach.

On November 14, 1851, Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, or the Whale was published by Harper Bros. in the United States. Although not well-received by the critics and reading public at the time, this novel is now recognized as a masterpiece of literature. The Rosenbach has a substantial collection of Melville’s letters and first edition of his …

Reading Moby-Dick for the first time

I’ve never read Moby-Dick. I know! I work at The Rosenbach, where one of the world’s best collections of Herman Melville’s work resides, and I haven’t read his most famous book. I’ve admired his bookcase many times (if you haven’t seen it, come on one of our guided house tours!) but have always had the …

Yolanda Wisher’s Rent Parties celebrate creative communities

This Thursday, we’ll celebrate the first of Yolanda Wisher’s Rent Parties, a quarterly event that celebrates the literary past with readings by contemporary poets and music performance by Yolanda Wisher and her house band, The Afroeaters. The tradition of the rent party dates back to the Harlem Renaissance, when communal gatherings of artists and musicians fed the outpouring …

The Mystery of “The Mystery of Marie Roget”

When we say that Edgar Allan Poe invented the detective story, we may as well say that Poe invented the detective. In 1841, when “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” was first published in Graham Magazine, Boston was still five years away from founding the first professional police detective unit in the United States. Indeed, in creating …

We the Detectives: Exhibitions and Immersive Theater Exploring the History of the Mystery

Parkway Central Library Department of External Affairs 1901 Vine Street Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189 Phone: 215-567-7710 Contact: Alix Gerz Free Library to Present We the Detectives, Exhibitions and Immersive Theater Exploring the History of the Mystery Special exhibitions at the Rosenbach and the Free Library’s Rare Book Department merge with theatrical performances by New Paradise Laboratories …

6 Questions with Yolanda Wisher and Dick Lourie

On February 9, poets Yolanda Wisher and Dick Lourie will co-host a program at the Rosenbach entitled Blues for Black Opals. Published between 1927 and 1928, Black Opals was a Philadelphia-based literary magazine founded and edited by young black intellectuals and writers. Blues for Black Opals will celebrate the poetry from that era of social …

The Rosenbach Presents RECENT ACQUISITIONS FROM THE BEQUEST OF MAURICE SENDAK

The Rosenbach 2008-2010 Delancey Place Philadelphia, PA 19103 Contact: Sara Davis Phone: 215-732-1600 x 132 Email: [email protected]   The Rosenbach Presents Recent Acquisitions from the Bequest of Maurice Sendak Rare Books From the Beloved Illustrator’s Personal Library Shed Light On His Literary Imagination PHILADELPHIA, January 18, 2017— The Rosenbach is proud to present Recent Acquisitions from the Bequest of Maurice Sendak, on view January 31 – April 30, 2017. …

When Willie Wet the Bed

Unless you come from the Midwest or from Amherst, Massachusetts., the name Eugene Field may not instantly ring a bell. However, you probably know some of the works of this poet and newspaper columnist best remembered for his sentimental pieces for children and about childhood (although he also translated Horace and wrote an erotic story …