Boston Public Library

At the Central Library

Back to School: Geography in the Classroom

BacktoSchool_extractedbannergraphic_300Central Library, Copley Square (Norman B. Leventhal Map Center)
September 2, 2014 to January 25, 2015
Monday–Thursday: 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Friday–Saturday:10 a.m.–5 p.m.,
Sunday: 1–5 p.m.

American schoolchildren have studied geography since the late 18th century. Traditionally viewed as an essential subject for boys’ and girls’ education, geography was taught to children in primary school, and to young adults studying in high school and college settings.

In this exhibition of forty maps, globes, games, atlases and related objects, visitors will follow the evolution of geographic education, examine the visual aids used by teachers in the classroom, and marvel at unique student-produced geography projects from the late 18th to the 20th centuries.


Poe LetterPurloined Letters: Literary Correspondence and its Unintended Recipients

Central Library, Copley Square (Special Collections Lobby)
October 17, 2014 to January 30, 2015
Monday–Friday: 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

What happens when a letter reaches an unintended recipient? For writer Edgar Allan Poe, the letter has been purloined: diverted from its original destination and “stolen” by an unexpected reader. This exhibition features an array of rare and important purloined letters from the Boston Public Library’s collection, including handwritten missives from such notable figures as the incarcerated Oscar Wilde, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s sister Elizabeth, and mural artist Edwin Austin Abbey. It also showcases writers who composed experimental works in epistolary modes—including Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula—and explores prefaces and letters to the reader in early printed books such as Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene.

This exhibition is a collaboration between graduate students and faculty of the Department of English, University of Massachusetts, Boston, and the BPL’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Department.