At the Central Library
Central Library in Copley Square (Norman B. Leventhal Map Center)
February 2 to October 25, 2015
Monday–Thursday: 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Friday–Saturday:10 a.m.–5 p.m.,
Sunday: 1–5 p.m.
Maps of imaginary places have accompanied literature for centuries. Visualizing the fanciful worlds described in works of fiction sets the stage for events taking place in a story and often provides insight into the characters themselves.
In this exhibition of forty items, visitors will discover maps from a variety of fictional genres, learn how authors create imaginary worlds, and appreciate why descriptive geography is essential to the story. People and creatures—even those who exist only in tales—are related to place, and maps of their imaginary worlds allow readers to be transported into the geography of fantasy. View the online exhibition to learn more.
Central Library, Copley Square (Special Collections Lobby)
October 17, 2014 to April 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.