Contributed by Josh Hager
On Historically Stated, we often highlight our one-of-a-kind manuscript collections and the most interesting finds in the University Archives. We encourage all readers to visit Historical State to explore our digitized collections. We also encourage you to visit our Collection Guides to see what you could examine in a future research visit. Yet our collections are not limited to the manuscripts and photographs you would find in the above collections. We also have many rare books that are available for research. Search for our rare books in the same way that you would search for any other book at D.H. Hill Library by using the Online Catalog. Select an advanced search and limit the location of the item to Special Collections (D.H. Hill). All of your results will be rare books in our collection.
Our rare books cover topics from across all academic disciplines. A lot of the most often used books come from fields that are also strongly represented in our manuscript collections, such as design, entomology, and architecture. Some of our other rare books are first or difficult-to-find editions of works by prominent authors such as Henry David Thoreau, Rudyard Kipling, and Mark Twain, just to name a few examples.
To highlight one book in particular, the Special Collections Research Center holds a specially-compiled volume of Edgar Allan Poe’s prose works entitled Tales of Mystery and Imagination. Unfortunately, our copy is not a first edition, as George G. Harrap & Co. published it in London in 1919. Yet this particular volume of Poe’s works is most notable for its unique illustrations by Irish artist Harry Clarke. In each of his drawings, Clarke borrowed from his style of staining glass to create images that are at once Gothic in atmosphere, rich in texture, and terrifying in detail. Clarke’s images convey the visceral nature of Poe’s most famous works such as The Murders in the Rue Morgue and The Tell-Tale Heart. This image is just one example from the work, but it illustrates the depth of Clarke’s portrayal of Poe’s classic tales. We encourage any interested researcher to come and use our rare books in person in order to encounter your own “tales of mystery and imagination.”
Please visit us at http://www.lib.ncsu.edu/specialcollections