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Papers relating to Edgar Allan Poe and John Henry Ingram's Poe collection

 Collection — Box: 1-7, Box: 8-14, Box: 15-16
Identifier: MSS 16207

Scope and Contents

The copies and transcriptions of Poe related material in the first series, usually correspondence or manuscripts, includes the names of correspondents, location of the originals if known, the accession number of any material acquired by the University of Virginia and accessioned as a collection before being interfiled in this collection, which was formerly known as the “Poe transcripts.” Also included on each folder is the reference to the page citing each item in "The Collected Letters of the Edgar Allan Poe" by John Ward Ostrom (1903-1993), a professor of English at Wittenberg College, Springfield, Ohio. Some original appearances in print have been transferred to Rare Books. The second series contains non-contemporary correspondence about Edgar Allan Poe or the Ingram-Poe collection, particularly its purchase (see Box 8, Folder 18). Much of the correspondence is with the Librarian of the University, John S. Patton, or University of Virginia faculty. The third series contains various papers, articles, news clippings and printed material arranged chronologically by year, a checklist compiled by John Ward Ostrom, notes on Poe, thesis by Alevia Stiles Alexander, and the unpublished manuscript for “The True Story of Edgar Allan Poe” by John Henry Ingram, also available on microfilm M-2433. The last series contains Poe miscellany, including a cigarette card, photographs, post cards, prints, a scrapbook on Dr. Thomas Holley Chivers compiled by John Dewitt Miller and John Wilson Townsend, 6 Poe Miscellany scrapbooks compiled by John S. Patton, 13 etching blocks for John Henry Ingram illustrations, and an alphabetical index card file for Poe transcripts and copies.


  • Creation: 1809-1970


Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Boxes 1-7 contain material from originals in another institution. No copies, transcriptions, or digital photographs can be made without the written permission of the institution holding the original. The location of all known original documents is indicated on the individual folders.

Biographical / Historical

John Henry Ingram (1842-1916) was an English biographer and editor with a particular interest in the rehabilitation of the character and literary reputation of Edgar Allan Poe, which had been damaged by the memoir of Poe written by Rufus W. Griswold and published in 1850. He was the author of "Edgar Allan Poe His Life, Letters, and Opinions," editor of "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe" (The Ingram Edition), 1874-1875, as well as others such as "Elizabeth Barrett Browning," "Christopher Marlowe and His Associates," and "Chatterton and His Poetry." Ingram was born to John and Henrietta Smith Ingram at Finsbury, Middlesex, England. Upon his father’s death, Ingram had to withdraw from the City College of London and obtained a Civil Service Commission and appointment to the Savings Bank Department of the London General Post Office on January 13, 1868. He spent his days employed in his work as a clerk and his evenings devoted to his real interest of studying and writing about literature, and collecting materials about Edgar Allan Poe. For a much fuller biographical summary of John Henry Ingram, please see the online biographical note: and the biographical sketch in the "Guide to the Microfilm Edition of John Henry Ingram’s Poe Collection," Paul P. Hoffman, editor (1967).


8 Cubic Feet (15 document boxes, 1 card file and 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials



Series I: Copies and transcriptions of Poe related material (Boxes 1-7); Series II: Correspondence about Edgar Allan Poe or the John Henry Ingram-Poe collection (Box 8); Series III: Papers, articles, news clippings or works about Poe (Boxes 9-13); and Series IV: Poe Miscellany, includes prints, scrapbooks (Boxes 13-16).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This part of the Ingram-Poe collection was not actually purchased from Laura Ingram with the main body of the collection (1922 March 17) but assembled by Special Collections staff over the years, some from other manuscript accessions and some copies of materials from other institutions or owners. In 1933, Laura Ingram gave the University of Virginia her brother’s unpublished manuscript, “The True Story of Edgar Allan Poe,” found in boxes 12-13 of this collection.

Existence and Location of Originals

The ownership of all original documents with copies in this collections is indicated on the individual folders when known.

Separated Materials

Some prints and photographs were removed and transferred to the Edgar Allan Poe collection. Several items in this collection were original printed appearances of work by Edgar Allan Poe or about him. These have been transferred to Rare Books for individual cataloging.

Printed items about Poe include: “The Americanism of Poe” by C. Alphonso Smith (PS2638 .S47 1909); “Poe – A Psychoanalytical View” by Beverley Randolph Tucker (PS2631 .T83 1923); “The Grave of Poe” by Eugene Lemoine Didier (PS2632 .D54 1872); “The Kit-kat” with articles by Landon C. Bell and C. Alphonso Smith” (AP2 .K5 v.5 no.1 1916 Copy 2); Centenary concert in the Wanamaker Auditorium commemorative of the Hundredth Anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe (PS2602 .C38 1909); and a review of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Eureka” in "The Indicator," a literary periodical conducted by students of Amherst College, 1849 February (LH1 .A514 I39 v.1 1849).

Othe items include a musical score using Poe’s poem “To Helen” and music by Ch. M. Loeffler (PS2610 .T6 L6 1906); Musical score using Poe’s poem “Dream within a dream” and music by Ch.M. Loeffler (PS2610 .D74 L6 1906); Miscellaneous printed materials from the Poe Alcove, UVA library (PS2631 P6 no. 01-04); Musical score using Poe’s poem “Israfel” and music by Oliver King (PS2610 .I87 K5 1880); and “Home Ballads by Our Home Poets,” includes “Annabel Lee” (PS583 .H65 1865). The bill and program for Brazen Mask, a performance with Poe’s parents in Boston, was transferred to Rare Books in 1977 and cataloged as Broadside 1809 .B67.

Printed items by Edgar Allan Poe include: “A Valentine” (PS2610 .V3 1849); “Mesmerism ‘in articulo mortis’: an astounding and horrifying narrative, showing the extraordinary power of mesmerism in arresting the progress of death” (PS2618 .F3 1846); “The Purloined Letter” (PS2618 .P8 1844); and a facsimile of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” (PS2617 .A1 1905b).

Transfer Note

Many of these Poe related items have been transferred from previous accessions. For the convenience of the researcher, these previous accessions have been noted below in the order of acquisition. These include: MSS 38-305, MSS 38-409, MSS 38-623, MSS 234, MSS 783, MSS 829, MSS 915, MSS 938, MSS 947, MSS 1003, MSS 1107, MSS 1116, MSS 1127, MSS 1176, MSS 1204, 1307, MSS 1307-a, MSS 1411, MSS 1473, MSS 1603, MSS 1739, MSS 2238, MSS 2250, MSS 2304, MSS 2307, MSS 2316, MSS 2336, MSS 2413, MSS 2456, MSS 2572, MSS 2996, MSS 3012, MSS 3012-b, MSS 3012-c, MSS 3138, MSS 3497, MSS 3857, MSS 4440-a, MSS 6577, MSS 6640, MSS 7035, MSS 7035-a, MSS 7381, MSS 7479, MSS 8657, and MSS 9272-a.

Processing Information

This collection was originally cataloged as part of MSS 38-135 but it is not described in the guide to the Ingram-Poe collection. It was commonly called the "Poe transcripts" even though it consisted primarily of copies of Poe correspondence, not transcriptions. Rather than re-write the Ingram-Poe guide to include this material, we decided to split off these boxes and write a guide just for them. Some items in the collection were transferred from other collections in the University of Virginia Special Collections Library and these are noted in individual descriptions at the folder level. Some of this material consists of copies of Edgar Allan Poe papers held at institutions other than the University of Virginia and these folders and boxes (Boxes 1-7) are stamped with that information.

Genre / Form

Papers relating to Edgar Allan Poe and John Henry Ingram's Poe collection
Sharon Defibaugh, Mary Cate Swadba, and Lily Davis
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library Repository

Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library
P.O. Box 400110
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22904-4110 United States