- Going Online to Find Poe Research in Print
The veteran scholar and editor Richard Kopley has produced an impressively detailed and comprehensive bibliography on Edgar Allan Poe in the Oxford Bibliographies Online series. His richly annotated list of 160 printed works, completed in 2012, is valuable as a recent contribution to Poe research and scholarship. Thorough, balanced, and broad in scope, Kopley’s bibliography offers a highly useful instrument for a variety of research needs.
Kopley’s contribution on Poe joins bibliographies on nineteenth-century American literature already in the Oxford series—covering the American Renaissance, Emily Dickinson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, and Henry David Thoreau. Oxford provides an online sample (only subscribers can view the entire bibliography) containing Kopley’s introduction, which reviews Poe’s biography, and his general overviews, recommending eight works. The first four are introductory: Benjamin F. Fisher, The Cambridge Introduction to Edgar Allan Poe (2008); J. R. Hammond, An Edgar Allan Poe Companion (1981); Kevin J. Hayes, Edgar Allan Poe (2009); and Julian Symonds, The Tell-Tale Heart: The Life and Works of Edgar Allan Poe (1978). These are followed by four full-length studies: Hervey Allen, Israfel (1934); Daniel Hoffmann, Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe Poe (1972); Arthur Hobson Quinn, Edgar Allan Poe (1941; 1997); and Kenneth Silverman, Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance (1991). The age of the selections reveals something about the state of Poe studies; only two of them come from the last decade, and five are at least thirty years old. To peruse the online samples, go to http://oxfordbibliographies.com, type “Edgar Allan Poe” (no quotes) in the search box, and select Kopley. (Or google “oxford bibliographies kopley”—again no quotes.)
Kopley’s bibliography embraces more than two dozen subject areas, beginning with the introduction, general overviews, general editions, specific editions, facsimile editions, teaching editions, and reference works; continuing with sections on catalogs, bibliographies, biographies, Poe’s family, his personal reminiscences, journals, correspondence, reception, influence, criticism, race and gender, and collections; and concluding with poetry, tales, The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym, Eureka, critical essays and reviews, film and [End Page 131] theater, Poe illustration, Poe and print culture, allusions, and Poe’s relations to other writers.
Kopley’s entries are well buttressed with expert and judicious annotations. Let’s look at one example, his brief but balanced entry on a reissue of a familiar edition: James A. Harrison, The Complete Works of Edgar Allan Poe [17 vols. (New York: AMS Press, 1979)].
The first scholarly edition of Poe, published in 1902 and since reprinted, the Harrison edition is still useful, especially for the texts not yet included in more-recent book-format scholarly editions. However, despite the title, the Harrison edition is not complete, and some works of criticism included are not Poe’s. For supplementary indexes, see Dameron and Stagg 1966 and Pollin 1968(both cited under Reference Works)
That this is not a conventional bibliography is immediately obvious from the unexpected appearance in the last sentence of authors and dates embellished with underlines . When viewed by subscribers in the full online version, the underlines become hypertext links, cross-referencing other Poe information elsewhere in the Oxford Bibliographies Online. (Please note: nonsubscribers will see only the introduction and general overviews.) Unlike other Poe bibliographies, this one is not printed, and it is not sold to individuals; although it is only available online, it is unique among other Poe research tools on the Internet. Oxford Bibliographies Online is a professionally selected and annotated resource that is sold only through institutional subscriptions, typically to librarians at research institutions; while individual teachers and students cannot subscribe on their own, they can login through subscribing institutions where they have research privileges.
In examining this new research tool, experienced Poe scholars will recognize at once the familiar editions of primary texts (Harrison, Mabbott, Pollin, Library of America, the Poe Society of Baltimore), letters (Ostrom, as revised by Pollin and Savoye), reference works (Thomas and Jackson, Pollin), and teaching editions (Kopley, the Levines, Kennedy), as well as selected secondary studies...