WPI Dickens Collection Exhibit at Whistler House in Lowell

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, MA - March 27, 2002 - "Illustrating Dickens: Selections from the Robert D. Fellman Collection" is on display at the Whistler House Museum of Art, 243 Worthen St., Lowell, Mass., through April 14. Noted Dickensian Robert D. Fellman bequeathed his collection to Worcester Polytechnic Institute's George C. Gordon Library in 1996. The Whistler House exhibit is the most extensive showing of this collection and the first outside WPI. It is made possible with generous support from Gordon Library and the WPI Humanities and Arts Department, the Lowell Cultural Council and the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

Since Fellman's collection was installed at WPI, other scholars have donated additional materials and the university has purchased supplementary books, journals and prints - making WPI the premier source for Dickens materials in central Massachusetts. The collection is housed in the Robert D. Fellman Dickens Room, part of WPI's Special Collections facilities in Gordon Library. It now includes more than 150 volumes of Dickens' writings, along with manuscripts, autograph letters, volumes in sets, Dickens-related periodicals, letters, biographies and illustrations, slides and videotapes.

Conference Features WPI English Professor/Dickens Scholar

The Whistler House exhibit is being presented in conjunction with "Dickens and America: Literature, Industry, and Culture," an international, interdisciplinary, multi-grade level conference and public festival that commemorates the 160th anniversary of Charles Dickens's visit to the mills of Lowell. The event will be held from April 4 to April 6 at various locations within the city. Visit http://www.uml.edu/Dickens/ for more information.

WPI English Professor Joel J. Brattin will present "'A Mockery So Gross and Monstrous': Slavery in Dickens's Manuscript of American Notes" during the conference's plenary session at 2:45 p.m. on Friday, April 5. Brattin is the author of Our Mutual Friend: An Annotated Bibliography and has edited Our Mutual Friend for the Everyman Dickens series. He is president of the Dickens Fellowship, Worcester branch, a trustee and past president of the Dickens Society, and a member of the editorial board of Nineteenth-Century Prose. He also wrote "Fellman, Dickens, and Illustration" for the exhibit catalog, which is available at the museum and at the conference and from Gordon Library Special Collections. Rodney Obien, WPI archivist and special collections librarian, wrote the catalog's preface.

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