Gothic Literature

October 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

In honor of Halloween, the newest display at our library is highlighting Gothic Literature.

Inspiration:  The idea came from Halloween decorations, commercials, and seeing vampires and monsters all over.  I am reading Dracula this month, and realized that I could highlight quite a few spooky tales in our collection.

Book Selection:  I made myself a list of all of the Gothic Literature I could think of – Dracula, Frankenstein, anything by Edgar Allen Poe, The Woman in White, etc.  I also Googled some lists of Gothic fiction, getting more titles, and realizing that the genre was quite broad and could encompass anything from Dracula to Jane Eyre.  I even decided to include some stories that have some gothic elements to them, like The Hound of the Baskervilles, without directly falling into the Gothic category.  While our library does not have a large fiction section (being that we are an academic library), we do have quite a bit of classic literature, and many of these titles fell into this category.  Some we had multiple copies of, so I tried to pull the most interesting covers, for interest and (since many were the Penguin classics) variety.  Here is a list of the titles I’m using in the display:

  • Call of Cthulhu
  • Castle of Otranto
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
  • Dracula
  • Faust
  • Frankenstein
  • Hound of the Baskervilles
  • House of the Seven Gables
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Jane Eyre
  • The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
  • Northanger Abbey
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray
  • Rime of the Ancient Mariner
  • Ten Great Mysteries by Edgar Allen Poe
  • Turn of the Screw
  • The Woman in White
  • Wuthering Heights
  • The Yellow Wallpaper

Creating the Actual Display:  I wanted to showcase as many of the books as I could.  I like to have some sort of title to the display so that people can see at a quick glance what it is about.  I also added in the castle and the moon for the gothic atmosphere.  The graduated steps the books are sitting on top of are actually created with a few stacks of withdrawn books from our free cart (we give the books away when we deaccession them from our collection).  When the display is over, I’ll just put them back on the cart.

Cost for the Entire Display:  Just the cost of the cloth for the table.  I didn’t get a typical “spooky” print fabric for the cloth since I want to be able to use it again, not necessarily around Halloween.  Plain fabrics rather than printed fabrics have greater re-use value.

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