Title: Circulation records of Thomas Davis, December 1848. Charging Book, Providence Athenæum.
The charging books of the Providence Athenæum detail the circulation records of members, their families, and friends. During 1848 Edgar Allan Poe was briefly engaged to Providence native Sarah Helen Whitman, and the two courted in the stacks of the Providence Athenæum (click here to learn more about their story). A well-respected poet herself, Whitman was closely affiliated with prominent authors in Boston and New York, and a hostess of literary salons in Providence. While the time Poe spent in Providence as well as his courtship with Whitman were brief, the two explored the literary collections together at the Athenæum, and Poe checked out at least one book.