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March 2005

Hawthorne: Bicentennial Exhibition at the Phillips Library
Highly interactive site about a great American writer.
Grade Level: Pre-K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

This online exhibit was designed by the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, to commemorate the bicentennial of Nathaniel Hawthorn’s birth in 1804. It is an interactive exploration of his life and career
This well-designed interactive site is easily navigated. Users choose the number of the volume to explore to reveal the table of contents for the issue as well as a right side menu to other related parts of the exhibit. Macromedia Flash is required.

Nathaniel Hawthorne is a notable figure in 19th century American Literature. Although more famous for such works as The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables, this site features the “The Spectator,” a handwritten newspaper that Hawthorne produced when he was sixteen that clearly shows his wit and talent. Visitors to the site can view all seven of the original volumes that were published. Each of the digitized manuscripts can be enlarged for closer viewing and includes an interactive table of contents. Included in the papers are articles that comment on the issues of the day, advertisements, want ads and poetry. The multimedia section features articles such as photographs, manuscripts and other articles related to Hawthorne’s life and career such as his pocketbook, desk, cardholder, portrait and even an original review written by Edgar Allen Poe. This is a great site for teachers, students, or anyone interested in learning more about the writing of Hawthorne.


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