The Detroit Public Library opened for service on March 25, 1865. The five thousand book collection was located in one room of the old Capitol High School on Griswold Street. The Main Library, a white marble Italian Renaissance style building designed by Cass Gilbert and partially funded by a gift from Andrew Carnegie, opened in 1921. The building offers several spaces open to the public for meetings and events, and the library hosts an author reading series, as well as other literary events.
Edgar Allan Poe lived at 203 North Amity Street with his aunt, grandmother, and two cousins from 1833 to 1835. It was here that he wrote his first horror story, “Bernice.” The Poe House is a national historic landmark and is open to visitors on a seasonal schedule or by appointment.
The Maryland Historical Society, founded in 1844, is the oldest cultural institution in Maryland. The society “collects, preserves, and interprets objects and materials reflecting Maryland’s diverse heritage.” Their collection includes the original manuscript of the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
While taking cover in Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore in 1814, Francis Scott Key composed what is arguably the nation’s most famous poem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Every year on the Fourth of July, Fort McHenry hosts a reenactment of the Battle of Baltimore along with a fireworks display. As a National Monument, Fort McHenry is also open year-round for educational tours.
The building at 1307 Park Avenue, in Baltimore’s Bolton Hill neighborhood, is the last place where F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda lived together. During his stay in the apartment Fitzgerald wrote his last complete novel, Tender Is the Night. The building remains a private residence and is marked with a blue plaque in Fitzgerald’s honor.
Operated by the Atlanta History Center, the Margaret Mitchell House features guided tours of the apartment where Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind, a Gone With the Wind movie exhibition, an exhibition showcasing the life and times Mitchell, and the Margaret Mitchell gift shop. Throughout the year, visitors can enjoy a variety of programs presented by the Literary Center at the Margaret Mitchell House.
Built in 1812, this wooden farmhouse was where Edgar Allan Poe spent the last years of his life, from 1846 to 1849. Poe wrote his most famous poetical works here, including "Annabel Lee," "The Bells," and "Eureka." Now restored to its original appearance, along with authentic period furnishings, the Poe Cottage is open to vistors and the general public. Film presentations and guided tours are offered.
The Poe Museum began over a century ago when Edgar Allan Poe collector and researcher James Howard Whitty and a group of literary enthusiasts met in Poe’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia to create the state’s first monument to a writer. The Poe Museum’s collection is now the most comprehensive in the world and its programs reach thousands of scholars, students, teachers, and literary enthusiasts every year. Museum guests can see such rarities as Poe’s boyhood bed, his clothing, and a lock of his hair.
The Writers Place is a literary community center, library, and gathering place for writers, readers, and the general public. The center hosts workshops for teens and adults, as well as readings and open mic nights. In addition to three regular reading series, additional readings are held throughout the year by local, regional, and visiting writers of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction.
The Mechanics’ Institute is a leading cultural center that includes a vibrant library, a world-renowned chess program, and a full calendar of engaging cultural events, including author readings, writing workshops, technology classes, civic discussions, book groups, film screenings, and community gatherings. Founded in 1854 to serve the educational and social needs of mechanics—artisans, craftsmen, and inventors—and their families, the Institute today is a favorite of avid readers, writers, downtown employees, chess players, and the twenty-first-century nomadic worker.