WPI’s Curation, Preservation, and Archives staff are blogging a few of their favorite things to celebrate American Archives Month! What’s your favorite archival object? Let us know in the comments below!
Though he is not a seemingly unusual or particularly attractive gentleman, the humorous Mr. Pickwick, depicted here painted plaster, served as the catalyst for Charles Dickens’ writing career.
Dickens rose to fame through The Pickwick Papers, a series of loosely related events published originally in serial form. Samuel Pickwick is an elder gentleman who is notably kind and wealthy. He founds and acts as long-lasting president to the Pickwick Club. Along with his three comrades Mr. Nathaniel Winkle, Mr. Augustus Snodgrass and Mr. Tracy Tupman, Pickwick makes journeys to obscure locations in London seeking adventure.
Dickens’ humorous sketches of the Pickwick Club’s activities were originally entitled The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club and were published under Dickens’ pseudonym “Boz.”
The WPI Curation, Preservation and Archives is home to the statute of Mr. Pickwick and a bound first edition of The Pickwick Papers, collected and donated to WPI by Mr. Robert D. Fellman.