9. Grip, the Raven
Grip the raven, Colonel Richard Gimbel collection of Edgar Allan Poe, Rare Book Department, Free Library of Philadelphia.
While touring the Rare Books Department in the Free Library, visitors may notice two beady black eyes following their every move. Those eyes belong to Charles Dickens’ preserved pet raven, Grip. Dickens procured the raven while he wrote Barnaby Rudge, to accurately portray the raven in the novel. Edgar Allan Poe wrote a literary review of Barnaby Rudge in Graham’s Magazine and many believe that Grip is the inspiration for Poe’s, “The Raven.” Grip is on display in the Rare Books Department and visitors can view him without an appointment.
Grip is part of the Richard A. Gimbel Edgar Allan Poe Collection, along with original manuscripts and publications of Poe’s works. Most of the massive collection isn’t openly displayed but visitors are encouraged to make an appointment at least a day in advance to study non-showcased items from the collection. Items must be viewed one at a time in the Reading Room and visitors are asked to make their specific requests when booking an appointment.