Susan Jaffe Tane
Susan Jaffe Tane is a longtime bibliophile and an avid book collector with memberships in New York’s Lotos and Grolier clubs, two of the oldest literary societies in the United States.
While she has always been an admirer of Edgar Allan Poe, Tane began her collection in 1987 when she came across a copy of The Raven and Other Poems at an antique show. Excited by the possibility of owning a great work of literature, she purchased it and her eyes were “opened … to book collecting.” Tane has since begun collections of several 19th century authors, including Mark Twain and Herman Melville. She generously donated her Melville Collection to Cornell University Library in 2005.
Tane sits on the board of directors of The Edgar Allan Poe Museum Foundation in Richmond, Va. and is also a sponsor of the Poe Studies Association. In July 2006, she gave a presentation titled, “Collecting Poe,” at St. Catherine’s College in Oxford, England.
Listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who of American Women for more than 25 years, Tane began her career as a school teacher. She later launched Fashions by Appointment, a small business dedicated to dressing local business women. Tane also served as the vice president of marketing for a stainless steel and plastic company for 15 years that manufactured process equipment for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries and was co-inventor of Patent 4609120, a plastic container and handling assembly.
Tane is also very involved in philanthropic work. She has established camp scholarship funds for underprivileged children and is also a sponsor of Boston University’s Favorite Poem Project Summer Poetry Institute for Educators. In addition, Tane and her dog, Misha, are Delta certified pet therapy partners and will be working this fall with the Westport, Ct. library as part of their “Reading to Rover” program.
Tane serves on the leadership council for SHARE, the executive committee of the American Jewish Congress and is a former senior vice president and chair of the Commission for Women’s Equality. She is a Founders Circle Donor for Partners in Medicine at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center and also holds memberships in various local clubs, libraries, museums and art centers.
She grew up in Malverne in Long Island, New York. A graduate of Malverne High School, Tane earned a bachelor’s degree in teaching from Boston University and has pursued post graduate work at Hofstra University and C.W. Post.
Widowed, Tane has two children and four stepchildren. She is a world traveler and loves to play bridge.
As Ernest L. Stern Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts and Assistant Director for Collections, Katherine Reagan provides leadership for curatorial programs in Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, where she has been on the staff since 1996. Reagan teaches “History of the Book” for Cornell’s Department of English, and is a past president of the American Library Association’s Rare Books and Manuscripts Section, the national organization governing the work of rare book and manuscript libraries. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley, and her master’s degree from the Rare Book Program at Columbia University’s School of Library Service.
Shirley Samuels is a professor of English and the chair of the History of Art Department at Cornell University. Previously, she served as the director of Women’s Studies at Cornell. She has held appointments at the University of Delaware, Brandeis University, and Princeton University. Samuels has taught extensively in the area of American literary studies. Her courses, writing and academic talks have explored the nature of sentiment, romance, and iconography in American literature. Samuels is the author of numerous books, articles and reviews, including Facing America: Iconography and the Civil War (Oxford 2004) and the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to American Fiction 1800-1865 (paperback 2007), which has a section on Poe. She is currently at work on an anthology of American literature from 1800-1865. Samuels will moderate a graduate student seminar titled, ”Poe and His Circle, “ which will be held on September 29th to mark the opening of “Nevermore: The Edgar Allan Poe Collection of Susan Jaffe Tane” at Cornell University Library.
Richard Kopley, professor of English and interim director of academic affairs at Penn State Worthington Scranton, is the author of The Threads of “The Scarlet Letter”: A Study of Hawthorne’s Transformative Art (University of Delaware Press, 2003); editor of Poe’s The Narrative of Arthur Gordon Pym (Penguin, 1999), Prospects for the Study of American Literature (NYU Press, 1997), and Poe’s Pym: Critical Explorations (Duke University Press, 1992); and co-editor of Resources for American Literary Study (AMS Press). Former president of the Poe Studies Association and president-elect designate of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society, Kopley has published scholarly articles on Poe, Hawthorne, Melville, and Thoreau. He is now at work on a book-length study of Poe’s Dupin tales. Kopley wrote the catalog introduction for the Tane exhibition at Cornell.