Smallest Museum-world record set by the Edgar's Closet
TUSCALOOSA, Ala., USA-- Tommy Flowers has put together
a museum dedicated to Edgar Allen Poe into a 22 square feet
closet at University Place Middle School-seting the world
record for the Smallest
Photo: University Place 6th grade math
teacher Tommy Flowers poses for a portrait in his closet museum
at University Place School in Tuscaloosa, Ala. / Photo by
Dusty Compton (enlarge
The museum in its present form is a collection
of photos and objects related to Poe, a Boston native who
died in 1849 at age 40, and his literary legacy.
Some of the items have been donated while others
Flowers obtained from places like eBay, the online auction
site. Plastic hearts, skulls and even a real skeleton crowd
the confines of Edgar's Closet, while dozens of photos line
The museum recognized previously as the world's
smallest is a roadside attraction in Arizona, a 134-square-foot
facility that bills itself as showcasing 'artifacts of ordinary
'We're by far the smallest,' Flowers said, as
he welcomed a visitor to his classroom. But more importantly,
Flowers said, his Poe museum is inspiring his young students
to become interested in literature. 'It's sparked a big interest
in books kids normally wouldn't read,' he said.
'We started reading the comics in class and the
kids really enjoyed them,' he said. 'The main reason I did
this was to get the kids interested in reading the classics.'
In fact, many students enjoyed reading Poe so
much that they began putting together projects based on the
stories and poems they had read. Many of these projects now
form the foundation of Edgar's Closet.
Although Flowers teaches math, he encourages his
students to explore literature. His use of Poe demonstrates
the modern classroom, he said, where teaching requires divergent
subject matters to be tied together.
'My students calculated the square footage of
the museum,' Flowers said with a laugh. 'That's where the
math comes in. This has been a lot of fun for the kids.'
'I would like a few visitors,' Flowers said. 'But
more than anything, I'd like to see a few teachers have museums
in their closets.'
Friday, October 10, 2008