The Bram Stoker Society
The Bram Stoker Society(pop culture)
The Bram Stoker Society was founded in 1980 to encourage the study and appreciation of the work of Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula. The society has developed a program to promote the appreciation of Stoker’s work, especially as it relates to his life in Ireland, his birthplace. The society encourages research into the Irish associations of the Stoker family, promotes tourism connected with Stoker and other Irish gothic novelists (such as Sheridan Le Fanu), and campaigns for plaques to be placed on the Irish sites associated with the Stoker family. In 1983, partially in response to the society’s efforts, a plaque was placed at No. 30 Kildare Street in Dublin, where Stoker resided in 1871. Stoker’s granddaughter Ann Stoker, and his grandnephew Ivan Stoker-Dixon, attended the unveiling of the plaque, sponsored by the Irish Tourist Board.
In September 1986, the society suspended its independent existence and reorganized as The Bram Stoker Club of the Philosophical Society in Trinity College, Dublin. Stoker was at one time president of the Philosophical Society. On the occasion of the inauguration of the society, the Bram Stoker Archives were opened. The archives consisted of Leslie Shepard‘s collection of Bram Stoker materials (first editions, autographs, and other memorabilia) on display in the Graduate Memorial Building. The exhibition was intended to be on permanent public display, but the issue of lack of proper security for the collection led Shepard to withdraw the materials from the room in May 1989.
In the wake of the disruption caused by the withdrawal of the collection, the society reorganized separately from the club and the college. The club has continued in existence as an approved independent body in Trinity College, and is affiliated with the Bram Stoker Society in Dublin. It currently sponsors the Bram Stoker International Summer School for a weekend each June (since 1991), held in Clontarf, Dublin, near Stoker’s birthplace. It publishes a newsletter and an annual journal. It has pressed for the establishment of a permanent Bram Stoker museum in Dublin, a goal yet to be realized. Until his death in 2004, Les Shepard was the primary driving force in the society. The society may be contacted through Brian J. Showers (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Albert Power (email@example.com). It maintains an Internet presence at http://www.brianjshowers.com/stokersociety.html.