The Emily Dickinson collection includes original poems, manuscripts, and letters from Dickinson to family and friends, spanning her life from 1830 to 1886, as well as numerous rough drafts and fragments of her poems. The collection also includes material from Dickinson scholars and early editors: Mabel Loomis Todd, Millicent Todd Bingham, and others.
Our manuscript holdings include several fascicles and hundreds of letters, but the great strength of the collections at Amherst is the numerous rough drafts and fragments of Dickinson's poetry. She often jotted down single lines and raw snatches of poetry on whatever materials were close at hand. Her writing materials range from slit open envelopes, such as "The way hope builds his house," to scraps of wallpaper and a chocolate wrapper. It is impossible for any transcription of these fragments to capture the important details of how Dickinson originally laid out her poetry on the page.
The digitized collection contains all of Dickinson’s manuscripts, drafts, fragments, and letters held in Archives & Special Collections as well as Mabel Loomis Todd's manuscript transcriptions and publication correspondence.
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