Emily Dickinson Collection
Scope and Contents of the Collection
The Emily Dickinson Collection documents the creative work and personal life of Emily Dickinson, spanning her lifetime, from 1830 to 1886; her family and friends; and the early publication history of her work. The Collection also includes material from Dickinson scholars Mabel Loomis Todd, Millicent Todd Bingham, Jay Leyda, and others. The bulk of the material falls into the period 1850-1955. The Collection occupies approximately 20.5 linear feet of shelf space.
This collection includes original poems, manuscripts, and letters from Emily Dickinson to family and friends; images of the poet including the daguerreotype and silhouette; physical artifacts related to Emily Dickinson; manuscript transcriptions; printers' copies and proofs; Mabel Loomis Todd's correspondence, research indices, and writings; and material from or about Dickinson's friends and family, including correspondence, photographs, objects, and scrapbooks.
This collection is organized into seven series:
Since material in the Collection had been rearranged before it was received, there is no evidence of original order. The majority of the manuscripts were organized, listed and numbered by Jay Leyda prior to donation in 1956. After donation to Amherst, the manuscripts remained in the order given by Leyda and researchers used a card catalogue system created by him for access to the materials. Between 1999 and 2006, the Collection was reviewed and arranged and described following current archival standards, while maintaining the previous Leyda manuscript numbers. The result is more detailed access to information in all parts of the Collection. When possible, documentation about previous handling was maintained.