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Emily Dickinson collection

Identifier: MS 0716

Scope and Contents

The Emily Dickinson Collection contains correspondence, a collection of poems, subject files, writings about Dickinson, and reproductions of photographs and other images. The bulk of this collection consists of secondary sources concerning Emily Dickinson and dating from 1924 to the present. Most of this material is written in the English language; the collection also includes writings in Japanese and other languages. Of particular note is a letter that Dickinson wrote on November 6, 1847, while she was a student at Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. The letter discusses her examinations and studies, Mary Lyon and the teachers, her schedule and domestic work, and the food at the school. There are also published copies of other letters that Dickinson wrote while at Mount Holyoke in 1847-1848. The collection of poems, published in 1988, contains some of Dickinson's works translated into the Estonian language. The subject files include documents concerning the Emily Dickinson International Society, the Emily Dickinson postage stamp, and films, music, novels, plays, and poems relating to Dickinson. The writings about Dickinson consist of books, articles, newspaper clippings, and published and unpublished papers. These writings discuss a wide variety of topics, including Dickinson's time at Mount Holyoke, her health, forgeries of her poems, and the history of the one known daguerreotype of her. Several clippings also relate to the celebration at Mount Holyoke College commemorating the 150th anniversary of her birth in 1980. The reproductions of photographs and other images include a print of the 1847 daguerreotype of Dickinson, copies of portraits based on the daguerreotype and on an 1840 portrait of Dickinson and her siblings, and a reproduction of an 1848 silhouette of Dickinson and her family.


  • Creation: 1847- (bulk 1924-)

Conditions Governing Access


Biographical Note

Emily Elizabeth Dickinson was born on December 10, 1830, in Amherst, Massachusetts to Edward Dickinson, a lawyer and treasurer of Amherst College, and Emily Norcross Dickinson. She graduated from Amherst Academy in 1847 then attended Mount Holyoke Female Seminary for one year, 1847-1848. Benjamin F. Newton, a law student in her father's office, and Henry Vaughan, an Amherst College student, influenced her literary development by encouraging her to write. By the late 1850s, Dickinson had written hundreds of poems. She became more and more reclusive and only a few of her poems were published during her lifetime (the first edition of her poems was published in 1890). She died in Amherst on May 15, 1886, at the age of fifty-five.


7 boxes (x1849 Dickinson)

Language of Materials



Dickinson, Emily Elizabeth, 1830-1886; Poet. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary student, 1847-1848. The collection chiefly consists of newspaper clippings, articles, books and published and unpublished papers concerning Dickinson's life and work. Also includes a letter that she wrote while at Mount Holyoke, collections of her poems, and documents relating to the Emily Dickinson International Society, a postage stamp issued in her honor, and films, music, novels, plays and poems about her.


Arranged in 5 series: Series 1. Correspondence. Series 2. Collection of Poems. Series 3. Subject Files. Series 4. Writings About Dickinson. Series 5. Reproductions of Photographs and Other Images.

Emily Dickinson Collection 1847- (bulk 1924-)
Edited Full Draft
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Repository Details

Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository

50 College Street
8 Dwight Hall
South Hadley MA 01075-6425 USA