While Dickinson is one of literature’s most loved, it’s perhaps not widely known among her legions of admirers that she did not publish in her own lifetime. Given her tendency to write multiple variations of poems—and her embrace of esoteric punctuation—generations of Dickinson scholars have debated interpretations and transcriptions of her manuscripts. The site now allows both scholars and casual readers alike to see the originals for themselves, absent the layers of mediation added by their posthumous publication.
At the Emily Dickinson Archive readers may browse Dickinson’s manuscript pages by first line, date, or recipient, or search across the full text of poem transcriptions. Readers can also refer to past editors’ transcriptions and use the site’s tools to create their own transcriptions, annotate images, or zoom in to look closely at Dickinson’s handwriting.
In the video below, EDA General Editor and Houghton Library Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts Leslie Morris introduces the site and some of its features.
Under the guidance of Morris and an Advisory Board of distinguished scholars, EDA is a growing collaboration that includes Amherst College, Beinecke Library at Yale University, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, Boston Public Library, Digital Public Library of America, Emily Dickinson Lexicon at Brigham Young University, Harvard Library, Harvard University Press, and Houghton Library at Harvard.