If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Monday, February 10, 2014

The Manuscripts of Emily Dickinson

Detail from currently the only authenticated photograph of Emily Dickinson in existence, taken by William C. North ca. 1847 when Dickinson was 17 years old

The Manuscripts of Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson had a very creative relationship with paper.

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" (AC 450) shown here, 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 way hope builds his house”, Amherst Manuscript # 450

“Necessitates celerity”, Amherst Manuscript # 540

“The things that never can come back, are several”, Amherst Manuscript # 445
Kate’s doughnuts, Amherst Manuscript # 889

Program of the Exhibition of the Eclectic Society, Amherst Manuscript #60
“Alone and in a circumstance”, Amherst Manuscript # 129
“To be forgot by thee”, Amherst Manuscript # 484
“Two things I have lost with childhood”, Amherst Manuscript # 878

This selection of Dickinson manuscripts is merely the tip of the iceberg – all 850 discrete manuscript objects held by Amherst College are freely available online.

All of the Dickinson manuscripts held by Amherst College have been fully digitized and are freely available now for all to explore through Amherst College Digital Collections. 

Mike Kelly

No comments:

Post a Comment