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The 20th and 21st century have produced many “digital Dickinsons.” The following list, accompanied by the descriptions offered by their creators, represents a range of directions for digital humanities scholarship on her work. The projects below also propose questions such as What is a digital archive? What is a digital edition? How are these sites related to their physical / print analogues? What are the responsibilities and boundaries of each space? How do these spaces intersect? What forms of critical inquiry do these sites make possible?


Amherst College – Emily Dickinson Digital Archives  (ACDC)

The open access 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 manuscript holdings at Amherst College 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.  Users of the site can browse images of manuscripts by words, lines, or catalog number; zoom into the manuscripts; and download images of them. Scope: 853 mss: poems, letters, fragments.

Note on Access/Rights and Permissions: “Amherst College provides this item to support research and scholarship. Amherst College can neither grant nor deny permission to publish or quote from materials in its collections. Neither titles nor facts can be copyrighted; therefore, permission is not required to cite a collection as a source or to use facts from it.”

Status: development ongoing


Boston Public Library: Emily Dickinson Papers, Galetea Collection

This collection contains approximately 70 letters and 43 poems sent by Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) to Thomas Wentworth Higginson. The letters provide insight into their relationship, particularly Higginson’s role as her “teacher” and Dickinson’s personal life. Also included are letters written between Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Mabel Loomis Todd regarding the publication of Dickinson’s poems. Many of the letters Dickinson sent to Higginson appear in The Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by Thomas H. Johnson, Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright 1958, 1986 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. Many of the poems appear in The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Thomas H. Johnson, ed., Cambridge, Mass.: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, Copyright, 1951, 1955, 1979, 1983 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.

Notes on Access/Rights & Permissions: No information on site, but note the copyright information in the description above.

Status: unknown.


The Classroom Electric:  A constellation of web sites on Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and nineteenth-century American culture

The Classroom Electric is a constellation of web sites on Emily Dickinson, Walt Whitman, and nineteenth-century American culture. Here users can explore images of original manuscripts, rare photographs, notebooks, scrapbooks, letters, and maps in sites informed by cutting-edge scholarship. While each site works as a stand-alone case study useful to students and teachers, the sites also link to each other, to other resources, and to the Dickinson Electronic Archives and the Walt Whitman Archive. The Classroom Electric is a continual work in progress. Please feel free to use any or all of the material you find for use in your own classrooms or research endeavours, paying special attention to comply with copyright and fair use policies concerning digital text and media.


Dickinson Electronic Archives, edited by Martha Nell Smith, Marta Werner, Julie Enszer, Jessica Beard, and Ellen Louise Hart. University of Maryland, College Park.

The Dickinson Electronic Archives – of which this website is an extension – is the oldest website devoted to Emily Dickinson, having been first launched in 1994. It is a creative and critical collaboratory for reading Dickinson’s material bodies and for featuring new critical and theoretical work about Emily Dickinson's writings, biography, reception, and influence. The Dickinson Electronic Archives is a scholarly resource showcasing the possibility of interdisciplinary and collaborative research and exploring the potential of the digital environment to reveal new interpretive material, cultural, historical, and theoretical contexts. As a hybrid forum for publication and other kinds of scholarly communication, the DEA integrates features of the manuscript archive and the scholarly journal, and provides an experimental exhibition space, as well as a pedagogical forum.

Access/Rights & Permissions: Open access.

Status: ongoing


Dickinson’s Correspondences: A Born-Digital Textual Inquiry, edited by Martha Nell Smith and Lara Vetter, with Ellen Louise Hart as consulting editor.  Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2008 (Rotunda)

User ID: edc

Password: d1Ck!n$0N

[those are numerals after "d" and "$" -- the login is case sensitive, too]

This XML-based archive brings together seventy-four poems and letters from Emily’s correspondence with her sister-in-law and primary confidante, Susan Dickinson. Each text is presented with a digitized scan of the holograph manuscript. These images have zoom functionality as well as a special light-box feature that allows users to view and compare constellations of related documents. Users may search by date, genre, manuscript features, and full text. Dating from the 1850s to the end of Dickinson’s life, the work collected here shows all the characteristics of the poet’s mature art.

Access/Rights & Permissions:  Some materials are open access; other materials require the purchase of a site license as per agreement between Rotunda and the Harvard University Press.


Emily Dickinson Museum

The Emily Dickinson Museum includes The Homestead, where poet Emily Dickinson was born and lived most of her life, and The Evergreens, home of the poet’s brother, Austin Dickinson, his wife Susan Dickinson, and their children Edward (Ned) Dickinson, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, and Gilbert (“Gib”) Dickinson. The two houses share three acres of the original Dickinson property in the center of Amherst, Massachusetts. The Evergreens itself became something of an art museum. Especially Austin, but also Susan, and their daughter Martha were all art lovers and collected original works. After Martha Dickinson Bianchi’s death in 1943, her collaborator Alfred Leete Hampson and his wife Mary Landis Hampson lived in the Evergreens and also collected art. After Alfred’s death, Mary lived in the Evergreens until the mid-1980s. The Evergreens art collection is described at and images of the works themselves can be viewed at


Houghton Library / Harvard UP – Emily Dickinson Archive (EDA)

Harvard’s Emily Dickinson Archive is an open-access site that provides access to images of nearly all of Emily Dickinson’s extant poetry manuscripts. A collaborative effort across many institutions, EDA provides readers with images of manuscripts held in multiple libraries and archives, and also offers an array of transcriptions of Dickinson’s poems, and digital tools intended to foster exploration and scholarship. Users of the site can browse images of manuscripts by first line, date, or recipient; turn the pages of and zoom into the manuscripts; search the full text of six editions of Dickinson’s poems; browse Emily Dickinson’s Lexicon, a resource indexing Dickinson’s word choices along with their contemporary definitions; and create an account to make notes on images, save transcriptions of poems, and create new editions of her poetry. This first phase of the EDA includes images for the corpus of poems identified in The Poems of Emily Dickinson: Variorum Edition, edited by R. W. Franklin (Cambridge: Belknap Press of the Harvard University Press, 1998).

Note on Access/Rights and Permissions: “Harvard and the other contributors of ED Material make the EDA site and its content available free of charge and disclaim all warranties of any kind (express, implied, or otherwise) regarding the site and its content. Harvard and the other contributors make no warranties as to the accuracy, completeness, currency or usefulness of any content on the EDA site, and do not warrant that your use of the content will not infringe or violate the rights of others. Your use of the EDA site and its content is at your own sole risk. In no event shall Harvard or any such contributor be liable to you – in contract, tort (including negligence) or otherwise – for any consequential, special, general, incidental, direct, indirect or other damages or losses of any kind arising out of your use of the site or any of its content. As used in this paragraph, the term ‘Harvard’ includes the corporate entity President and Fellows of Harvard College and its affiliates, governing board members, officers, employees, and agents.”

Status: ongoing


Radical Scatters: Emily Dickinson’s Late Fragments and Related Texts, 1870-1886, edited by Marta L Werner.  Lincoln: CDRH University of Nebraska, 2010.

The core of Radical Scatters consists of eighty-two documents carrying over one hundred fragmentary texts composed by Dickinson in the final decades of her life. In addition to the core texts, the archive’s primary materials include fifty-three poems, letters, and other writings by Dickinson with direct links to the fragments. Each text is presented with a digitized scan of the holograph manuscript, a fully diplomatic transcription, and an e.text transcription revealing the encoding schema. Editorial commentary includes notes on composition, transmission, and publication history of the texts. Viewers may access both individual documents and constellations of linked documents. In addition to simple word searches, searches for numerous material features of the documents are possible.

Access/Rights & Permissions: Open access.


The Emily Dickinson Lexicon, edited by Cynthia Hallen et al., Brigham Young University, 2007-2014.

The Emily Dickinson Lexicon is a dictionary of alphabetized headword entries for all of the words in Emily Dickinson’s collected poems (Johnson 1955 and Franklin 1998 editions). The scope of the Dickinson lexicon is comprehensive. A team of lexicographers and reviewers has examined almost 100,000 individual word occurrences to create approximately 9,275 headword entries. The EDL includes proper nouns, person names, and place names that are not usually listed in general dictionaries of the English language. Because high-frequency function words such as a, of, and the are important for Dickinson studies, the EDL includes basic definitions for 168 words that were omitted from Rosenbaum's concordance (xi) with their 38,235 occurrences. Visitors and users can view the EDL by clicking on the lexicon tab in the top frame of the website. To see multiple alphabetical entries, click on a letter of the alphabet or on a page number as serialized below the running headers for each EDL page. To access a specific entry, type a Dickinson word in the basic white “Searches” box provided in the upper right hand corner of the layout. Registered users have access to additional search options, by clicking on the phrase "Searches." Each EDL entry contains 1) a headword with any inflected forms, 2) the headword’s part of speech, 3) a basic etymology, 4) a list of webplay word collocations from Webster, 5) the definitions of the headword, 6) citation examples by poem number, and 7) a reference list.

Words from Dickinson’s collected letters are not included in the EDL at this time.


Houghton Library Emily Dickinson Collection

. . .Emily Dickinson Collection. Preserving more than a thousand autograph poems, and some 300 letters, by Emily Dickinson, it is the largest Dickinson collection in the world, including additionally such treasures as the poet’s Herbarium; the writing table and chair from her bedroom in Amherst, at which she wrote much of her poetry; the family library, including the poet’s Bible, and books by the Brontës, the Brownings, George Eliot, Emerson, Shakespeare, and more; and family papers that provide insight into the context of the poet’s life and work. . . .

. . .Gilbert Montague, a distant cousin of the Dickinsons and a collector, heard that Hampson wanted to sell the papers, and decided to purchase them and give them to his alma mater, Harvard. Thus, as with most of Harvard’s greatest library treasures, the Dickinson Collection came to Harvard in 1950 as the gift of Gilbert H. Montague "in happy memory" of his wife, Amy Angell Collier Montague. . . .


White Heat: Emily Dickinson in 1862 

Every week in 2018, Ivy Schweitzer and her team of students at Dartmouth College select a theme or focus suggested by events in Emily Dickinson’s life or in the local and national news for the year 1862, a year of intense creativity “at the White Heat” for the poet and agonizing news of the Civil War. They then select 5-7 poems written during the period that reflect the week's theme and frame them with a summary of the news of the day, literary culture, biographical events in the Dickinson circle, a brief survey of more recent critical responses to the poems and a personal reflection. Themes range from the historical (The Civil War, Home/Immigration, the death of Frazar Stearns) to the literary (The Azarian School, Meter, Women of Genius, Elizabeth Barrett Browning), to the personal (Mothers, Marriage, Sue, Choosing, Gardens, Volcanoes) and, of course, the six letters Dickinson wrote to Thomas Wentworth Higginson during 1862, including the April 15th letter where she “comes out as a poet.” The goal is to create immersive contexts and engaging pedagogical resources with which to read this difficult writer and to counter the mythology that Dickinson was isolated and sui generis.



Melville Electronic Library

The Melville Electronic Library is an online center for Melville studies. As an innovative "critical archive," MEL provides scholars, critics, instructors, students, and general readers with a reliable "textual core" of all versions of all of Melville's works in manuscript and print. When completed, it will enable users to search all versions of Melville's texts, compare them, link them to biographical, critical, and cultural materials (such as art works, sources, reviews, criticism, and adaptations) also located in the library's seven "rooms."


Nineteenth-century Scholarship Online (NINES)

NINES (Networked Infrastructure for Nineteenth-Century Electronic Scholarship) is a scholarly organization devoted to forging links between the material archive of the nineteenth century and the digital research environment of the twenty-first. Its activities are driven by three primary goals:

-       to serve as a peer-reviewing body for digital work in the long 19th-century (1770-1920), British and American;

-       to support scholars’ priorities and best practices in the creation of digital research materials;

-       to develop software tools for new and traditional forms of research and critical analysis. 

The NINES Collex interface is at the center of these efforts. It aims to gather the best scholarly resources in the field and make them fully searchable and interoperable; and to provide an online collecting and authoring space in which researchers can create and publish their own work.


The Walt Whitman Archive

The Walt Whitman Archive endeavors to make Whitman's vast work freely and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers. Whitman, America's most influential poet and a writer of global renown, is the most challenging of all American authors in terms of the textual difficulties his work presents. His major life work, Leaves of Grass, went through six very different editions, each of which was issued in a number of formats, creating a book that is probably best studied as numerous distinct creations rather than as a single revised work. His many other writings—varied and significant—include fiction, notebooks, manuscript fragments, prose essays, letters, marginalia, and voluminous journalistic articles. Drawing on the resources of libraries and collections from around the world, the Whitman Archive is the most comprehensive record of works by and about Whitman—and continues to grow. The Archive is directed by Kenneth M. Price (University of Nebraska–Lincoln) and Ed Folsom (University of Iowa), with ongoing contributions from many other editor-scholars, students, information professionals, and technologists.



Coming soon…