a view of different items in the Emily Dickinson Museum's collections

The Emily Dickinson Museum Collection

a view of different items in the Emily Dickinson Museum's collections

Press Release 9/13/23
The Emily Dickinson Museum's collection is the largest and most diverse assemblage of objects associated with Emily Dickinson and her family to be found anywhere. It consists of more than 8,000 artifacts, including fine art such as an impressive collection of Hudson River school paintings; cooking, dining, lighting, and heating artifacts; personal items such as children’s toys, handwork, and musical instruments; souvenir objects and art from travels abroad; and a large assortment of clothing and textiles. The collection captures the details of nineteenth-century life in a semi-rural educational and agricultural community and vividly illustrates the daily life and writing habits of one of the world’s greatest poets.

The Museum’s collection had remained largely undocumented and inaccessible until a major grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services in 2019 funded the documentation and baseline cataloging of the entire collection for the very first time. Completed in 2023, this project has improved collection care and, through this database, public access has strengthened the museum’s interpretation, and opened promising new research opportunities.


SEARCH THE COLLECTION (external webpage)


What is the history of the collections?
The EDM collection comprises the combined personal effects of Dickinson family members from the Dickinson Homestead (built 1813) and The Evergreens (built 1856), left at the latter house after the death of the family’s last heir in 1988. Dickinson’s niece, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, sold the Homestead in 1916 and moved her aunt’s personal belongings and household furnishings next door to her own home at The Evergreens. Bianchi’s heirs transferred manuscript material, books, and a few dozen objects associated with Emily Dickinson to Harvard University in 1950 and Brown University in 1993. The vast majority of Dickinson family possessions remained at The Evergreens, overseen between 1988 and 2003 by a private testamentary trust established in Bianchi’s name. The Trust transferred the property and  collection to Amherst College in 2003 so that the two neighboring Dickinson family houses and collections could be operated as a united Emily Dickinson Museum.

A photo of a women in 19th century clothing in a decorative gold rimmed locket.
Close-up of Emily Dickinson's shawl
Pembroke Style Drop Leaf Table
Daguerreotype of Susan Gilbert Dickinson
Pembroke Style Drop Leaf Table - Collections

Where can I find Dickinson manuscripts or other material?

To view Dickinson's manuscripts, visit www.edickinson.org

For information on other Dickinson repositories:

Houghton Library, Harvard University

Amherst College Special Collections

Brown University Library

Yale University Library

Boston Public Library

Amherst Historical Society

Jones Library

Who can I contact with questions?
Email collections@emilydickinsonmuseum.org with any questions about the collections or online catalog.

How can I access the collections?
Physical access to the collections is very limited at this time. Email Collections@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org with questions.

Use of these images must be approved by the Emily Dickinson Museum.
Please contact us at: Info@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org

Institute of Museum and Library Services logo

The Emily Dickinson Museum has received funding for collection documentation from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. IMLS is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s libraries and museums. They advance, support, and empower America’s museums, libraries, and related organizations through grant making, research, and policy development. Their vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov.

Tell It Slant Awards Graphic 2023

Tell It Slant Awards Night
Friday, September 29, 6:30pm ET

Honoring Marilyn Nelson, Alena Smith, and the Founders of the Emily Dickinson Museum

HYBRID PROGRAM — In-person at Amherst College’s Johnson Chapel and streaming live for online registrants

This program is FREE to attend. Registration is required. 
A celebratory dinner to follow the Awards. Please read below to learn more. 
Part of the 2023 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival!

REGISTER FOR THE FESTIVAL (October 1 ticket is for whole Festival)

Tell It Slant Awards Graphic 2023Join us for an inspiring evening at the Tell It Slant Awards honoring individuals whose work is imbued with the creative spirit of Emily Dickinson. 
This year the Museum honors poet and author Marilyn Nelson, Apple TV+ Dickinson creator Alena Smith, and, in honor of our 20th Anniversary, the Museum’s core founders. The evening includes recognition of the 2023 awardees, followed by a facilitated conversation with Amherst College President Michael Elliott on the power that Emily Dickinson’s revolutionary poetic voice holds for the past, present, and future. 

Stay with us for a celebratory dinner immediately following the Tell It Slant Awards program. Share the company of Tell It Slant award winners, fellow Emily Dickinson enthusiasts, and devoted supporters as we commemorate the Museum’s 20th anniversary and celebrate the honorees. Your dinner ticket purchase directly supports the free Tell It Slant Poetry Festival, including the Awards program. Seats are limited.


For questions about the dinner, please contact Mardi at mbuell@EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org.

The Museum’s core founders are Polly Longsworth, Charles R. Longsworth, Elizabeth S. Armstrong, John A. Armstrong, Cynthia S. Dickinson, Kent W. Faerber, Thomas R. Gerety, Julie Harris (d), George Monteiro (d), Leslie A. Morris, Barton St. Armand, Karen Sanchez-Eppler, William McC. Vickery (d), Jane H. Wald, and Philip S. Winterer. 

Past award winners include Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Kay Ryan, former Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur, documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, and artist Lesley Dill.

Graphic for Dickinson Creator's Screening with Special Guests on Saturday, September 30 1pm ET

Dickinson Screening
Saturday, Sept. 30, 1pm ET

HYBRID PROGRAM — In-person at the Emily Dickinson Museum and streaming live for online registrants

Graphic for Dickinson Creator's Screening with Special Guests on Saturday, September 30 1pm ET

This program is FREE to attend. Registration is required. 
Part of the 2023 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival!

REGISTER FOR THE FESTIVAL(October 1 ticket is for whole Festival)

A screening of Apple TV+’s hit series Dickinson with some of the favorite episodes from the three-season hit show with special guests.
Surprise!: We’ll be joined by cast members Anna Baryshnikov (Lavinia Dickinson) and Adrian Blake Enscoe (Austin Dickinson), as well as costume designer Jennifer Moeller. Together, with Museum staff, we’ll watch and discuss our some of our favorite moments from the series. 

Please note: due to a scheduling conflict Alena Smith will no longer be attendance. Alena will still be honored by the Museum at the Tell It Slant Awards Night. and will tune in virtually. 

About the special guests
Anna Baryshnikov as Lavinia Dickinson in Apple TV pluses TV series DickinsonAnna Baryshnikov is an actor and writer who lives in New York City. Select TV roles: Lavinia Dickinson on “Dickinson” (Apple), “Superior Donuts” (CBS), “Prodigal Son” (FOX), “Good Girls Revolt” (Amazon), and “Doll & Em” (HBO). Theater: Sam Hunter’s A Bright New Boise (Signature Theatre), Time and The Conways (Broadway/Roundabout Theater Company) Film: Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea,” “The Kindergarten Teacher,” “Josie & Jack,” and the upcoming A24 film “Love Lies Bleeding” where she’ll appear opposite Kristen Stewart. Training: Northwestern University.

Adrian Blake Enscoe as Austin Dickinson in Apple TV pluses TV series DickinsonAdrian Blake Enscoe (He/They) is an actor and musician from Brooklyn, NY. Originally growing up in the woody outlands of Upstate New York, he earned a BFA in Theater at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh before landing in NYC, meeting his now-wife Sydney Shepherd on a subway, and founding the folk band Bandits on the Run with Shepherd and their close friend Regina Strayhorn. In between writing and touring with the Bandits — whose past few years have included recording their EP Now Is The Time with grammy-winning producer Ryan Hadlock, writing and recording songs for the Netflix series StoryBots, and playing a string of dates at the Singapore F1 Grand Prix — Adrian has been a long time musical collaborator of actor/writer/musician Christopher Sears and developed the role of The Fool in Sears’ Moonchildren Opera. Adrian is also a stage and film actor; in addition to starring as Austin Dickinson opposite Hailee Steinfeld in the Apple TV+ breakout series Dickinson, he originated the role of Little Brother in the world premier of Swept Away (based on the music of the Avett Brothers) and will be reprising the role this coming December at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. Most recently, Adrian has been developing a musical adaptation of the book What’s Eating Gilbert Grape with writer/director Peter Hedges (Pieces of April) and longtime collaborators Sears, Shepherd, and Strayhorn.

Headshot for costume designer Jennifer MoellerJennifer Moeller is a Tony Award nominated costume designer for theater, opera and TV. Recent credits include Dickinson for AppleTV+, the revival of Lerner & Loewe’s Camelot at Lincoln Center Theater, and Brandon Jacob Jenkin’s new play Comeuppance at Signature Theater. Jennifer is a frequent collaborator of Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage and designed the Broadway productions of Sweat and Clyde’s for which she received a Drama Desk Award. Jennifer is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

About Dickinson
Dickinson is a half-hour comedy series that audaciously explores the constraints of society, gender and family from the perspective of the rebellious young poet, Emily Dickinson. Set in the 19th century, the series is a coming-of-age story that has helped the poet gain hero status among millennials. The series stars Hailee SteinfeldToby HussElla Hunt, and Jane Krakowski, and has included guest appearances from Wiz KhalifaJohn MulaneyZosia Mamet, and Nick Kroll. The third and final season began streaming on Apple+ on November 5, 2021.

Creator and showrunner Alena Smith will be honored at the Tell It Slant Awards Night.

Graphic for Late Night Garden Party - Tell It Slant 2023 - Saturday, September 30, 7pm ET

Late Night Garden Party
Saturday, Sept. 30, 7pm ET

with Headliners Marilyn Nelson and Abigail Chabitnoy

HYBRID PROGRAM — In-person at the Emily Dickinson Museum and streaming live for online registrants

This program is FREE to attend. Registration is required. 
Part of the 2023 Tell It Slant Poetry Festival!

Join us for the 11th annual Tell it Slant Poetry Festival, a week of events happening both online and in-person at the Museum! Register here to access the Festival schedule. Your registration for an October 1 ticket, gains you access to the whole Festival:

REGISTER FOR THE FESTIVAL (October 1 ticket is for whole Festival)

Graphic for Late Night Garden Party - Tell It Slant 2023 - Saturday, September 30, 7pm ETJoin us in Emily Dickinson’s garden or virtually for a celebration of creativity and poetry! Our headlining poets, Marilyn Nelson and Abigail Chabitnoy, read from their work and discuss their poetic practice and inspiration with Terry Blackhawk. Stay for music by Daphne Parker Powell, refreshments, and book signing under our heated Festival tent.

About the Poets
Marilyn Nelson is the author or translator of some twenty poetry books and chapbooks for adults, young adults, and children. Many of her collections have won awards, and her poems have been widely anthologized. Nelson’s honors include two NEA creative writing fellowships, the 1990 Connecticut Arts Award, a Fulbright Teaching Fellowship (in the South of France!), a fellowship from the J.S. Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Ruth Lilly Award, the Robert Frost Medal, and the Wallace Stevens Award. She has served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, as Poet-in-Residence of the Poets Corner at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and as the Poet Laureate of the State of Connecticut. The mother of two and grandmother of two, she lives quietly, retired from a long career in academia, with her daughter and three cats.
Marilyn Nelson will be honored at the Tell It Slant Awards Night.

Abigail Chabitnoy is the author of In the Current Where Drowning Is Beautiful (Wesleyan 2022), How to Dress a Fish (Wesleyan 2019), winner of the 2020 Colorado Book Award for Poetry and shortlisted in the international category of the 2020 Griffin Prize for Poetry, and the lino-cut illustrated chapbook Converging Lines of Light (Flower Press 2020). Abigail is a mentor for the Institute of American Indian Arts MFA in Creative Writing and an assistant professor at UMass Amherst. She is a Koniag descendant and member of the Tangirnaq Native Village in Kodiak.