The Evergreens Library Furnishings Plan

The Evergreens Library

View of Evergreens library
View of Library, 2006

The library at The Evergreens was renovated several times during the nineteenth century, and some of these changes are indicated in documentary sources. It is likely that in 1874 new, patterned wallpaper was added, perhaps because replacement wallpaper was unavailable. A letter written by Edward Dickinson to Austin refers to this change: “I have looked for paper for your library and am told that formerly there was a large quantity of your pattern, but has been none, for several years.” The library's current appearance reflects a last refurbishing in April of 1895. In a letter to his mother on April 13th Ned noted, “I am writing in the new library. It's so tasteful, dainty, and fresh that one would find inspiration in its very charm. You can not fail of being satisfied with your investment . . .” By April 19, 1895, he was able to report, “The bills for the work of renovating the library, I have paid as fast as I could get them. . . . The bill for paper and matting, has never appeared. The room I think very much of a success.” New wallpaper and frieze, molding, and grass matting were all added at this time. The frieze exists in good condition. The wallpaper is missing but fragments of a plain blue-green field paper exist near the bay window.

This paper should be reproduced to correspond with the existing frieze.

Furnishings for the room will be based largely on Susan's 1895 inventory since they correspond so closely with the date of renovation. The original library should be recreated based on the book lists from the Houghton Library at Harvard University and the John Hay Library at Brown University.

Themes associated with this space (from the Museum's interpretive plan):

Emily Dickinson was a poet of extraordinary ability and output.

The Dickinson family was a prominent family, its fortunes intimately connected with that of the community and the larger social, political, and economic climate. The family's social and intellectual ambitions affected and informed their lives in significant ways.

See also the furnishings plan for the Homestead parlors

floor plan of Evergreens library

Floor plan of the library with numbers corresponding to major pieces in furnishings table at left.

Objects pictured and described below correspond to numbered locations on the floor plan at right.

 Evergreens library bookcase

Bookcases – 1

Eastlake in style; fill with books based on book lists at Harvard and Brown

Proposed location: current locations against walls

 Evergreens library table

Library table – 2

Books and periodicals on table

Proposed location: center of room

 Evergreens library wicker arm chair

Wicker arm chair – 3

Add cushions; this chair may have been used in the Parlor at times as well.

Proposed location: near fireplace 

 Evergreens library Spanish chair

Spanish chair  – 4

Proposed location: southeast corner

 Evergreens library wicker arm chairs

Three wicker arm chairs – 5

Proposed location: throughout room as space permits

 Evergreens library black wicker arm chair

Black wicker chair – 6

Referred to by M.D. Bianchi as "low black willow chair"

Proposed location: in bay window

 Evergreens library corner chair

Corner chair – 7

Proposed location: at writing desk

 Evergreens library three sided chair

Three sided chair – 8

Referred to by M.D. Bianchi as "copied from one at Nuremberg [sic] for SHD. Cushions Florentine"

Proposed location: in bay window 

 Evergreens library wicker rocker

Wicker rocker – 9

Referred to by S.H. Dickinson as "willow rocker" 

Proposed location: near fireplace (rocker at rear of photo)

 Evergreens library desk

Desk – 10

Referred to by S.H. Dickinson as "writing desk"

Proposed location: southwest wall 

  Evergreens library globe

Globe – 11

Proposed location: near Spanish chair

 Evergreens library bronze deer

Bronze deer – 12

Proposed location: on mantel

 Evergreens library easel

Easel – 13

Referred to by S.H. Dickinson as an "ebony easel"

Proposed location: northeast corner

 Evergreens library pedestal

Pedestal – 14

Referred to by S.H. Dickinson as "pedestal and bust"

Proposed location: northwest wall 

 Evergreens library bust

Bust – 15

Proposed location: on pedestal (# 14)

 To Be Acquired

Pair gilt candlesticks – 16

Proposed location: on mantel

 Evergreens library andirons

Brass andirons – 17

Proposed location: fireplace 

 Evergreens library shovel tongs

Shovel and tongs – 18

Proposed location: fireplace with hearth brush 

 Evergreens library fireplace fender

Fender – 19

Proposed location: fireplace 

 Evergreens library wicker stand

Wicker three-tiered stand – 20

Proposed location: in bay window 

 Evergreens library lamps

Near-eastern lamps – 21

Proposed location: on corner bookcase

 Evergreens library Assyrian pitcher

Assyrian pitcher – 22

Proposed location: on corner bookcase