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Emily Dickinson began keeping this herbarium during her school years, which includes over 400 specimens labeled by the poet with its Latin name. She took botany courses at both Amherst Academy and Mount Holyoke Female Seminary. Keeping herbariums was a popular pastime among girls in Dickinson’s circle. Fourteen-year-old Emily Dickinson wrote to her friend Abiah Root: “I am going to send you a little geranium leaf in this letter, which you must press for me. Have you made you an herbarium yet? I hope you will if you have not, it would be such a treasure to you; ‘most all the girls are making one. If you do, perhaps I can make some additions to it from flowers growing around here.”

Emily Dickinson to Abiah Root (L6), May 7, 1845, in The Letters of Emily Dickinson, ed. Thomas H. Johnson (Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1965), 1:12. Courtesy of the Houghton Library at Harvard University

A green book open to a page of pasted pressed flowers, each labeled with its scientific names in miniscule script.