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The Dickinson Electronic Archives (DEA) is a website devoted to the study of Emily Dickinson, her writing practices, writings directly influencing her work, and critical and creative writings generated by her work. The DEA is produced by the Dickinson Editing Collective, with an executive editor, a general editor, two associate editors, a project manager, and a technical editor working collaboratively with one another and with numerous coeditors, staff, and users.

The Collective wants to portray Emily Dickinson, one of the United States’ most admired and popular poets and beloved nineteenth century figures, first as a writer. We decided that the best way to do that, then, would be to show the writer at work; i.e., to display the handwritten records of her composing habits and her everyday writing routines. Although our goal is to edit and encode all of Dickinson’s corpus, as well as all of the Dickinson family papers, we begin with a critical edition of Emily Dickinson’s Correspondences. By gaining a more vivid and nuanced sense of the hand-to-hand circulation of her work that Dickinson and her contemporary readers witnessed, Dickinson’s 21st century readers are likely to deepen and broaden understandings of her poetic project.

Influence is still an insufficiently examined field in the study of Dickinson’s reception, and is vitally important to editing her writings: therefore, included here are writings by Susan Dickinson, Dickinson’s most frequently addressed correspondent; Edward (Ned) Dickinson: Correspondence & Notebook; Titanic Operas: a Poet’s Corner of Responses to Dickinson’s Legacy; Titanic Operas: Poetry and New Materialities; and Contemporary Youth’s Companion, featuring creative responses from high school and middle school students. Another section of the DEA is devoted to teaching practices, and features The Classroom Electric: Dickinson, Whitman, and American Culture, our co-production with the Walt Whitman Archive made possible by a generous grant from FIPSE (Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education).

Participating People

  • Martha Nell Smith

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