Blog Post #2: Dickinson Electronic Archives

dickinson archives

The Dickinson Electronic Archives exists to provide a digitization of Emily Dickinson’s original manuscripts of her poems that are found in correspondences from Dickinson herself that they have archived. The aim of the site is to give perspective on how her Dickinson’s life correlated with her poetry. According to the site, because of the limitations of printing, Dickinson’s poems are picked out of her letters by editors and publishers, but the Dickinson Electronic Archives shows the poems within the manuscript that Dickinson had placed them in. Seeing this original context of Dickinson’s letters that surrounds her poems can provide more insight of their purpose and significance.

I think that this site is mainly for scholars doing research on Dickinson’s poem because I do not really see why an average reader would be interested in reading letters by Emily Dickinson or what an average reader would gain from these archived letters; unless they had a particular interest in the life and times of Emily Dickinson. The archiving of Dickinson’s original letters that include her poems is something that only studiers of Dickinson would really find useful because it says a lot about why Dickinson was writing a certain poem, the context that lead to her writing the poems, and who the poems were for; someone who just wants to read her poetry would not find much use in this. However, the site does admit that they exist for “students, teachers, and scholars”. They hope to create dialogue on Dickinson’s poems with these archives among those that study her work.

Something to take away from the Dickinson Electronic Archives is the importance of the original manuscripts of an author. Dickinson’s poems were in letters she had written and that intended form tells a lot about Dickinson’s works. I think original illustrations from the books or the original manuscripts could also possibly be important to include in our projects as they would help with our perception of the works.

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