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COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1118.2

Emily Dickinson letters to Josiah Gilbert Holland and Elizabeth Chapin Holland


Letters and poems by the American poet Emily Dickinson sent to her friends, Mr. and Mrs. Josiah Holland.


  • 1853-1886

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Access to the originals requires the permission of the curator.

Conditions Governing Use

Images linked to this finding aid are intended for public access and educational use. This material is owned and/or held by the Houghton Library, and is provided solely for the purpose of teaching or individual research. Any other use, including commercial reuse, mounting on other systems, or other forms of redistribution requires the permission of the curator.


For permission to quote from or reproduce from manuscript material of Dickinson, contact the Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts, Houghton Library. For permission to quote from published editions of Dickinson's work that are still in copyright (such as the Johnson and Franklin editions of the poems) and for all commercial uses of Emily Dickinson texts, write to the Permissions Department, Harvard University Press, 79 Garden St., Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, 02138-1499 or use their online form (HUP does not accept permissions requests by email or fax):


1 linear feet (2 boxes)

Typescript copies of letters, frequently accompanied by her poems, to Dr. Josiah Holland and Elizabeth Chapin Holland.

Biographical / Historical

Dickinson was an American poet. Josiah Gilbert Holland, assistant of Samuel Bowles of the Springfield Republican, and his wife Elizabeth were family friends.


Arranged chronologically.

Physical Location

Box 1 (Dickinson Room)

Physical Location

Box 2 (Manuscript stacks)

Immediate Source of Acquisition

49M-248, 54M-116. Gift of Theodora Van Wegenen Ward, 32 Healey Street, Cambridge 38, Mass.; received: 1950 June 8.

Existence and Location of Copies

Readers are expected to use the facsimiles available.


References included in the notes include:
  • F = Franklin, R. W. The poems of Emily Dickinson. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1998.
  • J = Johnson, Thomas, ed. The complete poems of Emily Dickinson : including variant readings critically compared with all known manuscripts. Cambridge, Mass. : Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1955.
  • JL = Johnson, Thomas, ed. The letters of Emily Dickinson. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1958.

Processing Information

The typed copies of letters in this collection, with the exception of nos. 30 and 62, were made by Theodora Van Wagenen Ward from the 1931 edition of Letters of Emily Dickinson, edited by Mabel Loomis Todd. The originals of these published letters seem to have been destroyed. The original of no. 30 belongs to Josiah Gilbert Holland, 3d.; the original of no. 62 belongs to Alison Howe Yaeger.

In November, 1954, Mrs. Walter Bingham found among the Dickinson papers four additional MSS. belonging to the Holland family. These she returned to Mrs Ward, who presented them to Harvard. They were accessioned under no. *54M-116, and then added to the series as nos. 96-99.

Dickinson, Emily, 1830-1886. Emily Dickinson letters to Josiah Gilbert Holland and Elizabeth Chapin Holland, ca. 1853-1886: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houghton Library Repository

Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, archives, and more. Houghton Library's collections represent the scope of human experience from ancient Egypt to twenty-first century Cambridge. With strengths primarily in North American and European history, literature, and culture, collections range in media from printed books and handwritten manuscripts to maps, drawings and paintings, prints, posters, photographs, film and audio recordings, and digital media, as well as costumes, theater props, and a wide range of other objects. Houghton Library has historically focused on collecting the written record of European and Eurocentric North American culture, yet it holds a large and diverse number of primary sources valuable for research on the languages, culture and history of indigenous peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania.

Houghton Library’s Reading Room is free and open to all who wish to use the library’s collections.

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