Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: MS Am 1118.96

Martha Dickinson Bianchi papers


Publication materials and personal papers of Martha Dickinson Bianchi, niece of American poet, Emily Dickinson, and editor of her work.


  • Creation: 1847-1944
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1923-1937

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

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.


3.5 linear feet (10 boxes)

The bulk of this collection is material created by or collected by Martha Dickinson Bianchi in service of the various Emily Dickinson books that she wrote and edited. Compositions and correspondence are the predominant material types. Much of Bianchi's editing work was done in collaboration with Alfred Leete Hampson, her coeditor and heir, and several pieces of material written and revised by Hampson are included in the collection. The majority of the Emily Dickinson material consists of transcriptions and facsimiles. Some miscellaneous personal material of Bianchi's not connected to her publishing work is also included.

Series I. Subseries A. Compositions by Martha Dickinson Bianchi.Primarily draft and proof materials relating to Martha Dickinson Bianchi's two Dickinson biographies: Emily Dickinson face to face : unpublished letters, with notes and reminiscences andThe life and letters of Emily Dickinson. Also includes related material filed with the manuscripts. Additionally includes a notebook of poetry written by Martha Dickinson Bianchi.

Series I. Subseries B. Compositions concerning Emily Dickinson's collected works Primarily drafts of various Emily Dickinson poetry collections edited by Martha Dickinson Bianchi. Also includes material related to the publication of Emily Dickinson collections, and Emily Dickinson material collected by Martha Dickinson Bianchi for unspecified research purposes. In addition, Bianchi's notes on these works and unindentified manuscripts and notes are found at the end of this subseries. Of particular note in this series are the Susan Dickinson manuscript transcripts of Emily Dickinson poems [See item (54).]

Series 1. Series C. Compositions by others Includes essays, poetry,and other writings by admirers, authors, colleagues, and friends of Martha Dickinson Bianchi and her aunt, the American poet, Emily Dickinson. Most of these were sent to Bianchi. A few items include letters sent with compositions.

Series II. Subseries A. Correspondence of Martha Dickinson Bianchi. Correspondence between Martha Dickinson Bianchi and various people, primarily related to writing and publishing. Some correspondence related to Martha Dickinson Bianchi's genealogy is also included. Several letters include enclosed material.

Series II. Subseries B. Correspondence (transcriptions and photocopy) of Emily Dickinson. Duplicates of Emily Dickinson correspondence collected by Martha Dickinson Bianchi for research purposes. All are transcriptions, aside from one photocopy.

Series III. Collected Material. Primarily photographs, newspapers, clippings and miscellaneous epherma. Also contains clippings and a letter concerning lawsuit brought against Mabel Loomis Todd and David Peck Todd by Lavinia Norcross Dickinsonin 1898.

Biographical / Historical

Martha Dickinson Bianchi (1866-1943) was the niece of Emily Dickinson (1830-1886),and daughter of William Austin Dickinson (1829-1895) and Susan Huntington Dickinson (1830-1913). As the sole surviving member of the Dickinson family, she edited several collections of Emily Dickinson's work, and wrote two Dickinson biographies. A poet in her own right, Bianchi published several volumes of her own work as well.


Arranged into the following series:

  1. I. Compositions
  2. ___A. Compositions by Martha Dickinson Bianchi
  3. ___B. Compositions concerning Emily Dickinson's collected works
  4. ___C. Compositions by others
  5. II. Correspondence
  6. ___A. Correspondence of Martha Dickinson Bianchi
  7. ___B. Correspondence (copies) of Emily Dickinson
  8. III. Collected material

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

98M-69. Bulk of collection purchased from Alfred Leete Hampson with funds given by Gilbert H. Montague, class of 1901, in happy memory of Amy Angell Collier Montague. Received: 1950 May.


Major books consulted while cataloging this collection:
  • Bianchi, Martha Dickinson. Emily Dickinson face to face: unpublished letters with notes and reminiscences (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1932)
  • Bianchi, Martha Dickinson. The life and letters of Emily Dickinson (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1924)
  • Habegger, Alfred. My wars are laid away in books: the life of Emily Dickinson(New York: Random House, 2001)

General note

  1. Bianchi, Martha Dickinson. Emily Dickinson face to face: unpublished letters with notes and reminiscences (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1932)
  2. Bianchi, Martha Dickinson. The life and letters of Emily Dickinson (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1924)
  3. Habegger, Alfred. My wars are laid away in books: the life of Emily Dickinson(New York: Random House, 2001)

Processing Information

Processed by: Jennifer Lyons with the assistance of Alexis Dinniman and Colin Smith.

Bianchi, Martha Dickinson, 1866-1943. Martha Dickinson Bianchi papers, 1847-1944: Guide.
Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Description rules
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.

Harvard Yard
Harvard University
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-2440