The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is honored to be among a group of collaborators to present the Emily Dickinson Archive (EDA), live as of today. EDA presents a novel way to view and interact with digitized visual material, transcribed and annotated textual content, and library-generated metadata.
The Berkman Center was instrumental in developing the Archive's platform, and collaborated with multiple stakeholders across Harvard to create it. The underlying tool was built to leverage any digital collection, for which the reference implementation is the Emily Dickinson collection. The Berkman Center will soon make this open-source platform available for use by other projects that may want to take advantage of its features. The tool was built by Berkman developers Justin Clark and Ryan Westphal, supported by the efforts of Sebastian Diaz and Jennifer Jubinville.
For the first time, the majority of Emily Dickinson’s poems are available in open access for use by scholars and readers. The Archive contains high-resolution images of manuscripts and letters, coupled with transcriptions of the poetry by various editors. It features a number of tools to ease collaboration and research, such as a digital concordance to allow scholars to compare word choice across the poetry.
In their press release, Harvard University Press wrote of the significance of the Archive:
Leslie Morris, General Editor of the EDA and Curator of Modern Books and Manuscripts at Harvard’s Houghton Library, noted that because Dickinson didn’t publish in her own lifetime, it’s especially important to be able to see the manuscripts as she wrote them.
“There’s something about seeing the handwriting, and the energy it conveys, that I think brings home to readers some of that passion that she felt for her work,” Morris said.
At edickinson.org, readers may browse Dickinson’s manuscript pages by first line, date, or recipient, or search across the full text of poem transcriptions. Readers can also refer to past editors’ transcriptions and use the site’s tools to create their own transcriptions, annotate images, or zoom in to look closely at Dickinson’s handwriting.
Morris said that making available a range of materials and tools through a single site makes the EDA an especially powerful aid to readers and scholars.
“It’s really a new model for the Library, combining its own digital resources with those from other libraries to create a new, more useful, research resource,” she said.
EDA was created in collaboration with Boston Public Library, Digital Public Library of America, Emily Dickinson Lexicon at Brigham Young University, Amherst College, Harvard Library, Harvard University Press, and Houghton Library at Harvard.
Read more about Dickinson’s archive at Harvard here.
Last updated November 04, 2013