Only a handful of Emily Dickinson’s poems were published during her lifetime, and even shortly after her death, in 1886, only selected works appeared, giving the world a narrow view of the prolific poet’s work. Decades later, Harvard University Press (HUP) improved that view considerably. In 1950, Harvard University acquired the extensive collection of Dickinson’s manuscripts, which led to “The Poems of Emily Dickinson,” published by HUP. It was the first scholarly edition of Dickinson’s nearly 1,800 poems. “Correspondence in our files shows that while the acquisition of the Dickinson Collection was under negotiation, the need for a scholarly edition of Dickinson’s poems was an important argument in its favor,” said Leslie Morris, curator of modern books and manuscripts at Houghton Library. “After the collection was here, Houghton worked closely with Harvard University Press, assisting in the production of the first scholarly editions by providing space and other assistance for editor Thomas Johnson...
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