Amherst Magazine

Digitizing Dickinson (and Shakespeare)

In keeping with Amherst’s motto, Terras Irradient, the new Amherst College Press is part of a broader effort at the college to make in­formation more widely available online.

The Folger Shakespeare Library (which is administered under the auspices of Amherst) has just released—online and for free—“meticulously edited” versions of the 12 most popular Shakespeare plays. Folger Director Michael Witmore believes the texts will become “the electronic edition of record for Shakespeare’s plays.” More digitized plays and poems are forthcoming.

Also free and online, thanks to a recent project by Archives and Special Collections in Frost Library, are high-resolution digi­tal images of the library’s 850 Emily Dickinson manuscripts, including letters, poems and scraps of paper on which the poet wrote recipes. “No printed text can capture the richness
of her original manuscripts,” writes Director Michael Kelly on the Archives blog.

The Dickinson project is part of Amherst College Digital Col­lections, which contains more than 100,000 images, videos, letters, books and other digital objects from Archives and Special Collections, the Beneski Museum of Natural History and the library’s art and architecture collection.