February 5, 2003
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass. - The Trustees of Amherst College and the Martha Dickinson Bianchi Trust have agreed to ask the regional Probate Court for approval to transfer ownership of The Evergreens, the 1856 home of Emily Dickinson's brother Austin and his wife Susan, to the college. Following the approval of the transfer, The Evergreens and the Dickinson Homestead, owned by Amherst College since 1965, will form a single museum, called The Emily Dickinson Museum, devoted to the interpretation of the life of the poet and her family and the community in which she lived.

For several years the Homestead and The Evergreens have been working collaboratively on tours, public programs and other projects. In 2002, the college and the Martha Dickinson Bianchi Trust completed an exploratory market study and business plan. Its conclusions supported the long-term sustainability and success of a combined historic literary site.

Once the museums are legally joined, the operations of the two Dickinson houses will be merged. A new governing board is being formed to oversee the museum's future development.

The Evergreens, built for the poet's brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson, at the time of their marriage in 1856 was designed in the Italianate style by well-known Northampton architect William Fenno Pratt. The Homestead and The Evergreens, located on Main Street in Amherst, are closed for the winter and will re-open on March 1. The Homestead is a National Historic Landmark.