Submitted by Emanuel Costache

October 31, 2007
Contact: Donna M. Abelli
Development and Marketing Manager

Emily Dickinson Museum

AMHERST, Mass.—On Saturday, Nov. 10, the Emily Dickinson Museum will sponsor “First, Do No Harm: Preserving Your Family Papers,” a presentation by archivist Daria D’Arienzo. The program, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 2 p.m. at the Amherst Woman’s Club. (The Woman’s Club is located on the corner of Triangle and Main Streets in Amherst, just east of the museum.)

D’Arienzo, who is head of archives and special collections at Amherst College, will talk about the diaries, letters, photographs, newspaper clippings and other documents that chronicle family stories. She will outline essential preservation steps to ensure that no harm is done to these documents. She will also share the results of “evils”—including cardboard boxes, manila envelopes and metal paper clips—commonly used when housing family records.

Participants are encouraged to bring documents about which they have preservation concerns or questions. Refreshments will be served. For more information, please call 413/542-8429.

Daria D’Arienzo has worked at Amherst College since 1984. An active supporter of the Emily Dickinson Museum, she chaired the Homestead Advisory Committee for several years and now serves on the museum’s Educational Programming and Policy Committee.

This program is part of “BookMarks: A Celebration of the Art of the Book,” a region-wide festival from September 2007 to January 2008 that will bring to life the Pioneer Valley’s great literary traditions through film, family events, lectures and readings.

This initiative is sponsored by the Emily Dickinson Museum and Museums10, a partnership of 10 museums and friends (including Amherst College’s Frost Library, the Mead Art Museum and the Museum of Natural History) within the Pioneer Valley. More information about “BookMarks” is available on the Museums10 Website,

The Emily Dickinson Museum: The Dickinson Homestead and The Evergreens, is devoted to the story and legacy of poet Emily Dickinson and her family. Owned by the trustees of Amherst College, the museum is overseen by a separate board of governors charged with raising its operating and capital funds. The Dickinson Homestead was the birthplace and residence of the poet Emily Dickinson (1830-1886). The Evergreens was the 1856 home of the poet’s brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Susan Dickinson.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is located at 280 Main Street in Amherst; its official Website is The museum is open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed the Wednesday before Thanksgiving) through Dec. 8. The museum’s season ends on Dec. 8 with the annual Birthday Open House from 1 to 4 p.m.