A New Room for Emily Dickinson: Amherst Poet’s Bedroom Undergoes Historic Renovation

October 6, 2015
By Rachel Rogol

Emily's mantel

Plans for restoring the home of Amherst-born poet Emily Dickinson have been underway since 2003, when Amherst College acquired the house next door (owned by Emily’s brother Austin) and merged the two historic homes to create the Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens.

Now the renovation of Emily’s bedroom—where she composed nearly all 1,789 of her poems—is not only complete, but historically accurate, from the books on her mantel to the reproduction wallpaper created from pieces discovered above her ceiling.

A Poet’s Life, on the Big Screen: Dickinson Museum Serves as Set for Scenes in New Movie

June 19, 2015


A movie crew took over the grounds of the Dickinson Museum on June 15

By Nate Gordon, Office of Communications intern

Acclaimed Author Reimagines Dickinson Love Affair in New Historical Novel


March 3, 2015
By Rachel Rogol

Even if you’ve never heard his name, chances are you’re familiar with William Nicholson’s work. An award-winning screenwriter whose film credits include Shadowlands, Gladiator, Elizabeth: the Golden Age and Les Misérables, among others, Nicholson is also an acclaimed author who writes both for adults and younger readers.

His most recent project is Amherst, a historical novel that intersperses a fictional modern-day love story with the historically accurate love affair between Austin Dickinson (brother of Emily Dickinson and Amherst College Treasurer from 1873 until his death in 1895) and his mistress Mabel Loomis Todd (wife of David Todd, Class of 1875, who served the college as Instructor in Astronomy and Director of the Observatory). Both the Dickinson and Todd families were intimately involved in the life of Amherst College from its very beginning.

Nicholson's new novel recreates Austin and Mabel's scandalous affair from numerous letters between the two and cites snippets of Emily Dickinson's poems throughout. "It's in some ways my love letter to the poet Emily Dickinson, who I first encountered over forty years ago," Nicholson wrote on his blog. "Her poems shock and thrill me as much today as they did then."

A New Face for the Belle of Amherst?

Submitted on Thursday, 9/13/2012, at 3:42 PM

by William Sweet

Imagine having the whole world judge you on a single snapshot—one taken when you were 16.

Dwell in Possibility: Big Ideas on Little Houses

Submitted on Wednesday, 5/9/2012, at 9:33 AM

At first glance, it looks like a tiny housing development has cropped up in the environs of the Emily Dickinson Museum. The 40 little white houses are like the words of the poet herself: carefully prepared, diligently arranged and deceptively spare. There aren’t any tiny people living here, though—just big ideas.

Amherst College Archives, Dickinson Museum to Mark 150th Anniversary of Local Resident’s Civil War Death with Exhibit, Discussion, Reenactment

Submitted on Friday, 3/23/2012, at 2:19 PM

March 23, 2012

AMHERST, Mass.—This March and April, Amherst College’s Archives and Special Collections and the Emily Dickinson Museum will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the March 1862 death of Frazar Stearns, son of college president William Augustus Stearns, with a special exhibition, panel discussion and “living history” encampment. The events are free and open to the public.

A Cannon for the Confederacy: The Legacy of Frazar Stearns

Submitted on Thursday, 3/15/2012, at 3:28 PM

By William Sweet

A century and a half ago, a member of the Amherst College Class of 1863 followed his chemistry professor into this country’s bloodiest conflict and returned in a coffin. After the body of Frazar Stearns—the son of the college’s fourth president, William Augustus Stearns—came back to Amherst, so did a cannon that he had helped reclaim from Confederate forces. It was a pale substitute for a 21-year-old with a promising future, but the “Amherst Cannon” would become a boon for historians.

An Amherst Summer “Bucket List”

July 27, 2011

By Rebecca Ojserkis ’12

Amherst students love the protection and comfort of the so-called college “bubble,” but we all need to escape into the real world from time to time.

Visit the Emily Dickinson Museum

After hearing that a plaster ceiling in Emily Dickinson's house had collapsed, Garrison Keillor asked how he could help. His Dec.

Museums 10’s Table for 10 Initiative

The Museums 10 collaboration—to which the Emily Dickinson, Mead Art and Natural History museums belong—has been generating buzz for its Table for 10 programming this year.