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Rare Books

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08540
Curator of Rare Books

The Margaret Jane Pershing Collection of Emily Dickinson was presented to the Library on June 7, 1969.  The collection was presented in honor of four Princetonians: Mrs. Pershing's late father-in-law James H., Class of 1888, her husband John, Class of 1921 and her two sons, John, Jr., Class of 1947 and Hugh S., Class of 1950.  Cf. John S. Van E.  Kohn, "Giving Emily Dickinson to the World,"  Princeton University Library Chronicle XXXI, 1 (Autumn, 1969) p. 47-54  [full text].

The collection (200+ volumes) is particularly rich in variant editions of the three series of poems (1890, 1891, 1896 in over 70 editions and variants), the letters, and all the 20th-century posthumous volumes. It is also rich in books and magazine articles about the life and work of Emily Dickinson. Also, together with these are creative works inspired by Emily Dickinson.

A complete catalogue of the Pershing collection was compiled at the time of the receipt of the gift: Robert S. Fraser. The Margaret Jane Pershing Collection of Emily Dickinson. Princeton: Princeton University Library, 1969. [(Ex) 3715.1.073 and (Holden) 3715.1.073]

The collection is also described in College and Research Library News VIII (September, 1969) pp. 272-274.