Recommended Societies and Sites

Louisa May Alcott Society

The Louisa May Alcott Society offers Alcott scholars and other interested persons an opportunity to share in the study and appreciation of the life and works of a major American writer. As a non-profit organization, the Society—through such activities as annual meetings, scholarly panels, special symposia, a newsletter, and an Internet site—provides a medium of communication among Alcott scholars and expands the possibilities for Alcott studies.

American Journalism Historians Association

The American Journalism Historians Association seeks to advance education and research in mass communication history. Through its annual convention, regional conferences, committees, awards, speakers, and publications, members work to raise historical standards and ensure that all scholars and students recognize the vast importance of media history and apply this knowledge to the advancement of society.

Emily Dickinson Archive

Emily Dickinson Archive makes high-resolution images of Dickinson’s surviving manuscripts available in open access, and provides readers with a website through which they can view images of manuscripts held in multiple libraries and archives.

The Almanacks of Mary Moody Emerson

This site offers a scholarly digital edition of Mary Moody Emerson’s fascicle almanacks as well as selected scholarship and ideas for classroom engagement.

The Home of Ralph Waldo Emerson

The house contains Emerson’s original furniture and objects, much as he left it. The Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association (RWEMA), formed in 1930 by family members and others associated with Emerson’s library and work, owns the Emerson House and the Emerson family papers, and is responsible for maintaining the house and for promoting interest in Emerson’s literary works.

Margaret Fuller Society

The Margaret Fuller Society is a nonprofit, educational organization. Established in 1992, through the efforts of Bell Gale Chevigny and Larry J. Reynolds, the society sponsors cultural events and academic panels, and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas and information among Margaret Fuller scholars around the world.

Nathaniel Hawthorne Society

The Nathaniel Hawthorne Society is dedicated to the global study and appreciation of the life and works of Nathaniel Hawthorne. A nonprofit educational organization, the Society–through its annual meetings at the MLA Convention and ALA Conference; its triennial conferences that rotate between American and international venues; and the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review–encourages communication among scholars and the general public by expanding the possibilities for shared responses to Hawthorne’s achievement.

The Melville Society

The Melville Society is dedicated to the study and appreciation of the nineteenth-century American author Herman Melville, writer of Typee, Moby-Dick, and Billy Budd, such short stories as “Bartleby” and “Benito Cereno,” and several volumes of poetry, including Battle-Pieces and the epic Clarel.

The society publishes the award-winning journal Leviathan and meets twice a year for fellowship and scholarly discourse at the annual conferences of the Modern Language Association and the American Literature Association.  The society also sponsors International Conferences and tours every other year.

Poe Studies Association

The Poe Studies Association (PSA) supports the scholarly and informal exchange of information on the life, works, times, and influence of Edgar Allan Poe. Current membership of approximately 200 includes scholars and Poe enthusiasts from the United States, Canada, Asia, South America, and most countries in Europe. The PSA seeks to foster a sense of community among Poe scholars. The Association publishes and distributes The Edgar Allan Poe Review and organizes gatherings of members and friends at meetings of the Modern Language Association (MLA) and American Literature Association (ALA). The PSA holds its annual business meeting and sponsors two panels at the ALA conference in May.

Society for the Advancement of American Philosophy

SAAP exists to advance American philosophy by promoting interest and research in its history, encouraging original and creative work in its spirit, and providing forums for the exchange of information and ideas.

Society for US Intellectual History

The Society for U.S. Intellectual History advances the historical study of American thought among academic and non-academic scholars and provides a forum for its exploration, aiming also to broaden and diversify the communities engaged in this study and the approaches applied to it.

The Thoreau Society

The Thoreau Society exists to stimulate interest in and foster education about Thoreau’s life, works, legacy and his place in his world and in ours, challenging all to live a deliberate, considered life.

The Walt Whitman Archive

The Walt Whitman Archive endeavors to make Whitman’s vast work freely and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers. The Archive is directed by Kenneth M. Price (University of Nebraska–Lincoln) and Ed Folsom (University of Iowa), with ongoing contributions from many other editor-scholars, students, information professionals, and technologists.


Many libraries contain materials by Emerson but not all have made them available digitally. The following have:

The Concord Free Public Library has a fine collection of manuscript and printed materials relating to Emerson and Concord. The Special Collections page always has interesting items on display, such as Thoreau’s survey maps.

Harvard University has a large collection of Emerson materials that may be searched by clicking on ‘Hollis’. The Houghton Library contains the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association Collection in addition to many manuscript and printed works by Emerson’s contemporaries; the finding lists for many collections many be located on their Oasis catalogue.

The New York Public Library has digitized its Ralph Waldo Emerson Collection of Papers.

The University of South Carolina has digitized The Joel Myerson Collection of Nineteenth-Century American Manuscripts, Images, and Ephemera, a subset of the Joel Myerson Collection of Nineteenth-Century American Literature, which contains letters, manuscripts, cabinet cards, cartes de visite, and a variety of other ephemeral material relating to nineteenth-century American authors associated with the Transcendentalist movement.

The archives of the Emerson Society are at the Thoreau Institute.