Emerson Society

Writings About Emerson

Emerson has long been a popular subject for writers on American literature and culture. The standard bibliographies of writings about him are Robert E. Burkholder and Joel Myerson, Emerson: An Annotated Secondary Bibliography (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1985) and Ralph Waldo Emerson: An Annotated Bibliography of Criticism, 1980-1991 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood, 1994), supplemented, for foreign-language works, by Manfred Pütz, Ralph Waldo Emerson: A Bibliography of Twentieth-Century Criticism (New York: Peter Lang, 1986).

The sections below present resources for locating writings about Emerson:

  • The “Annual Bibliographies” are based on the chapters on “Emerson, Thoreau, and Transcendentalism” or “Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, and Transcendentalism” in American Literary Scholarship: An Annual, beginning in 1991, the year of the final entries in the Burkholder and Myerson bibliographies. From 1991 to the present, these annual bibliographies have been compiled by David Robinson, both for American Literary Scholarship and for Emerson Society Papers. Some items have been added to these bibliographies and they are clearly indicated with an asterisk (*). Abbreviations used for journals are those employed by American Literary Scholarship and the Modern Language Association’s Bibliography.
  • “Cumulative Bibliographies” lists all multi-year bibliographies of writings by and about Emerson.
  • “Biographies” list all book-length biographies of Emerson.
  • “Concord” lists books written about the town in which Emerson lived that are useful in understanding his life and writings.
  • “Critical Studies” lists book-length critical writings about Emerson or in which Emerson is given signficiant space.
  • “Exhibit Catalogues” presents links to library exhibition catalogues devoted to Emerson materials.
  • “Collections of Essays” lists books containing original critical essays about Emerson as well as those that reprint essays or parts of books that deal with Emerson.
  • “Transcendentalism” lists book-length works that deal with this major literary movement and Emerson’s place in it.