The Browning Collection at Wellesley is part of the larger English Poetry Collection established by George Herbert Palmer. It contains first editions of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's and Robert Browning's published works, as well as manuscripts, related memorabilia, and the unique attraction of the couple's original love letters.
Among the most famous correspondences in literary history, the love letters were written almost daily from January 1845 to September 1846, and offer a thrilling tale of intellectual sympathy, mutual admiration, and a daring elopement.
Wellesley College has partnered with Baylor University to provide scholars and romantics alike with unprecedented, free access to digitized manuscripts of the letters of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. The virtual collection includes the 573 courtship letters between the eminent Victorian poets, which are housed in the Margaret Clapp Libary’s Special Collections at Wellesley.
The online collection, launched on February 14, 2012, includes complete digitized versions and transcriptions of the courtship letters and their envelopes, plus more than 800 additional letters from Baylor’s Armstrong Browning Library collection.
The digitization of the love letters is the first phase of Wellesley’s and Baylor’s goal to create the most important virtual Browning collection in the United States.
For more information, read the AP article from February 14, 2012 here.
Pictured: Clasped hands of Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, cast in bronze by Harriet Hosmer, 1853.