Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Johnson, Thomas Herbert.
Thomas H. Johnson Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
4 boxes, 1 folder, and 1.7 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-4


The Thomas H. Johnson Papers consists of correspondence, subject files, notes, printed matter, diplomas, and other miscellanea of the American educator and editor Thomas H. Johnson (1902-1985).

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of correspondence, subject files, notes, and other materials relating to Johnson's teaching, research, and writings, primarily concerning Emily Dickinson and Edward Taylor. Included are photostatic copies and transcripts of Edward Taylor's poetry in the Yale University Library, together with correspondence and notes by Johnson, gathered in preparation for Johnson's edition of The Poetical Works of Edward Taylor (1939). In addition, there are essays and notes on American literature, a small selection of printed material, and an assortment of diplomas.

Collection Creator Biography:

Johnson, Thomas Herbert.

Thomas Herbert Johnson was born in Bradford, Vermont, on 27 April 1902. He was the son of Herbert Thomas and Myra (Burbeck) Johnson.

Johnson studied English at both Williams College (A.B. 1926) and Harvard University (A.M. 1929, Ph.D. 1934) before beginning his own career as an educator. His first teaching position was at Rutgers University (1928-1929), but he returned to his undergraduate alma mater the following year (1929-1931). Next he taught at the Hackley School (Tarrytown, N.Y.) from 1931 to 1937, before moving to the Lawrenceville School (Lawrenceville, N.J.) where Johnson would teach until 1972, as well as serve as English department chair (1944-1967).

During his long tenure at Lawrenceville, Johnson also served as a guest lecturer at many institutions, including Chautauqua (1937), New School for Social Research (1943-1944), Columbia University (1948), Harvard University (1950), University of Copenhagen (1951-1952), University of Pennsylvania (1958-1959), and New York University (1959-1960).

Johnson was a renowned scholar of Emily Dickinson. He wrote Emily Dickinson: An Interpretative Biography (1955), as well as edited several volumes of her poems and letters: The Poems of Emily Dickinson, Including Variant Readings Critically Compared With all Known Manuscripts (1955), The Letters of Emily Dickinson (1958), The Poems of Emily Dickinson (1963), The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson (1970), Emily Dickinson: Selected Letters (1971), and Final Harvest: Emily Dickinson's Poems (1984).

Johnson's other published writings include editing three books relating to teaching and youth, two works relating to Jonathan Edwards, and The Poetical Works of Edward Taylor (1939).

On 11 September 1934, Johnson married Catherine Schyler Rice. Together they had a daughter and son, Laura Bradley and Thomas. Johnson died on 3 January 1985; he was 82 years old.

Collection History


Gift of Mrs. Laura Johnson Waterman.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Ran Tao in 2004. Finding aid written by Ran Tao in 2004.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Thomas H. Johnson Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Box 1-4