The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau Dunshee Ambrotype of Thoreau, 1861 (Courtesy Concord Museum)
What's New About the Project About Thoreau's Writings About Thoreau Resources for Research
"Double row of Arbor Vitae, near Battle Ground, May 18, 1902" (Courtesy Concord Free Public Library)
Frequently Asked Questions
Life and Times of Henry David Thoreau
Reflections on Walden
Further Reading

"I never voyaged so far in all my life."

----A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers


The Thoreau Society

Established in 1941, the Thoreau Society has long contributed to the dissemination of knowledge about Thoreau by collecting books, manuscripts, and artifacts relating to Thoreau and his contemporaries, by encouraging the use of its collections, and by publishing articles in two Society periodicals. Through an annual gathering in Concord, and through sessions devoted to Thoreau at the Modern Language Association's annual convention and the American Literature Association's annual conference, the Thoreau Society provides opportunities for all those interested in Thoreau--dedicated readers and followers, as well as the leading scholars in the field--to gather and share their knowledge of Thoreau and his times.

The Walden Woods Project

The Walden Woods Project was founded in 1990 by recording-artist Don Henley to raise public awareness about the threat posed by development in Walden Woods--a 2,680-acre ecosystem surrounding Thoreauís Walden Pond. Since then, the organization has protected nearly 140 acres in and around Walden Woods. The Walden Woods Project operates the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods, a center for research and education focused on Thoreau, his literary achievements and philosophy, and his influence on environmental and social movements. Through its technology center, education programs and comprehensive Thoreau research collection, the Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods provides opportunities for lifelong learning about Thoreauís life and work.

Botanical Index to Thoreau's Journals

Using both scientific and common names, Ray Angelo has compiled an exhaustive index to botanical references in Thoreau's Journal. The much-anticipated online version is keyed to the 1906 edition of the Journal and contains revisions to the printed edition, now out of print. A great resource.

The Henry David Thoreau Herbarium

The Henry David Thoreau Herbarium, located in the Botany Libraries at Harvard University, includes about 900 of Thoreau's plant specimens. This site provides a list of all of the specimens; the list is arranged by plant family. About half of the specimens include the location where the plant was collected, and most are identified by the plant's Latin name.

July 12, 1817

"Today in History" from "American Memory: Historical Collections for the National Digital Library" at the Library of Congress profiles Thoreau on his birthday. This well-designed site includes the text of the 1863 Ticknor & Fields edition of Thoreau's Excursions, one of many Thoreau items in the Library's Rare Book Collection.

Thoreau's Pencils

Text from the radio program "Engines of Our Ingenuity," created by John H. Lienhard, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and History at the University of Houston. This program on Thoreau's pencil making provides a good introduction to this little-known side of Thoreau. Lienhard cites Henry Petroski's article, "H. D. Thoreau, Engineer," which appeared in American Heritage of Invention & Technology 5, no. 2 (Fall 1989): 8-16. If you can't find the article, Petroski's book, The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, is widely available. For a lighthearted and fun-filled article about Thoreau and pencil making in Massachusetts see Deborah Bier's "Concord's Sharp Pencil-Makers Write Themselves into History" at the online Concord Magazine.

The Thoreau Reader

Richard Lenat's introduction to several of Thoreau's books and essays, with electronic versions of the texts and links to a number of interesting and useful Thoreau sites.

Unitarians & Universalists, Thoreau

Thorough introduction to Thoreau's life, with links to online versions of his most famous texts.

Ecology Hall of Fame, Thoreau

This Ecotopia/USA Web site places Thoreau in the company of Rachel Carson, Alan Chadwick, John Burroughs, John Muir, and Aldo Leopold, charter inductees into the Ecology Hall of Fame for environmental heroes.

Walden Mailing List

A mailing list, managed by Kirk McElhearn, dedicated to Thoreau. A good place to contact other Thoreau enthusiasts.


A portion of Thoreau's essay "Chesuncook" (later included in The Maine Woods) from "Atlantic Unbound," the online site of The Atlantic Monthly, the periodical that originally published "Chesuncook" in three installments in 1858.

Walden Font's pages "Walden Pond" and "Electric Thoreau"

Created and maintained by Walden Font, a Winchester, MA, historic font and clipart design firm, these pages contain information and links related to Walden Pond preservation efforts and to Thoreau more generally.

Walden Pond State Reservation

Everything you wanted to know about Walden Pond, from its formation in the last ice age to current efforts at preserving its natural surroundings.

Climatologist's Toolbox

A record of past environments--assembled from an analysis of frozen core samples (defined) of Walden's sediments--was taken by Marjorie Winkler, a paleoecologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Center for Climatic Research. Winkler studies lake and pond sediments, and from them she extracts detailed physical records of changes in environments and climates that extend back hundreds and sometimes thousands of years.

The Guide for the Literary Traveler, Nature of New England, Thoreau

The Guide for the Literary Traveler is a Web magazine that explores the literary imagination. Its "Nature of New England" issue features articles and observations about Thoreau and links to other Thoreau-related sites.

Finding Aids, Henry David Thoreau Papers 1836-[1862]

One of the finding aids for the archival and manuscript holdings of the Concord Free Public Library's Special Collections, this page provides a brief biography of Thoreau, a description of Thoreau's papers in the collection (land and property surveys and maps, survey-related notes, manuscripts, and correspondence), and a complete item-by-item listing of collections--about 265 items plus related photocopy, transcripts, and printed materials.


The Concord Free Public Library (CFPL)

Information about the Concord Free Public Library's Special Collections Department is accessible from the Library's home page. The finding aid for the Thoreau Papers at CFPL is available at

The Concord Museum

The home page for the historical museum of Thoreau's hometown. The Museum's Thoreau Collection, the world's largest collection of objects related to Concord's native son, numbers over 200 artifacts including the desk on which Thoreau wrote "Civil Disobedience" and Walden; personal possessions such as his walking stick, flute and spyglass; family furnishings from the Thoreau home; the 1861 ambrotype by E.S. Dunshee; and the lock and key from the 1846 Concord jail. The Museum offers object-based, Thoreau-related programming year-round for children, families, scholars, teachers and students.

Concord, MA

The home page for Thoreau's hometown. All the latest news and information.


This "portrait of a village," part of the PBS Web site, "Thomas Hampson: I Hear America Singing," includes a good chronology of Concord history.

Orchard House

A virtual visit to the home of the Alcott family, now a historic house museum owned and operated by the Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association in Concord, MA.


Amazing Environmental Organization Web Directory

Claims to be the "Earth's biggest environmental search engine." It probably is.

Environmental News Network (ENN)

CNN for the eco-conscious.

Environmental Protection Agency

The comprehensive and well-organized site of the United States Environmental Protection Agency.


The home page for EnviroLink: The Online Environmental Network. This page contains hundreds of links to environmental organizations, publications, and resources.

Evolution of the Conservation Movement

Sponsored by the Library of Congress, this site documents the historical formation and cultural foundations of the movement to conserve and protect America's natural heritage. It's a searchable outline of the history of the conservation movement in the United States. Thoreau's name shows up frequently.

Lewis Center for Environmental Studies

Information about the trendsetting Adam Joseph Lewis Center for Environmental Studies at Oberlin College. The Environmental Studies Program of Oberlin is building a 21st-century learning facility that will provide a model for green architecture and a forum for developing practical solutions to a host of environmental problems.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Home page of the NOAA, whose mission is "to describe and predict changes in the Earth's environment, and conserve and manage wisely the Nation's coastal and marine resources to ensure sustainable economic opportunities."

Society of Environmental Journalists

The SEJ's purpose is to enable journalists to better inform the public about critical issues concerning the environment. SEJ's membership of more than 1,100 includes journalists working for newspapers, television and radio stations, broadcast and cable networks, magazines, newsletters, wire services and photo agencies, as well as educators and students.

The Wallace Stegner Center for Land, Resources and the Environment

The Wallace Stegner Center "is committed to identifying fair and workable solutions to local, national, and international problems."

UCSB: Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management

UCSB's Donald Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, the first of its type in the western United States, focuses on the diagnosis and assessment of environmental problems of today and the future.

UCSB: National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

The NCEAS was established in 1995 by the National Science Foundation, with additional support from the State of California and the University of California, Santa Barbara. NCEAS's focus is collaborative, basic, and applied research on the structure and dynamics of ecological systems. NCEAS also organizes and synthesizes ecological information to facilitate its use by researchers, policymakers, and resource managers addressing important environmental issues.

Geographical and Environmental Geosciences at NIU

Northern Illinois University's Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences is "involved in a wide range of cutting-edge theoretical and applied research, teaching, and teacher training in the Earth Sciences."

The Fermilab Ecological Land Management Committee (ELM)

The Environmental Land Management Committee oversees the land use and land management activities at Fermilab. The committee is made up of volunteers who cover many different areas of environmental and ecological expertise. These committee members come not only from Fermilab, but from local organizations such as Forest Preserve Districts.


American Museum of Natural History

Welcome to one of the world's preeminent scientific and educational institutions. Home to many of the nation's leading scientists and The John Burroughs Association, the American Museum of Natural History continues to build on a distinguished tradition of advanced research, seeking to identify and describe the earth and its myriad life forms, and to share the results of this work with a broad public.

Audubon's Birds of America

An online edition of the complete John James Audubon's Birds of America (1840-1844). Includes full text and color plates.

Harvard University Herbaria

The Harvard University Herbaria house one of the largest comprehensive collections of dried plant and fungal specimens in the world. The Herbaria include the New England Botanical Club Herbarium and the Herbarium of the Arnold Arboretum.

Internet Directory for Botany

The Internet Directory for Botany is an index to botanical information available on the Internet.

Natural History Resources

The aim of this site is to "provide a compilation of electronic information which pertains to different aspects of Natural History." Current modules contain links to Ornithology (birds) and Lepidoptera (moths and butterflies).

Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History: Databases

Information about specimens and objects in the National Museum of Natural History, as well as useful reference databases and bibliographies.


Association for the Study of Literature & the Environment

ASLE was founded to promote the exchange of ideas and information pertaining to literature that considers the relationship between human beings and the natural world.

The Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities

The Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities at the University of Nevada, Reno, serves as a focus for interdisciplinary study among faculty and students in literature, history, philosophy, fine arts, biology, geography, agriculture, and environmental science.

The Nature Essay, ca. 1850-1920

The nature essay, "a literary genre which flourished in the United States in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries," is the subject of this bibliography compiled by the Library of Congress of holdings from their General Collection and Rare Book Division.


PAL: Perspectives in American Literature: A Research and Reference Guide

This chapter on early nineteenth-century American Transcendentalism from Paul Reuben's research guide has useful information and bibliographies on New England Transcendentalists.

The American Renaissance & Transcendentalism

A brief overview of the American Renaissance with a list of relevant writings, from the PBS Web site Thomas Hampson: I Hear America Singing.

New England Transcendentalism

An excellent overview of Transcendentalism written by Leslie Perrin Wilson, Curator of Special Collections at the Concord Free Public Library, for the November 1998 issue of an online magazine called The Concord Magazine. This article provides a complete bibliography of sources. If you have trouble reading the pages as printed by your Internet browser, read Leslie's tips for printing the page.

Bronson Alcott (1799-1888)

Biographical information about Amos Bronson Alcott from the Web site for Orchard House, a historic house museum in Concord, MA, owned and operated by the Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association. Orchard House was the home of the Alcott family from 1858-1877.

Bronson Alcott (1799-1888)

Biographical information about Amos Bronson Alcott and his family, from the PBS Web site "Thomas Hampson: I Hear America Singing."

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 1803-1882

Good introductory biography of Thoreau's mentor and friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson.

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society is dedicated to fostering scholarship on and appreciation of Emerson's life and writings. This rich site includes links to bibliographies, electronic versions of Emerson's writings, images of Emerson and his home, and other useful sites.

Margaret Fuller (1810-1850)

A biographical sketch and brief description of Fuller's writings, part of the PBS Web site, "Thomas Hampson: I Hear America Singing."

Margaret Fuller Home Page

An informative site from the English Department of Eastern Kentucky University about Margaret Fuller--feminist, poet, literary critic, journalist, human rights activist, and co-founder of the Transcendental journal, The Dial.

The Margaret Fuller Society

Founded in 1992, the Society is a non-profit educational organization founded to stimulate interest in the life and writings of Fuller.

Margaret Fuller: A Man's Mind and a Woman's Heart?

An overview of Fuller's career as journalist and foreign correspondent, by human rights reporter and foreign correspondent "watchdog" Frederic A. Moritz.

Theodore Parker: The Transient and Permanent in Christianity

The full text of Parker's famous sermon, "The Transient and Permanent in Christianity," delivered at the ordination of Rev. Charles C. Shackford in the Hawes Place Church, Boston, MA, on May 19, 1841. The online text is from the White Bear Unitarian Universalist Church site.

George Ripley and Brook Farm

Brook Farm was founded in 1841 by George and Sophia Ripley. George Ripley (1802-1880) was a former Unitarian minister and a leading member of the Transcendental Club, and he helped found the Transcendentalist publication, The Dial, in 1840. Part of the Virginia Commonwealth University's Web site, this Web page on Brook Farm provides an excellent overview of the utopian community which "became a point of contact between transcendentalists and more radical social critics."

Jones Very (1813-1880)

American poet, essayist, and participant in the Transcendental Club. This Web site includes biography and links to several author works.


American Authors on the Web

This site is a frequently updated index of other sites devoted to American writers, nineteenth-century and otherwise.

Louisa May Alcott

The official site of the Orchard House, home to the Alcott family from 1858 to 1877. The historic house museum is located in Concord, MA.

Louisa May Alcott

Created and maintained by Kimberly A. Wells, this site contains a short Alcott biography, a bibliography, and links to other Alcott sites and criticism, and to University of Virginia's e-text of Little Women. Jump back to her main "Domestic Goddesses" page for similar pages and links for Kate Chopin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sojourner Truth, and other women writers.

The John Burroughs Association

This site, created by the John Burroughs Association (which is headquartered at the American Museum of Natural History), profiles the activities and projects of the Association and the life of naturalist and writer John Burroughs (1837-1921), whose own cabin near the Hudson River, "Slabsides," became a meeting place for writers, inventors, and environmentalists.

Kate Chopin

Created and maintained by Kimberly A. Wells, this site contains a short Chopin biography and links to other Chopin sites and criticism, and to Project Gutenberg's e-text of The Awakening and selected short stories. Jump back to her main "Domestic Goddesses" page for similar pages and links for Louisa May Alcott, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Sojourner Truth, and several other women writers.

The Stephen Crane Society Home Page

Links to biographical and bibliographical resources, and to electronic texts of this naturalist author.

The Emily Dickinson International Society

The Society creates a forum for scholarship on Dickinson and her relation to the tradition of American poetry and women's literature.

Dickinson Electronic Archives

A Web site devoted to the study of Emily Dickinson and her writing practices. Founded at the first Emily Dickinson International Society Convention in 1992, the Dickinson Editing Collective believes that the poet did publish her work by "distributing it in her letters and in the manuscript books she made and left for posterity." The Dickinson Electronic Archives plans to reproduce the poet's work through electronic means rather than through print translations, "which erase most of her visual poetics."

Nathaniel Hawthorne

This site, maintained by the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, includes a biography of the author and historical information regarding The Scarlet Letter.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Site contains biographical information and a collection of online poetry.

Life and Works of Herman Melville

Lots of useful information and many links; frequently updated.

The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore

The EAPSB was officially established in 1923 but traces its roots back to 1865 through four earlier organizations. The Society is a clearing house for information about Poe's life and work.

A Poe Webliography: Edgar Allan Poe on the Internet

This site by Heyward Ehrlich at Rutgers University describes itself as "a critical guide to electronic resources for Poe research on the World Wide Web and CD-ROM, including electronic texts, commentaries, backgrounds, literary indexes, and search engines." The most comprehensive of several Poe Web sites.

Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1811-1896

This site, part of the "Celebration of Women Writers," has biographical information and other links.

The Mark Twain Papers and Project, The Bancroft Library

The Archive, located at Berkeley, contains originals or photocopies of almost every surviving document in Twain's hand, as well as a vast collection of collateral material. The Archive is home to the Mark Twain Papers and Project, which is producing a comprehensive scholarly edition of Twain's private papers and published works.

Walt Whitman Collection, Library of Congress

Information about Whitman and the Whitman manuscript notebooks collected in the Library of Congress.

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

Electronic version of Whitman's masterpiece, produced by Project Bartleby.

Walt Whitman Hypertext Archive

A hypermedia environment for studying the works of Walt Whitman, where you will find a database of digitized images of Whitman's works in original, documentary form.


The Association for Documentary Editing

The ADE page contains links to member projects, including editions of Frederick Douglass, Albert Einstein, Margaret Sanger, Susan B. Anthony, George Washington, and many others.

Humanities Text Initiative

Building on the University of Michigan's groundbreaking efforts since 1990 in providing online access to full text, the Humanities Text Initiative (HTI) is an umbrella organization for the acquisition, creation, and maintenance of electronic texts, as well as a mechanism for furthering the University's capabilities in the area of online text.

Model Editions Partnership: Historical Editions in the Digital Age

The Model Editions Partnership is a consortium of seven historical editions which has joined forces with leaders of the Text Encoding Initiative and the Center for Electronic Text in the Humanities. The participants have developed editorial guidelines for publishing historical documents in electronic form.

Society for Textual Scholarship

STS provides a forum for the discussion of the interdisciplinary implications of current research into various aspects of contemporary textual work: the discovery, enumeration, description, bibliographical analysis, editing, and annotation of texts.