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The Emily Dickinson International Society was incorporated in 1988 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to:

• Promote, perpetuate, and enhance the study and appreciation of Emily Dickinson throughout the world
• Establish and support local chapters
• Sponsor a journal
• Establish a Center for Dickinson Studies
• Secure the future of the Dickinson properties in Amherst, namely the Homestead and the Evergreens, as cultural and historical treasures
• Obtain by purchase, gift, or otherwise writings and materials relevant to Dickinson studies
• Acquire, own, or lease and hold any real estate and buildings necessary or proper

A brief history of the Society and its activities through 1998 can be found in Jonnie Guerra's "Reflections on EDIS--Past, Present, and Future" in the November/December 1998 issue of the Emily Dickinson Bulletin.