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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.

The Thoreau Society has made selections from its collections, including back issues of its publications and especially significant books in the public domain, freely available at the Internet Archive.

Digital Thoreau

Thoreau went to the woods, he said, to live deliberately. He advised us to read in the same spirit. Digital Thoreau provides tools to illuminate Thoreau’s creative process and facilitate thoughtful conversation about his words and ideas. Read our fluid text edition of Walden to understand Thoreau’s process of composition across the seven existing manuscript versions of the work. See the changes he made to any one version and compare changes across versions.

Our fluid text edition builds on Ronald E. Clapper’s groundbreaking “genetic” Walden using the standards of the Text Encoding Initiative and the open-source Versioning Machine. Our TEI is freely accessible for use by other scholars.


Mapping Thoreau’s Travels in Massachusetts

Undertaken by the Thoreau Society in partnership with UMass Lowell and other educational organizations and institutions, Mapping Thoreau Country: Tracking Henry David Thoreau’s Travels in Massachusetts uses historical maps to organize images, documents, and information related to Thoreau’s travels throughout his home state.


The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau (Princeton Edition)

Also known as the Princeton Edition or the Thoreau Edition, The Writings of Henry D. Thoreau will eventually comprise a complete annotated edition of all of Thoreau’s writings. Begun in 1966 by Princeton University Press, sixteen volumes have been published so far with fourteen more planned. The Society’s collection contains printer’s copy, galleys, and other materials related to the Princeton publications. (Visit the Archives)


Thoreau Society Collections

If you would like to explore our collections in person, please contact the Thoreau Institute at the Walden Woods Project in Lincoln, Massachusetts to arrange a visit to the Henley Library. See our Policy on Reprints, Reproductions, and Fees.

The Thoreau Society Collections at the Thoreau Institute


Get news from the Thoreau Society and learn about ways you can help preserve Thoreau Country as part of our common heritage and as the embodiment of Thoreau’s landmark contributions to social, political, and environmental thought.

The Thoreau Society®, Inc.
341 Virginia Road, Concord, MA 01742
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Educating people about the life, works, and legacy of Henry David Thoreau, challenging all to live a deliberate, considered life—since 1941.


Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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