History’s Most Distinguished Literary Hair

Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Two locks of hair from Elizabeth Barrett Browning. One taken in life, and one after death, 1861. From the Elizabeth Barrett Browning Collection within the Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature at the New York Public Library. Photo credit: Elena Parker

The NYPL’s Elizabeth Barrett Browning Collection includes manuscripts, correspondence, diaries, notebooks, financial and legal documents, and pictorial works. Among many other rare documents, the manuscripts include an account of her first meeting with William Wordsworth, the first line being, “It was Wordsworth’s own voice with his own soul in it.”