Bicentennial Celebration,

To celebrate the bicentennial anniversary of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Emma, the Goucher College Library hosted Emma in America: Jane Austen’s Novel through Two Centuries. The exhibit spotlighted one of the treasures of the Library's world-class Jane Austen Collection: the very rare first American edition of Emma, published in Philadelphia in 1816. It told the story of how and why this novel came to be printed in America—without Austen’s knowledge—only months after the first English edition was released.

The exhibit also traced the eventful history of Goucher’s particular copy—one of only six known to exist—and introduced viewers to its distinguished owners, who include the Countess of Dalhousie and the English poet Siegfried Sassoon, as well as Goucher alumna and collector Alberta Hirshheimer Burke. A gallery of illustrations and cover art from historical and modern editions of Emma from over a dozen countries completed the exhibit.

The exhibit was part of the Goucher College Library’s Emma in America campaign, which featured events, lectures, and a publicly available online edition of Emma in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the publication of Austen’s novel.

Calendar of Events

  • Emma In America: Jane Austen’s Novel Through Two Centuries

  • Aug. 25, 2015 – June 20, 2016

  • 4th floor of Goucher’s Sanford J. Ungar Athenaeum

  • The exhibit tells the fascinating story of how and why this novel came to be printed in America and traces the history of Goucher’s particular copy, one of only six known to exist.

  • Book Release Party

  • Sep. 29, 2015

  • Hyman Forum, Sanford J. Ungar Athenaeum

  • A celebration for the release of Emma: 200th-Anniversary Annotated Edition, Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition, edited by Juliette Wells, Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Associate Professor of English at Goucher College.

  • Exhibit Opening Reception

  • Oct. 17, 2015

  • Goucher College Athenaeum, 4th Floor & Hyman Forum

  • The Emma in America exhibit opening reception included a brief introduction by Jane Austen scholar and Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Associate Professor of English, Juliette Wells, and a dance performance by Chorégraphie Antique.

    Established in 1988 by Goucher Professor Emerita of Dance Chrystelle Bond, Chorégraphie Antique performs historical dance reconstructions. The troupe has performed at many historical and cultural sites throughout the Mid-Atlantic, including President Obama’s Inaugural Ball in 2009.

  • A Discussion with Alexander McCall Smith, Author of Emma: A Modern Retelling

  • Nov. 3, 2015

  • Kraushaar Auditorium

  • The Isabelle Kellogg Thomas Memorial Lecture Fund presented Alexander McCall Smith, the internationally bestselling author of more than 100 books, including The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, and Emma: A Modern Retelling. Following the discussion, the author was available to sign his books.

  • Lecture by Kathleen Anderson, Jane Austen Scholar-in-Residence

  • Feb. 17, 2016

  • Batza Room, The Sanford J. Ungar Athenaeum

  • Dr. Kathleen Anderson, Goucher’s 2015-16 Jane Austen Scholar-in-Residence, and co-author of Jane Austen’s Guide to Thrift and numerous essays in scholarly and popular publications, presented a lecture on Jane Austen’s Emma. You can listen to Anderson's lecture which is available in the Goucher College Digital Library.

    The Scholar-in-Residence program offers the selected scholar a week to research in Goucher’s world-class Jane Austen collection, work with related undergraduate classes, and present a public lecture on an Austen-related topic. Details online at