Emma Lazarus:

Emma Lazarus; Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience

A Traveling Exhibit
Snell Library First Floor, 10/27/11 – 12/16/11


Emma Lazarus photographThe Emma Lazarus: Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience traveling exhibit explores the life and legacy of Emma Lazarus –poet, critic, advocate for the poor, early feminist, and champion of immigrants and refugees. This exhibit, curated by Lazarus biographer Esther Schor of Princeton University, traces Lazarus’s life, intellectual development, work, and lasting influence, and reminds us of the iconic words of her poem, “The New Colossus,” engraved on a plaque now located in the Statue of Liberty Museum. The exhibit is composed of eight informative panels featuring photographic reproductions of historical images and original works by Lazarus, including “1492,” “The Creation of Man,” and “The New Colossus.” Northeastern University will hold a series of programs in coordination with the exhibit. This exhibit is free and open to the public at Northeastern University’s Snell Library.

Photo credit: Emma Lazarus photograph, 1886, Clifton Waller Barrett Library of American Literature, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library

An American Poet in the 21st Century: A Reading and Discussion

Wednesday, November 30, 2011 @ 5pm, 421 Snell Library

Featuring: Louise Glück, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Poetry Society of America's William Carlos Williams Award

Please join us for the second program in the Emma Lazarus series, which will feature a reading by American poet, Louise Glück. She is the author of numerous books of poetry including A Village Life: Poems; Averno, which was a finalist for the 2006 National Book Award in Poetry; The Seven Agesand Vita Nova, winner of Boston Book Review's Bingham Poetry Prize and The New Yorker's Book Award in Poetry.

Hosted by Mary Loeffelholz, NU Professor of English and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, who will discuss her recent essay that conveys the significance of Emma Lazarus in 19th century poetry.




More about Emma Lazarus and related resources at the NU Libraries and beyond:

Emma Lazarus portrait

Visit the Jewish Women’s Archive Website for information about Emma Lazarus, including background and childhood, emersion as a mentor, advocacy and legacy, as well as links to information about early Jewish themes and anti-Semitism and the elite.

Photo credit: Emma Lazarus, engraving by T. Johnson, from photograph by W. Kurtz for Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine. Collection of The New-York Historical Society, Negative #58130



book page

*Photo credit-Poems and Translations, Written between the Ages of Fourteen and Sixteen. By permission of the Houghton Library, Harvard University. *AC85.Em345.Zy867l. Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association deposit, 1944

In November 1866, her father privately printed Emma Lazarus’s first book, more than two hundred pages of original poems and translations from German and French poets. A reviewer for The New-York Times found the poems –“chiefly remarkable… [for having been] written by a girl–we beg pardon, by a young lady under seventeen...”


*Photo credit-“The New Colossus”, in Emma Lazarus’s own hand. American Jewish Historical Society, New York, NY and Boston, MA

When Emma Lazarus wrote her famous sonnet –“The New Colossus” in 1883, she had never seen the Statue of Liberty. Her words, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, briefly caught the public’s attention but quickly faded from view.

See also Northeastern's Library Subject Guides:


"Emma Lazarus: Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience" was developed by Nextbook, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting Jewish literature, culture, and ideas, and the American Library Association Public Programs Office. The national tour of the exhibit has been made possible by grants from the Charles H. Revson Foundation, the Righteous Persons Foundation, the David Berg Foundation, and an anonymous donor, with additional support from Tablet Magazine: A New Read on Jewish Life. Emma Lazarus is also a book by Esther Schor, published as part of the Jewish Encounters series by Nextbook/Schocken.

A special thank you to our co-sponsors…

The Emma Lazarus: Voice of Liberty, Voice of Conscience traveling exhibit is co-sponsored by the Northeastern University Libraries, Jewish Studies Program, Humanities Center, Department of English, Department of History, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program, as well as the Jewish Women’s Archive, a national non-profit organization and virtual archive.


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