[Humanist] 23.614 new on WWW: Blake Archive update
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Sat Jan 30 08:39:42 CET 2010
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 614.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org
Date: Fri, 29 Jan 2010 14:20:17 -0500 (EST)
From: William S Shaw <wsshaw at email.unc.edu>
Subject: Update to the William Blake Archive
29 January 2010
The William Blake Archive <www.blakearchive.org> is pleased to announce
the publication of the electronic edition of _Milton a Poem_ copy D. Only
four copies of _Milton_, Blake's most personal epic, are extant. Copy D,
from the Rosenwald Collection, Library of Congress, joins copies A, B, and
C, previously published in the Archive, enabling the Archive to display
the complete production history of this illuminated book.
Blake etched forty-five plates for _Milton_ in relief, with some full-page
designs in white-line etching, between c. 1804 (the date on the title
page) and c. 1810. Six additional plates (a-f) were probably etched in
subsequent years up to 1818. No copy contains all fifty-one plates. The
prose "Preface" (plate 2) appears only in copies A and B. Plates a-e
appear only in copies C and D, plate f only in copy D. The first printing,
late in 1810 or early in 1811, produced copies A-C, printed in black ink
and finished in water colors. Blake retained copy C and added new plates
and rearranged others at least twice; copy C was not finished until c.
1821. Copy D was printed in 1818 in orange ink and elaborately colored.
Like all the illuminated books in the Archive, the text and images of
_Milton_ copy D are fully searchable and are supported by our Inote and
ImageSizer applications. With the Archive's Compare feature, users can
easily juxtapose multiple impressions of any plate across the different
copies of this or any of the other illuminated books. New protocols for
transcription, which produce improved accuracy and fuller documentation in
editors' notes, have been applied to all copies of _Milton_ in the
With the publication of _Milton_ copy D, the Archive now contains fully
searchable and scalable electronic editions of seventy-three copies of
Blake's nineteen illuminated books in the context of full bibliographic
information about each work, careful diplomatic transcriptions of all
texts, detailed descriptions of all images, and extensive bibliographies.
In addition to illuminated books, the Archive contains many important
manuscripts and series of engravings, sketches, and water color drawings,
including illustrations to Thomas Gray's _Poems_, water color and engraved
illustrations to Dante's _Divine Comedy_, the large color printed drawings
of 1795 and c. 1805, the Linnell and Butts sets of the _Book of Job_ water
colors and the sketchbook containing drawings for the engraved
illustrations to the _Book of Job_, the water color illustrations to
Robert Blair's _The Grave_, and all nine of Blake's water color series
illustrating the poetry of John Milton.
As always, the William Blake Archive is a free site, imposing no access
restrictions and charging no subscription fees. The site is made possible
by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the continuing support
of the Library of Congress, and the cooperation of the international array
of libraries and museums that have generously given us permission to
reproduce works from their collections in the Archive.
Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Ashley Reed, project manager, William Shaw, technical editor
The William Blake Archive
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