[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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