The William Blake Archive has launched a redesigned web site, making it easier than ever for educators and scholars to access and study Blake’s works, in collaboration with UNC Libraries and ITS Research Computing.
The Blake Archive, one of the pre-eminent digital humanities sites in the world, is a hypermedia archive of Blake’s poetry and art that is sponsored by the Library of Congress and supported by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Rochester.
The archive integrates, for the first time, all of Blake’s visual and literary work. It comprises almost 7,000 high-resolution digital images of Blake’s illuminated books, paintings, drawings, manuscripts, and engravings drawn from over 45 of the world’s great research libraries and museums.
The redesigned archive is faster and easier to navigate, is aesthetically more appealing, and offers a more robust search feature. Users may view color corrected digital images of Blake’s works at their true size, and enlarge and rotate these images to examine the text and illustrations in detail. The images are accompanied by diplomatic transcriptions and editors’ notes, as well as illustration descriptions that make it possible to search Blake’s works for visual motifs.
The archive was conceived in 1993 — long before the term “digital humanities” was coined — by Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi. Viscomi is James G. Kenan Distinguished Professor of English Literature in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences.