Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 15, No. 516.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 10:32:20 +0000
From: "Andrea K. Laue" <email@example.com>
Subject: William Blake Archive Update
18 February 2002
The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of
Blake's first group of twenty-one water colors illustrating the Book
of Job. These were created on commission for Blake's major patron,
Thomas Butts, as a series of nineteen water colors c. 1805-06; two
further designs were added to the group at a later date, probably c.
1821-27. While Blake had drawn and engraved some important designs
based on Job in earlier years, the Butts set of water colors is his
first attempt to create a pictorial narrative of the whole story,
from what Blake believed to be Job's misapprehensions about God,
through Job's torments at the hands of Satan, to the restoration of
Job's physical and spiritual wellbeing. The later set of Job water
colors that Blake executed for John Linnell and the famous engraved
series were both based on this earlier, Butts group.
The release of Blake's Job water colors is particularly significant
because it marks our first publication of Blake's "Non-Illuminated
Works." This new "wing" of the Archive will gradually be populated
with Blake engravings, paintings, drawings, manuscripts, and
typographic editions. In the near future, we will add such important
works as the Job engravings and water color illustrations to the
poetry of John Milton, Thomas Gray, and Edward Young.
In the interest of publishing the greatest number of high-quality
images in the shortest span of time, we are introducing to
the Archive a new "Preview mode." Like the current presentation of
Blake's illuminated books in the Archive, works in Preview will be in
full and accurate color, with enlargements, and with searchable
transcriptions of any texts, including even the briefest of
inscriptions. The only functions that will not be available in Preview
are image search and Inote. Thus, works in Preview will not
offer descriptions of visual motifs, nor will those visual motifs be
searchable. The advantage of this slightly reduced mode of display is
that we will be able to add works to the Archive more expeditiously.
All works in Preview will bear a clear indication that they are indeed
in "Preview," both in all relevant tables of contents and on the basic
Object View page. As we add many works in Preview, we will gradually
shift them toward fully functional displays that will make image
search and Inote available. The Job water colors announced here are
currently available in Preview mode.
At present the Archive contains, in addition to the Job water colors
in Preview, 41 copies of 18 of Blake's 19 illuminated books, plus a
fully SGML-encoded electronic edition of David V. Erdman's _Complete
Poetry and Prose of William Blake_. In the near future we expect to
release more drawings and prints in Preview; a much-anticipated
electronic edition of _Jerusalem_ copy E, fully encoded for image
search and Inote; and a collection of handlists for each of the
Archive's contributing institutions as well as improved, searchable
versions of our bibliographies. Future supplementary materials
include a biography and glossary.
As always, the William Blake Archive is a free site, imposing no
access restrictions and charging no subscription fees. The site is
made possible through the continuing support of the Institute for
Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia,
by a major grant from the Preservation and Access Division of the
National Endowment for the Humanities, by the University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill, and by the cooperation of the international
array of libraries and museums that have generously given us
permission to represent works from their collections in the Archive.
Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi, editors
Matthew G. Kirschenbaum, technical editor
The William Blake Archive
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