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This digital humanities project gives users free access to William Blake’s printed work.


August 12, 2021, 12:00pm

Today marks the 194th anniversary of the death of poet, artist, and Milton fanboy William Blake. If you feel moved to revisit his work today, consider checking out the Blake Archive, a digital humanities project which has collected Blake’s printed work for free online browsing.

Blake Archive digital visitors can browse all printed and scanned copies of Blake’s works, whose colors and illustrations varied from printing to printing. For instance, using Blake Archive, you can compare seven different copies of Songs of Innocence and Experience; you can peruse his illuminated books, commercial book illustrations, separate prints, drawings and paintings, and manuscripts and typographic works.

Blake Archive is also the basis for an exciting digital tool: BlakeTint, a Yale Digital Humanities Lab-developed site which allows users to chart the use of color in Blake’s works. BlakeTint users can track how Blake’s color palette changes across the course of one book; how his coloring of one book changes across different copies he made; how his color scheme across all his work progresses over time; and compare changes Blake made to various plates on a micro-level, as well as other tools. BlakeTint isn’t available for public use yet, but is promised to launch shortly—so we’ll be able to see the Infinite in all things.

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