The William Blake Archive is pleased to announce the publication of electronic editions of Blake’s Visions of the Daughters of Albion copies E and I, in the Huntington Library and Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art, respectively. They join copies a, A, B, C, J (1793), F (c. 1794), G (1795), and O and P (c. 1818), previously published in the Archive.
Visions, extant in seventeen complete copies, consists of eleven relief-etched plates executed and first printed in 1793. Copies E and I were produced in Blake’s first printing session. Probably to lend variety to his stock of copies on hand, Blake used three ink colors in this first printing: yellow ochre (as in copy A), raw sienna (copies B, C, and E), and green (copies I and J). Like all early copies of Visions, copies E and I have the frontispiece printed on one side of a leaf, but all other plates are printed on both sides of five leaves.
Like all the illuminated books in the Archive, the texts and images of Visions copies E and I 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 Visions in the Archive.
With the publication of Visions copies E and I, the Archive now contains fully searchable and scalable electronic editions of 75 copies of Blake’s nineteen illuminated works 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