Library celebrates William Blake, poet and painter

Publication Date

An exhibit showcasing student work with Union’s rare collection of works related to 19th century English author, artist and printmaker William Blake is on view in the Lally Reading Room of Schaffer Library.

Curated by Caitlin Williams ’18, “Blake@Union: From Print to Digital to Print” invites students in all disciplines to submit a response in any medium to the works of Blake, a seminal creative figure and original thinker of the Romantic Age.

Union has an extensive collection of print facsimiles of Blake’s illuminated books and commercial works. A research website dedicated to his oeuvre will be released at the end of this month. Like the exhibit, it will showcase past and present student engagement with Blake’s work at Union.

An exhibit reception and website release are set for Friday, April 27, 4:30-6 p.m. in the Lally Reading Room.

“Together, the website and the print collections allow students to explore and experience Blake at Union as fully as possible,” says Williams, a library research assistant who is majoring in Classics and English.

The enhanced online catalog of the Blake collection and the digitization of selected images are intended to promote student creativity, Williams says. “Our goal is to use the advantages of digitization to create a greater awareness of the physical collection, draw researchers to it and perpetuate conversations among students for years to come.”

To mark the launch of the Blake project, the Blake@Union competition welcomes student works in a variety of formats that interpret, respond to or are otherwise inspired by something by or about Blake.

Entries may range from songs, sketches and sculpture to poems and prints. Up to three prizes in both arts/media and text categories will be awarded. All prized work will be featured on the new website. Winning arts/media work will join the library exhibit, while textual entries will be reprinted for distribution in the library.

Students studying Blake in the Romantic Revolution (EGL 220-01) and printmaking (etching, AVA 151-01) courses should submit their work directly through their classes. Other entries may be brought to the library’s Circulation Desk or submitted at

The exhibit will be on display through the summer.