Document Type


Publication Date



This brochure describes a Department of Rare Books & Special Collections exhibit of materials relating to William Blake. The exhibit charted Blake’s development chronologically through both sides of his activity, from his earliest known work as an apprentice engraver in the 1770’s through the extraordinary originality of his political and prophetic poems in the 1790’s and early 1800’s, and the deep emotion of the later illustrations he prepared for Edward Young’s poem Night Thoughts (1796-97) and Robert Blair’s The Grave (1808). The original editions of many of the books for which Blake prepared engravings were acquired by the South Carolina College library soon after publication. The illuminated books of poetry for which he is now best known, including Songs of Innocence (1789), Songs of Experience (1794), Europe (also 1794) and Jerusalem (from 1804), are shown in the Trianon color facsimiles sponsored by the Blake Trust, purchased for Thomas Cooper Library thirty years ago with support from the John Shaw Billings Endowment.


This catalog accompanied the July-September 2006 USC University Libraries exhibit, William Blake: Visionary & Illustrator.