Monday, August 16, 2010


I haven't been able to track down digital images of Blake's illustrations to Pilgrim's Progress, but I have seen one image in an Online Exhibit from UNCG's library. Last week I wrote to the Head of Special Collections at University of North Carolina Greensboro inquiring about the possibility of seeing online pictures of William Blake's Illustrations to John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. Mr Finley was kind enough to make this reply:
"Thank you for your inquiry about the William Blake exhibit. This exhibit actually was mounted about nine years ago as a physical exhibit, to highlight the acquisition by Jackson Library at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro of a first edition of Blake's Illustrations of the Book of Job, the library's one-millionth volume.
Since this exhibit is far in the past, I do not have much recollection of the particular items included other than what is mentioned in the exhibit captions. I am afraid I do not have any other illustrations from Pilgrim's Progress, since this particular work is not among my department's holdings. (The illustration in the exhibit is from the Heritage Press edition of Bunyan's famous work.) Most of the illustrations for Blake's own works came from my library's collection of Trianon Press editions of Blake.
I am sorry not to be able to provide you with further illustrations from Pilgrim's Progress. Of course, not every edition of this title carries Blake's illustrations, but a number do. If you are interested in acquiring a copy with the Blake illustrations, I would suggest searching ABE (the Antiquarian Book Exchange) ( under their "Advanced Search," which will allow you to indicate copies with Blake's illustrations as a keyword.
The originals of the other images in the exhibit are located in a wide variety of places, some in the U. S. and many in England. The exhibit generally did not indicate the location of the originals, although I know that the Huntington Library in California is a major repository for Blake titles and images. The Huntington also had a much larger Blake exhibit some six years ago, I believe, and it may have an exhibit catalog for that exhibit.
Thank you again for your inquiry and your kind words about the exhibit.
William K. Finley
Head, Special Collections & University Archives
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

You may enjoy visiting this website to see samples of Blake's images and the introductions to a variety of his works. See the Online Exhibit from 2001, titled William Blake Dreamer of Dreams.

Take special notice of two illustrations from UNCG's copy of the first printing of Blake's Illustrations to the Book of Job.


I later found the copy of Pilgrim's Progress given to us by a friend has a few of the watercolor illustrations by William Blake.

Click on picture for clear enlargement. Click again for more lovely detail.

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