Blake Archive


The Blake Archive appears to contain several different categories of literature. The main categories are divided into: illuminated books, commercial book illustrations, separate prints, printers in series, drawings, paintings, manuscripts and typographic works.

The objects are basically books, illustrations, drawings, paintings and other typographic works.

The archive offers 2 main viewing methods: gallery and reading mode. The gallery mode shows each item as it is. The reading mode includes a digital copy for actual reading – since it is very hard to read the scans of the items.

One aspect of archival theory that the Blake Archive demonstrates is preservation of items through two methods. In this case, the Blake Archive offers a wide range from typed items to drawings and illustrations. This preservation is generally through scans. However, they do digitize the actual type on the items.

Finally, Werner and Voss’s possibly most powerful quote is “to archive documents is to enclose them in a complex of protected spaces”. The rest of the quote finishes with a pre-historic method of preservation. While this is not relevant to the Blake Archive or any current archival theory, Werner and Voss’s ideas of preservation hold in this age.


3 thoughts on “Blake Archive

  1. The way the website is organized also resonates with the quote “there could be no archiving without … the archontic principle of legitimization, without criteria of classification and of hierarchization, without order and without order in the double sense of the word”. I feel, as you stated, that the website seems to be pretty organized with many details which gives it the meaning of being an archive according to Voss and Werner concerning this quote.

  2. The theme of your two posts seem to be the organization of the archive and how effective it is at digitizing the documents within. The two viewing methods of the website separate the material and the digital. Voss and Werner write about this: “Attention to the material evidence of the archive is great, yet the end of the analyses is not solely material.” It is important to keep the documents in their original form as best as possible (Gallery Mode), but in the end, the archive is there to digitize into something non-material (Reading Mode).

    The website is very well designed and makes its contents very accessible through the separation of media types and through the two display modes.

  3. Albert I think your quote from Werner and Voss is more accurate than you may have given credit. The site is assuredly protecting the documents in a complex hierarchy of secured cyber-space. I do agree with all of the comments regarding the order and structure of the site allows for easy accessibility.

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