Skip to main content

Skip navigation

Rare Books and Special Collections At Northern Illinois University: William Blake Collection

A brief guide to Rare Books and Special Collections at Northern Illinois University

William Blake at NIU


The William Blake collection was formed in 1995 and continues to grow. Included are books featuring poetry, drawings, paintings, and bibliographies of William Blake. Many are reproductions or facsimiles, but we do also own some original editions. We continue to add materials to this collection whenever possible. 

Highlights from the Blake Collection include Trianon Press facsimiles of The Book of Ahania (1973), Blake's illustrations of Dante (1978), Europe, a prophecy (1969), There Is No Natural Religion (1971) and Songs of Innocence (1954). We also own John Gay's Fables (1793) which features 12 plates by Blake.

Recent Blake-related acquisitions include two volumes which contain engravings by Blake:

Lavater, Johann Caspar, 1741-1801. Aphorisms on man: translated from the original manuscript of the Rev. John Caspar Lavater, citizen of Zuric. Second edition. London : Printed by T. Bensley for J. Johnson, St. Paul's Churchyard, 1789.

Blake Collection. PT2392.L2 A3 1789a

Lavater, Johann Caspar, 1741-1801. [Physiognomische Fragmente zur Beförderung der Menschenkenntniss und Menschenliebe. English]. Essays on physiognomy : designed to promote the knowledge and the love of mankind, by John Caspar Lavater ; illustrated by more than eight hundred engravings accurately copied and some duplicates added from originals executed by or under the inspection of Thomas Holloway ; translated from the French by Henry Hunter. London : Printed for John Murray, No. 32 Fleet Street : H. Hunter, D.D. Charles's Square and T. Holloway, No.11, Bache's-Row, Hoxton, 1789-1798.

Blake Collection. BF843 .L3 1789a

Four engravings in v.1 by William Blake: at p. 127, 159, 206, 225, with an inserted variant proof of the engraving on p.411 of Vol. 5, facing that page.

Subject Guide