FITZWILLIAM WITHDRAWS BLAKE
P. Woudhuysen, Keeper, Department of Manuscripts & Printed Books at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, has written an appeal to Blake readers as follows:
I wonder whether I might address, through your Blake Quarterly, an appeal for financial help to all Blake scholars who may, or who may not as yet, have studied and enjoyed the large and important Blake collection in my Department in the Museum.The address of the Fitzwilliam Museum is Cambridge CB2 1RB England.
All of our original Blake material, and many of the early facsimiles like Muir’s, are now, after many years of constant use, in an extremely fragile and sorry condition. The bindings are very worn, the gatherings are loose, the paper torn, dirty, and extremely acid. They are all in urgent need of repair and conservation.
At present, however reluctant a decision this was to make, all the originals have been withdrawn from use and will remain so until we can find the funds to have them repaired. begin page 130 | The estimated cost for rebinding, paper repair, deacidification, etc., is ca. £1500 ($2500), which is totally beyond the Museum’s means and resources in the present difficult financial climate.
I should be grateful if you would consider publishing this letter . . . about our problem . . . in the hope that the combined generosity of all Blake scholars and lovers of his work will enable us to have our collection restored to its former glory, and once again available to scholars and the general public.