Copyright and Permissions Information

For information on how to cite the Archive correctly, see our Frequently Asked Questions.


We ask you to adhere to the terms under which these materials are made available. The Archive as a whole, its texts, and its images are protected under the copyright laws of the United States and the Universal Copyright Convention. The copyright to the William Blake Archive is held by the editors, Morris Eaves, Robert N. Essick, and Joseph Viscomi. The copyright to the images is held by the institutions and individuals who have generously contributed them. The copyright to David V. Erdman's Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake is held by the estate of David V. Erdman.

Publication (print or electronic) or commercial use of any of the copyrighted materials without direct authorization from the copyright holders is prohibited. The copying of materials from the Blake Archive is permitted only under the fair use provisions of copyright law.

The Library of Congress provides useful information on copyright. Stanford University provides an explanation of the fair use doctrine.

Reproductions and Permissions

You do not need to acquire permission to use Archive materials for in-class teaching purposes, school projects, and assignments. Nor do you need to request our permission to link to the Archive, or to individual items within the Archive. We prefer that your links to the Archive be targeted to our home page ( and that any links to individual items within the Archive be accompanied by a link to this home page.

To reproduce Archive materials in other contexts—including but not limited to scholarly books and articles, commercial publications (including textbooks, fiction, and graphic novels), film and television productions, posters and advertising, musical performances and CDs, etc.—you must obtain permission from the Archive or from the institution that owns the work you wish to reproduce.

Contact the Archive if you wish to reproduce:

Send an email to with the subject "Request for permission." Be sure to include the following information:
  • Your name, position, and institution
  • Your address or your institution's address
  • The work you would like to reproduce (be sure to include the title, copy, and object number(s))
  • Whether you want to reproduce only the transcription, the entire image, or part of the image
  • The owning institution (e.g., Essick Collection, Library of Congress)
  • Whether your use is commercial or academic
  • Where and when the image/text will appear, including details such as print run, intended audience, and medium

Contact the owning institution directly if you wish to reproduce:
  • Digital images in the Archive of works held by other institutions. To determine who owns an image, click on the © symbol that appears under each image in the Archive. You will find a list of contributing institutions and their contact information on this page.
  • Images held by the Yale Center for British Art and believed to be in the public domain are open access and available for any use, including publication, without further application, authorization, or fees due to the Center. Images can be accessed via this page.