47. “The Tyger”


This copy of “The Tyger,” from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience: Sharing the Two Contrary States of the Human Soul, was painted and hand-lettered by the author in 1794 and is one of the many treasures of the University’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in Firestone Library.  Rare Books also contains such eclectic artifacts as: Babylonian cylinder seals; Egyptian papyrus documents; a 25,000-item numismatics collection; Islamic, medieval and Renaissance illuminated manuscripts; a Gutenberg Bible; an extensive life and death mask collection; historical photographs; a 23,000-item children’s library; the papers of such notables as Booth Tarkington ’1893, John Foster Dulles ’1909 and F. Scott Fitzgerald ’17; and much more.  Yet these unique treasures are only a small aspect of the University library system, with Firestone and 13 branch libraries housing more than 6 million printed works, 5 million manuscripts, and 2 million non-print items, along with maintaining 30,000 journal subscriptions.  Moreover, the University spends over $10 million every year on library acquisitions, increasing the library stacks at a rate of 10,000 volumes per month.

  • To learn more about the University library system, see quotation #11 and 35, and Café Vivian picture #20, 121, and 123.

  • To learn more about the Princeton “tiger,” see icon #3 and Café Vivian picture #12, 30, 45, and 77.