Title and statement of responsibility area
G. E. Bentley fonds
General material designation
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Title statements of responsibility
Level of description
CA ON00399 54
Edition statement of responsibility
Class of material specific details area
Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1954–2017, predominant 1974–2017 (Creation)
Physical description area
15.3 m of textual records and other material
ca. 1400 photographs: b&w and col.
29 microfilm reels: pos. and neg
2 negative slides
1 compact disc
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Archival description area
Name of creator
Gerald Eades Bentley Jr. was born in 1930 in Chicago, Illinois, to Gerald Eades Bentley and Esther Greenwood Felt. His father was an English professor who taught at several American universities, including the University of Chicago and Princeton, while publishing numerous books on drama. G.E. Bentley Jr. received a B.A. from Princeton in 1952, and a B.Litt. (1954) and D.Phil. (1956) from Oxford University. He specialized in literature, and wrote all three of his theses on William Blake.
After graduating in 1956 Bentley became an English instructor at the University of Chicago; in 1960 he became an assistant professor at University College at the University of Toronto, where he remained for the rest of his career, advancing from associate professor (1965) to professor of English (1967), before retiring as an emeritus professor of English in 1996. He married Anne Elizabeth Kathryne Louise Budd in 1952; they have two daughters, Sarah Elizabeth Esther and Julia Greenwood.
During Bentley’s career he spent time as a lecturer, visiting professor, and research fellow all over the world. He was a Fullbright lecturer at the Universite d’Algier in 1967–1968, the University of Poona in India, 1975–1976, and Fudan University in China, 1982–1983. He was a visiting professor at University of Hyderabad in India in 1988, and at the Australian Defence Force Academy in 1997. Bentley was also a visiting resident professor at Princeton in 1992, and a fellow at The University of Wales, 1985, National Library of Australia, 1989, Rockefeller Study Center in Bellagio, Italy, 1991, Merton College, Oxford University, 1993, and Hatfield College, Durham University, 1996.
G.E. Bentley has authored and edited numerous books and articles, primarily on William Blake. Books include Blake records: documents (1714–1841) concerning the life of William Blake (1757–1827) and his family, incorporating Blake Records (1969), Blake Records Supplement (1988), and extensive discoveries since 1988 (2004); The Stranger from Paradise: a biography of William Blake (2001); Blake books supplement: a bibliography of publications and discoveries about William Blake, 1971–1992, being a continuation of Blake Books (1977) (1995); Blake studies in Japan: a bibliography of works on William Blake published in Japan 1893–1993 (1994); ed., William Blake's Writings , 2 vols. (1978). His articles have appeared in journals such as Times Literary Supplement, New York Public Library Bulletin, and University of Toronto Quarterly.
He was a member of professional associations that included the Modern Language Association of America, the Bibliographical Society (London), the Friends of the National Libraries (London), and the Royal Society of Canada. Bentley’s academic achievements have been recognized through honours and awards that include the Fullbright lectureships, the Jenkins award for Bibliography in 1978, and election to the Royal Society of Canada in 1985.
G.E. Bentley died in Toronto in 2017.
Scope and content
Fonds contains records that reflect G.E. Bentley Jr.’s career and interests as a professor, a William Blake scholar, and a collector of Blake’s work. It consists of the following series: subject/correspondence files, 1954–2017; research material, 1963–2016; records relating to writings, 1956–2016; and ephemera relating to William Blake, 1955–2011.
Immediate source of acquisition
Acquired from G.E. Bentley, 2005, 2007, 2011.
Records acquired in 2017 were received from Bentley's daughters, Sarah and Julia, after his death.
Language of material
Script of material
Location of originals
Availability of other formats
Restrictions on access
No restrictions on access.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
See Bentley-Blake Collection, Victoria University Library: http://library.vicu.utoronto.ca/collections/special_collections/bentley_blake_collection/index.html
The University of Toronto Library Catalogue contains published works held in the Bentley-Blake Collection.The collection came to Victoria University Library in 2005 and includes approximately 2,500 works by and about William Blake and his contemporaries.
See Related Exbhitions:
"Blake In Our Time: A Symposium Celebrating the Future of Blake Studies & the Legacy of G.E. Bentley Jr." (Podcasts & Exhibition. August 2010). http://library.vicu.utoronto.ca/blake_in_our_time/
“William Blake and His Contemporaries: an exhibition selected from the Bentley Collection at Victoria University Library, 2006.” http://library.vicu.utoronto.ca/exhibitions/blake/index.htm
Further accruals are expected.
Title based on contents of the fonds.
Standard number area
Subject access points
Place access points
Name access points
- Blake, William (Subject)