It began as the English Department's "core collection" for the graduate students' study of literature. It was housed in Morey Hall until 1987 when it moved to Rush Rhees Library to join the new Robbins Library for medieval studies. Mabel Harkness honored English faculty members Kathrine Koller and Rowland Collins in naming it the Koller-Collins Graduate English Center. Later, the name was changed to the more inclusive Koller-Collins Center for English Studies.

The collection has evolved from representing the canon of the field into a reference collection for literary study, digital humanities, and critical theory. The Koller-Collins collection is non-circulating to ensure that the books remain available as a reference source for anyone who needs to consult them.

William Blake Voice of the Ancient Bard

The picture that we use for the Koller-Collins bookplate is an illustration to "The Voice of the Ancient Bard" in Songs of Innocence and of Experience, William Blake: author, inventor, delineator, etcher, printer, colorist. A wealth of information on William Blake's artistic and literary works can be found in The William Blake Archive (, co-founded by Morris Eaves (English Department).

The Voice of the Ancient Bard

Youth of delight come hither,
And see the opening morn,
Image of truth new-born.
Doubt is fled & clouds of reason
Dark disputes & artful teazing.
Folly is an endless maze,
Tangled roots perplex her ways,
How many have fallen there!
They stumble all night over bones of the dead:
And feel they know not what but care;
And wish to lead others when they should be led.