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Library Lectures 2022

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library’s 2022 series of Library Lectures, expert speakers guided us through fascinating topics around folk song and dance.

The series of four lectures took place on Zoom as they did last year, so people throughout England and beyond can attend.

Tickets £5 per lecture

Cotswold Arts and Crafts and Folk Music
by Martin Graebe

Wednesday 12 January 2022

Late in the Victorian era, the Arts and Crafts movement and the revival of interest in folk music both looked back to past ways of life. Meeting in these cross-currents, Cotswold villagers and the arts and crafts community sang and danced together, with the help of Mary Neal, Cecil Sharp and others.

Martin Graebe is a researcher and writer about traditional song and song collectors.

‘Is local, traditional music dying?’
by Michael Church

Wednesday 16 February 2022

A summary of the pitfalls and problems of field-recording, and some measures to arrest – or at least slow down – the process by which musics can wither and die.

Michael Church’s book ‘Musics Lost and Found: Song Collectors and the Life and Death of Folk Tradition’ was published in October.

CANCELLED: Songs, Tales and Drolls
by Joan Passey

Wednesday 16 March 2022

Unfortunately this event has been cancelled and we hope to have a rescheduled date in place soon. In the nineteenth century Cornwall was the last county to be connected to the national rail network. Folk collectors mobilised to preserve narratives threatened by the perceived onslaught of tourists and modernity, and some of these collectors also wrote fiction.

This talk considers the relationship between folklore collecting and literature set in Cornwall at that time.

Dr Joan Passey is a Lecturer in English at the University of Bristol, specialising in nineteenth-century literature and the Gothic from the eighteenth century to the present.

‘All together in the dance’
by Matt Simons

Wednesday 20 April 2022

Alec Hunter (1899–1958) was an artist, textile designer and Morris dancer. Raised on Arts and Crafts precepts, he perceived Morris dancing as a highly developed form of English ‘social art’, an apt panacea for an age of disenchantment and division.

This illustrated lecture will examine Hunter’s influence on the interwar Morris revival and will explore many of the threads woven throughout his life.

Dr Matt Simons is a Morris dancer and scholar. His doctoral thesis examines ideas of Englishness in the Morris dance revival of the early twentieth century through a series of intellectual biographies.

Watch selected past Library Lectures on YouTube