As well as the largest number of folk manuscripts in England, the collection contains books, pamphlets, periodicals, press cuttings, broadsides, paintings, photographs, slides, artefacts, vinyl records, reel-to-reel tapes, phonograph cylinders, videos, cine-films and more.
From Cecil Sharp’s own field notebooks to William Kimber’s morris bells, not to mention books dating back to the 17th century, it is an essential resource for anyone interested in folk.
But collections as unique as this need constant attention, and that’s why we need your help.
Our incredibly rare books now require special care, such as bound volumes of 19th-century street literature, printed on incredibly fragile paper which is slowly disintegrating. Our 18th-century Playford volumes need restoration, at an average cost of £270 for each volume. And we need to raise £8,000 to digitise and preserve our collections of reel-to-reel tapes and cinefilm.
We are offering an exciting opportunity for a committed library and information professional to join the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library as Librarian.
Saturday 10 to Sunday 11 November 2018
Cecil Sharp House, 2 Regent’s Park Road, London NW1 7AY
Folk song, the everyday music of the common people as passed from generation to generation, has been highly debated ever since the first attempts by early collectors to define it. It has been performed, collected, researched, and unpicked, and the defining qualities which make it unique continue to stimulate current debate and approaches to collecting.
Have you ever wanted to find folk songs about sea battles, or unrequited love, or ghosts?
The English Folk Dance and Song Society’s Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) is undertaking a substantial new project to index, for the first time, what folk songs are about.
A renowned folk collection that was recorded around Britain over seventy-five years ago and has been stored in America ever since has been brought to new online audiences, thanks to a project led by the University of Aberdeen’s Elphinstone Institute in partnership with the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS).
By Nick Wall, Assistant Librarian at the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.
Read the full blog article here