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The Full English: free Open Archive Days

Celebrate The Full English digital archive and discover the history and collections within at free open day at archives taking place in London and Wiltshire. Listen to expert speakers, view original collections and learn how to access the world’s biggest digital archive of folk song, tune, dance and custom manuscripts.


Are you curious about the original manuscript collections within The Full English digital archive?

The Full English Open Archive Days will give access to some of the richest and most diverse manuscript collections from the 20th century – including those of Janet Blunt, Lucy Broadwood, George Butterworth, Clive Carey, Francis Collinson, George Gardiner, Anne Gilchrist, Percy Grainger, Henry and Robert Hammond, Maud Karpeles, Ella Mary Leather, Cecil James Sharp, Frank Sidgwick and Ralph Vaughan Williams. There will be illustrated talks about folk music collecting, as well as The Full English project and its development, by author and folklorist Steve Roud and English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) Library Director Malcolm Taylor OBE.

The events are free but advance booking is recommended.


You can expect to:

  • See original manuscripts
  • Listen to expert speakers: Malcolm Taylor OBE (Library Director, Vaughan Williams Memorial Library) and Steve Roud (folklore expert, lecturer and editor)
  • Learn about The Full English collections in the context of the first folk revival
  • See how The Full English digital archive works and can be used – ‘how to’ sessions will be available

Steve and Malcolm will be available to answer questions, and tea, coffee and biscuits will be available to visitors.

Check out our recent blog post about the first Open Archive Day at Clare College, Cambridge


Forthcoming events


Saturday 10 May, 10am - 1.30pm

The British Library, London
More info
Book now


Saturday 17 May, 2 - 5pm

Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre
More info 
Book now


Saturday 14 June, 10am - 4pm

Cecil Sharp House, London
More info
Book now

Workshops: We Are All Archivists!
As part of the Open Archive Day at Cecil Sharp House, come along and learn how you can look after your most treasured possessions, in a hands-on workshop led by an archive specialist. In this free workshop you will learn how to easily arrange, describe and store personal archive collections, such as family photographs, letters or documents.

These workshops are free and have capacity for a maximum of 25 participants, so advanced booking essential.

Workshop 1: 10.30am – 12pm

More info | Reserve your place

Workshop 2: 2 – 3.30pm
More info | Reserve your place