The English Folk Dance and Song Society websites use cookies.
You can read more about cookies and how we use them here.
Continued use of this site implies that you agree to our use of cookies.  
Martin Graebe giving a lecture

Library Lectures 2020

Library Lectures in spring 2020 welcomed fantastic speakers who guided audiences through fascinating topics around folk song, dance and wider culture.

Broadside Day 2020 call for papers

Cecil Sharp House, 22 February 2020

Deadline for applications: 21 October 2019


Vacancy: Archivist

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) is offering an exciting opportunity for an experienced archives and records management professional to join the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library as Archivist & Records Manager.

Could you help to preserve folk's history?

Support us

Ever since Cecil Sharp House opened in 1932, our Vaughan Williams Memorial Library has looked after our folk treasures.

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.

Could you help to ensure that these priceless treasures remain accessible to future generations? Please, do support the VWML today.


Woodcut image of lovers parting

Call for papers—Traditional Folk Song: Past, Present & Future

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.