Indexes, bibliographies and finding aids

American Folklife Center: Finding Aids for Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture
Guides to individual collections and cross-collection topical guides to some of the materials held in the archive.
Link: American Folklife Center: Finding Aids
American Folklife Center (Library of Congress): http://www.loc.gov/folklife/

 

Bawdy Songs: a Bibliography
A checklist of chapbooks and songsters compiled by Ed Cray, author of The Erotic Muse.
Link: Checklist of Chapbooks and Songbooks
John Patrick Collection: http://www.folklore.ms/

The British Library Integrated Catalogue
A searchable online catalogue of the vast British Library collections (some 12 million items), which contain a great deal of material relating to traditional music. Some collections, such as manuscripts and sound recordings, are indexed separately.
Link: British Library Integrated Catalogue
The British Library: http://www.bl.uk/

The James Madison Carpenter Collection Online Catalogue
A searchable online catalogue of the James Madison Carpenter Collection, held at the Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. British and American folklore and folklife: principally traditional song and drama, but also folk narrative, customs, games, instrumental music, dance and dialect. The materials themselves are not available at this time, but it is hoped that funding will be forthcoming to digitise them for public access.
Link: Carpenter Collection Online Catalogue
The Humanities Research Institute Online Press, University of Sheffield: http://www.hrionline.ac.uk/

The Child Ballads Project
Discography of recordings of “Child” ballads from both traditional and revival singers.
The Child Ballads Project: http://thechildballads.com/

COPAC
Provides free access to the merged online catalogues of 24 of the largest university research libraries in the UK and Ireland, plus the British Library and the National Library of Scotland. Funded by JISC and hosted at the University of Manchester.
Link: COPAC
The University of Manchester: http://www.man.ac.uk/

The Helen Creighton Collection
Textual records, graphic material, sound recordings, and moving images created and accumulated by Helen Creighton, documenting her private life and professional career as folklorist and author. Includes an extensive collection of folk songs and folk tales acquired over a sixty year period, documenting the diverse ethnic groups and cultural traditions of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, with English, French, Gaelic, Mi’kmaq and German material. This site includes searchable catalogues of the collections and a “virtual exhibition” of photographs with some text and audio files.
Link: The Helen Creighton Collection
Nova Scotia Archives: http://www.gov.ns.ca/nsarm/

The Dicey & Marshall Catalogue
“A catalogue of maps, prints, copy-books, drawing-books, histories, old ballads, patters, collections, etc. Printed and sold by Cluer Dicey, and Richard Marshall, at the Printing-Office, in Aldermary Church-Yard, London.” A trade catalogue issued in 1764, including sections on ballads, songbooks and Christmas carols. The titles are linked to bibliographical references. Mixed facsimile: html and images.
Link: The Dicey & Marshall Catalogue
The University of Birmingham: http://www.bham.ac.uk/

A Discography of Recorded Traditional Music
Rod Stradling’s extensive and invaluable catalogue of recordings that are, or have been, available in the UK. Includes Mike Brocken’s Topic Records Discography.
Link: Discography of Recorded Traditional Music
Musical Traditions: http://www.mustrad.org.uk/

Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, 1589-1839: An Index
A series of indexes derived from a database of musical information compiled from primary sources covering the 250 years of the initial exploration and settlement of the United States. It consists of over 75,000 entries that are sorted by text (titles, first lines, recitatives, chorus and burden), by music incipits (represented in scale degrees, stressed notes and interval sequences), with additional indexes of names and theatre works. The data can be fully searched, not only for initial strings, but also for internal words and melody sections.
The indexes are an expansion of two originally published on microfiche: Kate Van Winkle Keller and Carolyn Rabson, National Tune Index:18th-C. Secular Music (New York: University Music Editions, 1980) and Raoul F Camus, National Tune Index: Early American Wind and Ceremonial Music: 1636-1836 (New York: University Music Editions, 1989).
Of considerable value in the investigation of tunes for both traditional song and dance. The American emphasis is not a significant drawback given the enormous cultural overlaps during the period.
Link: Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, 1589-1839: An Index
The Colonial Music Institute: http://www.colonialmusic.org/

Early American Songsters, 1734-1800: An Index
Compiled by Robert M Keller. An index of all known extant songsters published in America before 1801, containing references to 10499 songs. Includes cross referenced indexes of titles, authors, composers, performers and sources. Song entries include first line and tune indication where originally given. Of considerable interest to the American and British user alike.
Link: Early American Songsters, 1734-1800: An Index
The Colonial Music Institute: http://www.colonialmusic.org/

Eighteenth Century (1701 – 1790) Cheap Print: a Finding Aid
An alphabetical listing of broadsides and the locations of copies, compiled by Richard C.Simmons of the University of Birmingham.
Link: Eighteenth Century Cheap Print
The University of Birmingham: http://www.bham.ac.uk/

English Folk Song: an introductory bibliography


David Atkinson. London: EFDSS 1999 (2nd Edition).
An introduction to the study of English folk song, and a guide to the numerous collections of songs which exist in print and manuscript. It is intended to be of assistance both to students of the subject, and to those who wish to sing the songs. The annotations offer a brief guide to the nature of each item. Formatted as html.
Links: English Folk Song: an introductory bibliography
Links: Addendum (2001)

Third edition, 2006: pdf format: http://efdss.org/songbib3.pdf

English Folk Dance and Song Society: http://www.efdss.org/

Erotic Folksongs and Ballads: An International Bibliography
G Legman. Journal of American Folklore, vol. 103, no. 410, pp. 417-501.
An important bibliography of a specialised genre, compiled by a world class expert. Html, single page.
Link: Erotic Folksongs and Ballads
John Patrick Collection: http://www.folklore.ms/

Evaluating Information Found on the Internet
A feature at the website of the Sheridan Libraries of the Johns Hopkins University. This offers good and detailed advice on using the web for research; particularly useful in subjects like traditional music, where as much modern myth circulates as does hard fact.
Link: Evaluating Information Found on the Internet
The Sheridan Libraries of the Johns Hopkins University: http://www.library.jhu.edu/

Fife Folklore Archives
Part of USU’s Special Collections and Archives, where the historical American Folklore Society Manuscript Collection is housed. Established in 1972, the Fife Folklore Archives is named for folklorists Austin E and Alta S Fife, Utahns who helped shape the field of folklore and worked to preserve the folk expressions of the American West. Includes searchable indexes of some of the collections, which include folk song materials. The materials themselves are not available online.
Link: Fife Folklore Archives
Utah State University Libraries: http://library.usu.edu/

Published References to Percy Grainger’s Folk Song Collecting
A List of Published References to Percy Grainger’s Folk Song Collecting, especially in Lincolnshire, available in the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library. Compiled by Derek Schofield. A short but useful list.
Link: http://www.efdss.org/grainger.htm
English Folk Dance and Song Society: http://www.efdss.org/

The Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection
The Flanders Collection consists of field recordings on cylinder, disc and tape of traditional song and dance music recorded in all the New England States between 1930 and 1966, together with photographs, manuscripts, letters, broadsides, books and journals. This site provides searchable indexes to the collections, and a few samples of images.
Link: Helen Hartness Flanders Ballad Collection
Middlebury College Libraries, Vermont: http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/lis/lib/

Update: now re-designed, parts of this site may no longer display correctly in older browsers.

Dave Herron’s Chapbook
A guide to folk song books in print, with some of the most important out-of-print books aso listed. Useful, but a little out-of-date at present. Pdf format.
Link: Dave Herron’s Chapbook
The Traditional Song Forum: http://www.tradsong.org/
There is also a partly updated version here, which contains material not in the above but lacks some of Dave’s later additions:
SRFN Newsletter: Dave Herron’s Chapbook
Index of Poetry in Printed Miscellanies
Adam Smyth, University of Reading.
The site comprises tables of the poetry in first editions of printed miscellanies published in England between 1640 and 1682. They catalogue the 4,639 poems in the 41 texts, and arrange the information across seven fields: first line, last line, text, date, title and pages, number of lines, and (where known) author. To help browsing, the tables may be ordered by first line, last line, or author. There is also a more advanced version of the site which allows searching across the databases.
Although designed for specialists in another field, the index contains a good deal of valuable information relevant to folk song studies.

Introduction: Index of Poetry in Printed Miscellanies
Database: link

The Plymouth Song Index
A searchable index of over 60,000 song titles in nearly 2,000 songbooks held by Plymouth libraries: includes a number of published folk song collections.
Link: Plymouth Song Index

Plymouth Library Services Online: http://www.library.jhu.edu/

The Vance Randolph Collection
A Library of Congress Finding Aid prepared by Clare Norcio and Katie Lyn Peebles.
“The Vance Randolph Collection documents aspects of Ozark life in the early 1940s. Randolph made field recordings of folksongs and collected stories of life in the Ozarks. The collection also contains 213 graphic images. In addition to the material obtained in the field, Randolph accumulated an extensive number of newspaper clippings on a wide variety of subjects relating to the Ozarks, including local legends, history, language, and sporting activities.”
Link: The Vance Randolph Collection

Library of Congress: http://www.loc.gov/

A Reference List on Canadian Folk Music
Edith Fowke. Canadian Journal for Traditional Music, Volume 6, 1978.
A revised and updated version of the reference list that appeared in the first issue of the Journal in 1973. Lists books of traditional songs and records by traditional singers, with some representative articles on various aspects of Canadian folk music and some folk-song records by non-traditional singers.
Link: Reference List on Canadian Folk Music
See also: Paul Mercer, A Supplementary Bibliography on Newfoundland Music, in Journal Volume 2, 1974.

Canadian Journal for Traditional Music: http://cjtm.icaap.org/

Roots of Folk: Old English, Scots and Irish Songs and Tunes

Compiled by the late Bruce Olson. A densely organised and scholarly series of indexes of early broadside ballads, ballad operas and their tunes. Includes tunes in abc format for 16th and 17th century broadsides (largely drawn from Claude M Simpson’s book The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music), systems for tune comparison, song texts and examinations of the early history of various pieces.
The site is archived at
Folklore Department of California State University: http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/Olson/
and at
Mudcat Café: http://www.mudcat.org/olson/viewpage.cfm

The Roud Broadside Index
The Index includes references to songs which appeared on broadsides, chapbooks, songsters, and other cheap print publications, up to about 1920. In addition, there are many entries for music hall songs, pre second world war radio performers’ song folios, sheet music, and so on. Formerly available by subscription, it can now be referred to online at the website of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.

The Index is searchable by numerous criteria including title, first line, publisher, collection and so on, and results in the online version can be returned in list or individual record form.

Though very useful in itself, it is best used in conjunction with other broadside and folk song indexes.
Introduction to the Index
Search the Index

The Roud Folk Song Index
The Roud Folk Song Index is a database of more than 160,000 references to songs that have been collected from oral tradition in the English language from all over the world. Formerly available by subscription, it can now be referred to online at the website of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.

The Index is searchable by numerous criteria including title, first line, performer, collector and so on, and results in the online version can be returned in list or individual record form.
The single most important finding aid for traditional song in the English language ever produced, the Index also incorporates another innovation, the ‘Roud Number’, which has rapidly become a standard means of classification along with those of Child and Laws. By this means, songs are grouped with their relatives and the confusion that inevitably results when song titles (which can vary enormously) are relied upon as a means of identification can be avoided. Regularly updated and indispensable to all researchers from the beginner to the expert.

Introduction to the Index
Search the Index

Sixteenth Century Ballads: a work in progress
Indexes of 16th century ballads and supporting materials.
See: Folk song studies: Sixteenth Century Ballads

Song Resources on the Web
Detailed links to various online traditional song resources, some of which are also included here.
Link: Song Resources on the Web
The Traditional Song Forum: http://www.tradsong.org/

Syllabus of Kentucky Folkongs
Hubert G Shearin and Josiah H Combs. Lexington, Kentucky: Transylvania Printing Company, 1911.
A folk song “finding aid” arranged by category. Descriptions and some brief extracts. Index on pages 40 – 43. Available as facsimile images, pdf or html.

Link: Syllabus of Kentucky Folkongs
Kentuckiana Digital Library: http://kdl.kyvl.org/

Traditional Ballad Index of Folk Songs from the English-Speaking World
An annotated, searchable bibliography. The Index is a collaborative effort designed to help people find reference information on folk ballads. The database includes a brief description of each song listed, with some bibliographical and historical background, alternate titles and cross-references. Most songs also have a list of keywords to assist in searching. This is an ongoing project, and at present concentrates mainly on American material, though coverage is growing more wide. Very useful, particularly when used in conjunction with other indexes such as Roud. Note: the “earliest date” entries usually refer to publication dates of books so far indexed rather than to dates of publication or notation of the songs concerned.

Link: Traditional Ballad Index
California State University, Fresno: Folklore: http://www.csufresno.edu/folklore/

Traditional Song Forum: Research Aids
Two guides to internet folk song research compiled by Steve Roud.
Links: Song Indexes
Links: Discussion lists and ways to ask questions
The Traditional Song Forum: http://www.tradsong.org/

The University of Tennessee Song Index

A searchable index of about 50,000 songs in more than 1,500 published song anthologies owned by the George F. DeVine Music Library at the University of Tennessee: includes a number of published folk song collections.
Link: UT Song Index
George F. DeVine Music Library: http://www.lib.utk.edu/music/

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library is the library and archive of the English Folk Dance  and Song Society, and is one of the most important traditional music resources in the world. The website currently hosts a number of the library’s indexes to manuscript collections, together with the Roud Folk Song Index and a selection of Cecil Sharp’s photographs of traditional singers. More material will be added as time allows.
Link: http://library.efdss.org/
English Folk Dance and Song Society: http://www.efdss.org/

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