Access the library online
The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library is housed in Cecil Sharp House, but some of our collections and indexes can also be accessed online for free.
The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library is pleased to launch (January 2011) its new web-based catalogue with the Leslie Shepard Collection. This is a special collection of books about broadsides, chapbooks and other ephemera, their printers and collectors, and the relationship of this material to traditional song. We will be adding catalogue records for other items in our library. Watch this space!
Several of the library's indexes can be viewed online. The indexes tell you what is held in the library, and allow you to search the library's records. At this stage you cannot access the content, only the indexes. Indexes available include those for mummers' plays (traditional drama), dances and tunes, and the informants who were collected from by Cecil Sharp, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Maud Karpeles, Lucy Broadwood and Percy Grainger. Other significant indexes hosted here are the Roud indexes to folksongs and broadsides, which have a broader coverage than VWML.
Created as part of a heritage education project, this allows you to search and view the archives of six of the UK's most prominent folk song collectors, Janet Blunt, George Butterworth, Francis Collinson, George Gardiner, Anne Gilchrist and Henry Hammond. These six collected over five thousand songs, tunes, dances and other folk art related ephemera - you can access this online database of over 22,000 images.
Read Sharp's Appalachian diaries from 1915-1918, when he was collecting in north America. Currently these pages are scans of the original diaries; we will be adding annotated transcripts by the end of 2010 for easier reading.
Photographs of the musicians, dancers and singers he met in England and North America. Most of these images are linked to the index of Sharp’s informants.
NOTE: An online catalogue to the library's literature collection is currently in preparation. It is planned to launch the catalogue site towards the end of 2010. This will initially include only the collection of books bequeathed by the eminent folk music scholar, Leslie Shepard. We shall then begin to add to the catalogue from existing electronic data before converting our existing card catalogues.
If you need any help accessing the library online or have any questions, please contact the VWML on 020 7485 2206 or email@example.com.