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At the heart of English folk
Finding Folk Music Online


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Sheffield University website

Finding Folk Music Online


Sheffield University

A free, half-day workshop on using the Vaughan Williams Library Digital Archive, and its latest addition the James Madison Carpenter Collection.

  • Learn how to use the Vaughan Williams Library Digital Archive, and its latest addition the James Madison Carpenter Collection
  • Get practical advice on using archival materials effectively in schools

Led by Laura Smyth, Bryony Griffith and Julia Bishop

Are you interested in using online folk song and music resources but not sure where to start? Or have you some experience and want to find out more? Then this free workshop is for you!

Whether you are researching for performance, teaching or study, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library’s digital archive is the leading online resource of folk materials. Currently containing 22 digitised collections and detailed song and tune indexes, it has just gone live in a bigger and even better version, with over 2000 more songs from Britain and America, and new ways of searching them.

Led by the VWML Director, Laura Smyth, the morning session of this workshop is an opportunity to get practical experience in using the VWML website to find the materials you want. Find out what’s available, how to search for it, and how to get the most out of this unique resource.

The workshop will feature the Carpenter Folk Online project which has seen the addition of the impressive collection of folk song and drama made by J. M. Carpenter in 1930s Britain. Previously only accessible at the Library of Congress, the project has now made freely available a wealth of new songs, tunes, mummers’ plays and more. Discover more about these exciting developments and the collection’s riches from Julia Bishop, Co-Investigator on the Carpenter Folk Online Project, and sample a few for yourself!

The afternoon session is led by Bryony Griffith, an award-winning English fiddle player and singer from West Yorkshire with twenty years' experience researching folk material and devising innovative ways of presenting it for use in performance and education with children, young people and adults. Bryony will teach songs from VWML digital archive, demonstrating how they were used in primary schools to create fun and memorable learning experiences about Coal Mining and local history, and illustrate how they were developed to create new educational resources. Bring your singing voices!

The workshop is open to anyone with an interest in traditional song, music, dance, drama and custom. No previous experience of using digital archives or traditional music is necessary. Come and tell us more about how you’d like to use the archive and the materials you are interested in!

Tea and coffee will be provided but not lunch. Participants can obtain lunch at nearby eateries, such as The Diamond Kitchen, The Red Deer, and various cafés on West Street.

The workshop will take place at Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield, 34 Gell Street, Sheffield S3 7QY.

How to find the Humanities Research Institute


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