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At the heart of English folk

Preserving our folk heritage

This year, the nation’s folk collection needs your help.

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

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.

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. 

The collections need constant care and attention, and that’s why this autumn we are asking for your help to preserve them for generations to come.

We have some incredibly rare books which now require special care, such as our 19th-century street literature bound volumes; these two volumes of 19th-century music are 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 are keen to raise the £8,000 necessary 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, make a donation today.

What’s more, your donation will be doubled by Arts Council England, and if you're a UK tax payer we can claim a further 25p in every pound through Gift Aid.