James Madison Carter Collection Online



The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library is the library of the English Folk Dance and Song Society. With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund in two previous projects, it has created an online digital archive of folk performing arts, particularly folk songs, hosting its own and third party collections of manuscripts from the late 19th and early 20th centuries on, mainly those made in England but including some material from Scotland, Wales, Ireland and America. The project involved adding the J. M. Carpenter collection to this existing resource, by converting the existing metadata created by the Carpenter Project team, and linking it to the digital images and sound files of the collection created by the Library of Congress where it was previously only available on site. The project enabled a significant upgrade of the VWML database, with the inclusion of sound recordings for the first time, personal and geographic authority files, and the ability to search on an extended range of variables, such as by gender of singer. The Carpenter collection is a major collection and fills in a significant gap in our knowledge of oral culture during the inter-war period, especially in Britain. It has introduced a significant number of songs collected in Scotland to the archive which is attracting new users, not only performers, music tutors, teachers and researcher but also the descendants of contributors and local communities where folksong and folklore collecting took place. The archive is unique in allowing users to cross-search the various collections on variables such as songs, contributor name and geographical location
Date made available2018
PublisherVaughan Williams Memorial Library
Date of data production2018

Funder and Grant Reference number

  • Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • AH/P01352X/1

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