Folk Music Library

Photo of Jim Creedy, one of the images from the VWML Archives

Folk Music Library Goes Online

The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library today launches VWML Online.

Indexes to the collections of some of the best-known folk music collectors of the twentieth century are now available on the Library's website —

In the early years of the twentieth century, musicians and activists such as Ralph Vaughan Williams in East Anglia, Cecil Sharp in Somerset (and the Appalachian Mountains of the USA), Lucy Broadwood (Sussex), Henry and Robert Hammond in Dorset and George Gardiner in Hampshire collected hundreds of folk songs and tunes from agricultural workers, Gypsies and artisans in towns and villages in rural communities in England and beyond. For some — such as Vaughan Williams — the songs provided the inspiration for his compositions and editing The English Hymnal. Others, including Cecil Sharp, adapted the songs for use in schools. In recent decades, these songs have become increasingly popular as performed by musicians such as Martin Carthy, Norma Waterson, their daughter Eliza Carthy, and Kate Rusby. And now a whole new generation is becoming aware of the folk arts that surround them.

VWML Online allows anybody to search these important collections by titles, the source singers' names, and their place of residence and dates of collection.