First public presentation on a project to update and enhance the Bodleian's Broadside Ballads digital collection

24 February 2012

The Protestants prophesieOn Saturday, 25 February 2012, Dr Giles Bergel, Project Manager, will make the first public presentation about a JISC-funded project that will update and enhance the Bodleian Library’s Broadside Ballads digital collection, at ‘Broadside Day’, a one-day event exploring all aspects of street literature and popular print traditions, at Cecil Sharp House in London, headquarters of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.

The JISC-funded project, Integrating Broadside Ballads Online, will link the largest and most significant online collections of broadside ballads and information about the ballad tradition, in a collaboration between the Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford, the English Broadside Ballad Archive at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and the library and archive of the English Folk Dance and Song Society in London.

Broadside ballads are cheaply-printed, illustrated song-sheets dating from the earliest days of print which conveyed news, prophecies, histories, moral advice, religious warnings, political arguments, satire, comedy, and bawdy tales. Broadside ballads were sold in large numbers on street-corners, in town squares, and at fairs by travelling ballad-singers and posted on the walls of alehouses and other public places: they were sung, read, and viewed with pleasure by a wide audience, but have survived only in relatively small numbers.

Information about Broadside Day at Cecil Sharp House, including the programme, is linked from the project blog at http://ballads.bodleian.ox.ac.uk.
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