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Detailed Description of the Collection

 Abbots Bromley Horn Dancer
 Ottery St Mary
 Royal Shrovetide Football - Ashbourne
 Burry Man, South Queensferry
 The John Knill Ceremony
 Padstow May Day
 Castelton Garland
 Chipping Campden May day
 Cheese Rolling, Copper's Hill
 Johnny Doughty
 Jack-in-the-Green, Hastings
 Padstow May Day
 Hunting the Earl of Rone
 Headington Quarry Morris
 Pete Coe

Also in this section
Also in this section:

Background to the collection
Seasonal events covered by the collection

Summary of collected material (as of 2003)

The Collection contains audio and video recordings (with related documentation and transcripts); photographs and transparencies (both archival and contemporary); written and printed material (photocopies or published volumes); field-notes; correspondence; artefacts; posters; newspaper cuttings; ephemera - especially an overwhelming assortment from the early 20th century on aspects of domestic, political and mass entertainment. Additionally, there is also exhibition and display material.



Negatives (black and white)


Negatives (colour)
over 2,500
Prints (from the above)
approx 2,500

All filed according to location, date and sequence shot.

Indexes to other photographic collections

Indexes to other photographic collections include:

  • Benjamin Stone Collection in Birmingham Central Library;
  • Cecil Sharp's photographs of Singers (in England and USA);
  • Archive collection of photographs on song and dance in Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, EFDSS ;
  • Museum of Rural Life [general index];
  • Partial listings to allied material in Fox Photo collection and Radio Times Picture Library (now Getty Images).



Master tape

approx.1,500 hours

Viewing copies (from masters)
30 hours
Other related material
2,000 hours

Master tapes are of custom, song, dance and interviews (includes documentary material). Viewing copies exist of some of this material. The related material includes off-air, donated and purchased material. Actuality material dates back as early as 1912.



approx. 70 hours
8 hours
20 min

Indexes to other film collections

Indexes to other film collections include:

  • Indexes to Folklife and allied subject references in footage from the National Film Archive and BUFVC collection (for example:Topical Budget Newsreels (1921-29);
  • Listing of material in the EFDSS Film and Video Collection;
  • Material held by NATCECT and The Morris Ring;
  • BBC Film Library (fragmentary). plus an ongoing guide to Folklife/ song material as transmitted from 1900 to the present.


AUDIO - includes open-reel, cassette, Dat, Mini-disk, CD etc.

Master tape

     approx.6,000 hours

Listening copies (from masters)
approx. 30 hours
Commercial pressings, CDs etc.
approx. 1,000 hours

Other related material and indexes to other audio collections

Other related material includes:

  • Field recordings and actuality with material linked to documentaries and broadcasts plus research, music, song, lore etc.
  • Some BBC Sound Archive material as well as off-air and material donated by other collectors.
  • Indexes to EFDSS Sound Library; BBC Sound Archives.
  • Index, directories and catalogues of commercially available recordings [1961 to present]
  • Details of material in Library of Congress, USA.

Books, journals etc.

There is an extensive book collection and there are complete runs of most major journals and magazines including English Dance and Song, Folk Music Journal, Folklore, Lore and Language; Folk Life; Oral History Journal; History Workshop Journal and of Folk music revival magazines from 1950s onwards. Indexes to Folk material in Journals such as Devon life; Notes and Queries; Sussex Arch.; Sussex County Magazine etc.


Newspaper cuttings, ephemera, broadsheets, manuscripts and song collections, and documentary material relating to 20th century popular culture and folklore; field notes, personal diaries and letters.

Material objects

There have been a number of deposits of material objects notably a Mummers' Costume; the Haxey Hood Lord's 'wand of office'; a variety of ceremonial and ritual foods from events such as doles and charities; also a range of ephemera posters, souvenir items (key rings, towels, cups etc.). There are a number of dance costumes on offer.

Restricted material

There is also some material which, by its very nature, is restricted for a period. A few contain intimate or close family details from certain informants which should not be freely available in an unedited form. Similarly there is a discrete collection of recordings, made during a particular dispute within a well known traditional event, where both sides of the debate were recorded on a daily basis over a period, and this is restricted for obvious reasons.

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This page last updated 7 January, 2009

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