A new digital archive of traditional English folk music will be launched by the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) on 20 June 2013.
The Full English has been made possible with the help of a £585,400 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). It brings together 12 major collections for the first time in a comprehensive, free, searchable digital archive of English folk songs, tunes, dances and customs.
The archive will be officially unveiled at a special event at EFDSS's London headquarters, Cecil Sharp House.
At the event:
- traditional English folk singer, collector, writer, researcher and EFDSS President, Shirley Collins MBE, will give the keynote speech
- Seth Lakeman, Martin Simpson, Fay Hield, Nancy Kerr, Sam Sweeney, Rob Harbron and Ben Nicholls will premiere new music and arrangements inspired by material Fay Hield has found within The Full English archive and commissioned by EFDSS with a grant from the PRS Foundation for Music
About The Full English
In a marriage between tradition and new media, more than 58,400 items from some of the country's most important folk music collections – including manuscripts, notes and letters – have been conserved and digitised before being uploaded to a central digital archive.
Users can browse through the collections of Harry Albino, Lucy Broadwood, Clive Carey, Percy Grainger, Maud Karpeles, Frank Kidson, Thomas Fairman Ordish, Frank Sidgwick, Cecil Sharp, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Alfred Williams and Mary Leather.
Malcolm Taylor, Library Director of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML), EFDSS's library and archive based at Cecil Sharp House, said:
'The launch of The Full English archive is a landmark in digital archives and for EFDSS. It will open up traditional English music to an international audience, making available for browsing and searching manuscripts of traditional song, music and culture that could once only be accessed by visiting archives or in edited printed versions. I hope it will inspire and inform a new generation of folk music and dance lovers.'
The Full English was also made possible with support from the National Folk Music Fund, whose funding is given in memory of Ursula Vaughan Williams, and the Folklore Society. EFDSS has worked in partnership with Clare College, the British Library, the Folklore Society, the Grainger Museum at the University of Melbourne, the Mitchell Library, the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library and the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre to amalgamate collections that are housed across the country.
The Full English Learning Programme
The Full English is EFDSS's largest participation project to date with a nationwide community and schools learning programme beginning in July 2013.
Working through nine regional partners, there will be community projects including participatory events and concerts, archive and history projects alongside creative projects in Primary and Secondary schools and the wider community.