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English ballads collection (18th-19th C.)

Two major collections of ballads on microfilm: the Madden collection at Cambridge, and the Sabine Baring-Gould collection at the British Library. Together the collections constitute a range of ballads from the 18th-19th century.

"The Madden Ballads include important primary source material which traces the evolution of the broadside ballad from a simple printed sheet in the standard 'old face' Caslon type to a large sheet containing several ballads in a decorative layout using fancy type, flowers and rules. Themes explored include romance, social satire, sporting events, crime, history and politics. [...] What makes Madden’s collection so remarkable is its vast size and the comprehensiveness of the collection in terms of showing the continuous development of the ballad trade through the eighteenth-century in London and a few provincial cities and towns and the explosive proliferation of ballad printing establishments both within the London region and throughout almost every county of England in the first fifty years of the nineteenth-century" '- Gale Microform Guides

"The Sabine Baring-Gould collection has several thousand ballads and broadsides reproduced on seven microfilm reels. Most of the single sheets were ephemeral (though sometimes printed in very large quantities), and have not been published since. They are reproduced from albums in the Sabine Baring-Gould and Thomas Crampton collections in the British Library, London, dated c. 1760-1860" -- University of Minnesota

Date range: 18th-19th century

Significance: Significant in the United Kingdom

Size: Between 10,000 to 20,000 ballads in total.

Language:  English

Keywords:  Ballads, popular literature, street literature, folk studies, music

Notes: Special Collections and Archives also hold a substantial collection of Welsh Ballads.