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Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance

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The Sandman 20 Jul 10 - 08:57 AM
Manitas_at_home 20 Jul 10 - 09:07 AM
The Sandman 20 Jul 10 - 09:09 AM
katlaughing 20 Jul 10 - 09:15 AM
mattkeen 20 Jul 10 - 09:20 AM
TheSnail 20 Jul 10 - 09:42 AM
Brian Peters 20 Jul 10 - 11:08 AM
Vic Smith 20 Jul 10 - 11:10 AM
The Sandman 20 Jul 10 - 11:38 AM
Manitas_at_home 20 Jul 10 - 11:53 AM
GUEST,Trainspotter 20 Jul 10 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Trainspotter 20 Jul 10 - 12:09 PM
Will Fly 20 Jul 10 - 12:14 PM
Will Fly 20 Jul 10 - 12:15 PM
The Sandman 20 Jul 10 - 12:24 PM
greg stephens 20 Jul 10 - 12:51 PM
katlaughing 20 Jul 10 - 01:00 PM
The Sandman 20 Jul 10 - 01:01 PM
Vic Smith 20 Jul 10 - 01:10 PM
Old Vermin 20 Jul 10 - 02:15 PM
Will Fly 20 Jul 10 - 02:17 PM
Steve Gardham 20 Jul 10 - 03:09 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 20 Jul 10 - 03:20 PM
Brian Peters 20 Jul 10 - 03:32 PM
Vic Smith 20 Jul 10 - 04:02 PM
The Sandman 21 Jul 10 - 05:51 AM
The Sandman 21 Jul 10 - 06:01 AM
greg stephens 21 Jul 10 - 06:32 AM
GUEST,Ed 21 Jul 10 - 06:43 AM
Old Vermin 21 Jul 10 - 06:46 AM
Vic Smith 21 Jul 10 - 07:02 AM
The Sandman 21 Jul 10 - 07:05 AM
Howard Jones 21 Jul 10 - 07:21 AM
oggie 21 Jul 10 - 07:22 AM
Old Vermin 21 Jul 10 - 07:44 AM
Jack Campin 21 Jul 10 - 07:53 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 10 - 08:02 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 10 - 08:04 AM
The Sandman 21 Jul 10 - 08:40 AM
Vic Smith 21 Jul 10 - 08:51 AM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 10 - 08:51 AM
greg stephens 21 Jul 10 - 09:08 AM
Vic Smith 21 Jul 10 - 09:09 AM
GUEST,Ed 21 Jul 10 - 09:12 AM
Vic Smith 21 Jul 10 - 09:22 AM
Dave Sutherland 21 Jul 10 - 10:30 AM
oggie 21 Jul 10 - 10:51 AM
The Sandman 21 Jul 10 - 10:57 AM
mattkeen 21 Jul 10 - 11:41 AM
oggie 21 Jul 10 - 11:43 AM
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Subject: TheVWML and its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 08:57 AM

The VWML is situated at C Sharp house in London, how important is it to the 21 century English folk revival?.
Many contemporary songs are now being written and sung at Folk festivals and clubs, that owe nothing to the VWML, many traditional songs can be sourced on the net at sites such as this and elsewhere.
its[VWML] geographical location is convenient for some but not for others.
this thread is posing a question?it is not attacking the EFDSS.
The VWML is IMO a useful resource, particularly as it is now online, but how many other revival singers use it or find it useful?
should it include contemporary songs ? or should it become the equivalent of a library museum?


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:07 AM

It's not online. There are parts online and some indexes online. The physical library will still be necessary for many years to come.


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:09 AM

I did notsay that the physical library was not necessary ,did I.


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:15 AM

I sure wish everyone would remember that not everybody knows what each and every acronym means and would spell it out when used, the first time, as any good journalist would do. The assumption gets tiresome and no one wants to look like an idjit by asking what the hell it stands for...I don't mean just this thread, either.


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: mattkeen
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:20 AM

A lot - me included

Give a rest Dick


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: TheSnail
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 09:42 AM

Vaughan Williams Memorial Library loacted at Cecil Sharp House, the headquarters of the English Folk Dance and Song Society.


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: Brian Peters
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 11:08 AM

It's greatly to the credit of EFDSS that they have made some of their collections available to internet users on the Take 6 site. However, there is a huge amount of material in the library - in the form of unpublished collections, rare books and sound recordings - that is not available on the web (Mudcat is very useful but hardly bears comprison) or easily accessed anywhere else. Incidentally, I think you'll find that many of the books there DO include contemporary songs.

Also, of course, you get the expert assistance of the library staff, whose knowledge is second to none. It's indipensible.


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 11:10 AM

The VWML is IMO a useful resource, particularly as it is now online, but how many other revival singers use it or find it useful?

I would have thought that the importance of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library to the British folk enthusiast was both vital and self-evident and barely worthy of a thread unless it were to congratulate the ongoing dedication, usefulness and enthusiasm of Malcolm Taylor and his staff.

I was delighted to be part of the show at Cecil Sharp House on 2nd April 2005 when Malcolm was presented with his English Folk Dance and Song Society Gold Badge with a citation read by Doc Rowe during a concert to celebrate the life of Bob Copper.

The citation read:-
We are here this evening to celebrate and honour the memory of Bob Copper - as remarkable and as gentle a man as ever lived. Bob, I know, would appreciate and see it very apt that we take time out also to pay tribute to another man who has so generously given of his time, his enthusiasm and knowledge. Indeed, had this award been given a year or two earlier, I am certain that it would have been Bob himself standing here and - more eloquently - applaud the work of Malcolm Taylor OBE and Librarian of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library.
We must say that we are not just celebrating Malcolm's twenty-five years of service to the EFDSS since I am sure there can be few of us here that have not, directly or indirectly, benefited from his work in the Library. In fact there are many of you - all of you, perhaps - that would dearly wish to take my place and present your own tribute....so It is, therefore, both an honour and privilege for me to have been asked to give this citation tonight. This, of course, could fall somewhere between "This is your Life " and a 'best man' speech - I apologise for that .... but I do know I have the essential gold item somewhere about my person! I am able to speak personally of working with this man over the quarter century - half his actual life span, in fact - and I recall meeting him on his second day in the post imparting words of wisdom … Despite that, we still speak together and have worked on numerous projects together. Most notable was the education series for EFDSS in the 1990s. It was there I did the initial writing and he then read and edited my, oft-times over-indulgent or enthusiastic, text. I shall, therefore, enjoy this opportunity of not having my words overseen - and I may say what I wish on this occasion.
We should, perhaps, initially extend our sincere gratitude to Deptford Library for their poor selection of pop music … for it was there that a young Malcolm Taylor - who was into prog-rock [whatever that is?] - discovered a reasonable folk collection and was soon borrowing records of Martin Carthy, Bob Dylan, Shirley and Dolly
Collins … and perhaps, most importantly, the Caedmon series of Folk Songs of Britain. It was hearing these field recordings, and especially a performance of the Nutting Girl by Cyril Poacher, that assured his future interest in this traditional culture.
A second thanks must go to Tony Connell, an Australian who was working for a while as assistant librarian at the House. Malcolm's recalls an early visit to the library as a student when, he said that Tony "sized him up" and obviously felt he was "worth spending more than five minutes with".
"He dragged me up to the sound library and made me watch the Barley Mow - The 'Blaxhall Ship' film.... It made me realise that it wasn't people in recording studios - it was about something else."
The 'something else' was the social context of the recorded material and what the likes of Sam Larner, Harry Cox and Walter Pardon were nurturing and handing on to others. Here then was a touchstone for the future Librarian.
Malcolm Howard Taylor Joined the Society as assistant librarian in 1979, after obtaining his BA and professional Librarianship qualifications...and a timehonoured short spell of unemployment. He was clearly tailor made for the post, since he had not only made his specialist subject Folk Music, he had also attempted to formulate a classification scheme for folk music. This turned out to be
- in his own words "an absolute nightmare".
In 1981, the post of Librarian became vacant but only at the eleventh hour did he apply, He did so out of courtesy to Mrs Ursula Vaughan Williams who he knew would have expected it, but was not offered the job since he was thought too young!
The sucessful candidate, however, actually resigned after one week, stating that it was impossible for one person to fulfill the library tasks. Malcolm was accordingly offered the post by Nibs Matthews, then Artistic Director, and the rest as they say is history. Yes, Malcolm went on to be an older and, probably, wiser librarian
In that initial "honeymoon period", as he calls it, he continued with the normal library proceedures but then felt a distinct desire to make things happen and "open the doors" of both the Library and the Society. Thus began the Library Lecture series in 1981; then the conferences; the exhibitions; the books and Cassettes; the broadcasts ….
Yes, he made things happen! Each of these activities alone will take far too long to list in their entirety, but there have now been over one hundred library lectures on all aspects of folk culture: ranging from Morris Dance, Parody in traditional song to Carnivalesque in the West Indies and Song collecting in the Southern Appalachians.
His own talks and presentations have taken him as far afield as the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, Washington D.C and his seminar sessions about the Library, Folk and educational resources, have been held at various folk festivals all over England. I did once notice, however, that he was not really too enthusiastic about Folk Festivals. I thought this was his natural modesty and shyness [hem] then I learned of his other summer time passion – that of cricket!
In 1986 he started the Library series of cassettes with Early in the month of Spring; followed by a further six tapes which included Fred Hamer's field recordings and a cassette of Fred Jordan. Many will also recall the musical events such as An Evening with Cecil Sharp and Ashley Hutchings, An Evening with Walter Pardon
and Far From My Native Home, which featured Irish musicians now living in England.
In the 1990s he presented and co-wrote eight radio programmes, Collecting Folk which focused on contemporary fieldworkers. More recently, his Radio4 documentary on Cecil Sharp's songs in Somerset called The Seeds of Love was widely acclaimed when it was broadcast in the summer of 2003.
An extremely useful and important series of individual bibliographies on Social dance, Sword, Clog, Morris and May were published by the library in the 1980s and, between 1993 and 1995, he edited the Education series on British Traditions - which I had written with Carolyn Robson. We were still speaking after that, too, and, in 2002, we jointly edited "Room, Room, Ladies and Gentlemen": an introduction to the English mummers' play.
Perhaps the two most singularly important and recent publications are Still Growing: and Dear Companion. Both featuring material from Cecil Sharp's collecting, these books are probably those of which he is most proud.
This, of course, is not to ignore the daily running of the library, organising staff and volunteers, dealing with enquiries, organising cataloguing and indexing, making accessible the phenomenal sound and photographic archive etc. etc…. and the recent digitisation of card catalogues and indexes, development of the website and the potential for on-line catalogues continues to make the library even more
accessible.
Malcolm is rightly proud of making the manuscripts, the cylinders, and scrapbooks more accessible. He modestly states that, although they were simply stored behind locked doors, they simply needed rediscovering; but someone, of course, needed to reveal them! We can now easily browse through copies of the manuscripts of Sharp, Broadwood, Karpeles et al .... in a library that is probably the friendliest of Libraries anywhere.
Often outspoken, but honest, Malcolm should also be celebrated for his endurance and tenacity and times when he has stubbornly fought opposition to projects which have later proven their worth.
Malcolm actually enjoys being a catalyst - putting people of similar interest together and he gets the greatest of job satisfaction in the knowledge that he has been able provide others with material that they can go away and explore. He is simply enthusiastic about getting other people excited – allowing them discover material for themselves – much as he himself had been able to do. Perhaps to change their lives as Tony Conell had done him to a quarter of a century before.
Acknowledgment to his help appears in hundreds of books and on recordings and bear witness to his constant support, research and enabling attitude.
Most of this is clearly beyond the call of librarianship and I think it right that we should here keep in mind the fact that he is also a family man. Perhaps we should commiserate with his partner, Laura and their two children, Hannah and Matt and trust that his efforts and enthusiasm has not taken too much of his time and energy away from them. That's, of course, not mentioning his beloved cricket!
It was no wonder that, in 2002, he was awarded the OBE in the New Years honours list for services to Music Librarianship and Heritage… and… so tonight another award and the highest accolade the English Folk Dance and Song Society can give.
Only twice before, has this been given to an active member of staff. So this really is seen as a very special statement and a declaration of the Society's recognition of the work that Malcolm Taylor has done for Traditional Music Dance and Song and we thank the Society for that.
There has always been a special relationship between the Copper family and the Society and that continued in the friendship and admiration between Bob and Malcolm himself. He did once say to me that you kind of knew exactly where you were with the Copper family: It always felt as if you were batting in the same team. Or was it, I politely yet logically suggested, drinking in the same bar?.
Bob Copper was always supportive of the EFDSS and especially the work of the library and, as I mentioned earlier, I am sure that if he were with us today – it would be he standing here now. It was Malcolm who concluded the many tributes at Bob's farewell in Rottingdean last year, so it seems rightly fitting to ask Bob's daughter Jill to make the presentation of the gold badge to Malcolm Taylor.
Doc Rowe


All that needs to be added to this is that since 2005 when this was written, that the rate of achievement of the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library has accelerated with many other fine publications and achievements perhaps the finest of these is the Take 6 project. On June 9th 2009, the Take 6 Project was launched at the EFDSS headquarters by their president, Shirley Collins. The archives of six important song collectors has been made available at http://library.efdss.org/archives/ Click here to see a series of photos of the launch event. Plans are afoot to extend the scope of the Take 6 project.

It was largely the huge success of the Take 6 project that led to the EFDSS becoming one of the Arts Council s Regularly Funded Organisations. You can read about this by clicking here.

So, in summary, I would say that the answer to what I would consider a largely unneeded question about whether or not the library is useful would be a resounding YES!!!


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 11:38 AM

Vic, my questions were slightly different
I asked
1. how important is it to the 21 century folk revival.
2.how many other revival singers use it or find it useful
3.should it include contemporary songs[Brian informs me it does]
   the problem for some people [myself included]is its location, as someone who travels mainly by train, it is not very well situated, if for example it was situated at Crewe or Derby[ the center of the country], and both well connected rail wise,
I would be able to visit it more often, now when it is all online that will be less of a problem[but I have been informed on this thread that will be years yet].


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 11:53 AM

It's just a walk from King's Cross, Euston and Marylebone stations ( or a short bus ride) which puts it in easy reach of most of the country. Being close to an underground station puts it within an hours travel of some 10 million people. Is there really a better location?


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: GUEST,Trainspotter
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 12:05 PM

GSS 'travels mainly by train', but somehow finds the VWML 'not very well situated'. Presumably, he doesn't include the Camden Town tube station (one stop from King's Cross/St. Pancras and two from Euston) as a train station.

Neither Crewe nor Derby are the 'centre of the country' (whatever that means). If it's the centre of England he's looking for, then it's in Leicestershire. If it's the GB centre, then it's in Lancashire.

Anyway, I thought GSS lived in Ireland!


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: GUEST,Trainspotter
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 12:09 PM

If Manitas is planning to walk from Marylebone, give him an hour and enjoy a pint in the Spread Eagle on Parkway.


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 12:14 PM

Dick, I can't honestly see the point of this thread - particularly as you've expressed opinions on the location and other aspects of the EFDSS elsewhere.

It surely must be self-evident to anyone with a passing interest in the folk music world that the society is, as Brian Peters puts it, "indispensable". Digitising library collections as diverse and as large as that contained in C# House is an incredibly complex and time-consuming business, and I speak as an ex-librarian and (retired) who was involved in the business. To get where they've got to with the Take 6 Project has taken immense hard work, and more resources will undoubtedly come on-line in the future. Be patient.

I note that you say, in your original post, that you are just "posing a question, not attacking the EFDSS" but - when I put this thread together with your other one entitled "EFDSS: Advantages and disadvantages" - I get a distinct impression of niggling curmudgeonliness. Apologies if this is far from your intent, but it's what comes across to me.

Train time from Lancaster (say) to Euston - 3 hours these days. Driving time - around 5, excluding the London car charge and the potentially bloody awful traffic. As Manitas says, is there really a better location?


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 12:15 PM

I speak as an ex-librarian and (retired) who was involved in the business.

To clarify: in the business generally, and not at C# House specifically


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 12:24 PM

yes Will fly, you do owe me an apology, that is not my intent.yes you see for me coming from ireland,


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: greg stephens
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 12:51 PM

The positioning of a base for the EFDSS is an interesting topic: but I cannot think it is a priority to ensure that it is conveniently accessible to people living in Ballydehob in Co Cork. Obviously locating it in Skibbereen or Bantry would have certain advantages, but I can't really see a consensus of C Sharp House people deciding to relocate there.
Personally, I like it being in London. Accessible by train from anywhere, and I quite like a trip to the Big Smoke now and again. And,in London, there are a lot of other things to do that you can't do in Crewe or Derby.


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: katlaughing
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:00 PM

Thank you, TheSnail.


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Subject: RE: TheVWML and its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:01 PM

Greg, Ballydehob would be great., BUT HARDLY APPROPRIATE, it is the EFDSS , NOT the irish fdss.
the midlands is the centre of the country and is the fairest foir every body.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 01:10 PM

yes Will fly, you do owe me an apology

Oh dear! I hope that this one does not run and run like a previous request for an apology from this poster.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Old Vermin
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 02:15 PM

I hope RVW would have appreciated the pleasant irony that the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library is in central(ish) London while Surrey County Council, as far as I know, still holds the performing arts library for the county along with some VW material at the Denbighs vineyard premises near the town of Dorking with which he was connected.

That said - and I can just read that sentence in one breath - the collection is of national importance for England and is kept in the capital of England. Probably more conveniently accessible to as many people as possible in England exactly where it already is.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 02:17 PM

No Dick - I don't owe you an apology - I apologised in advance if I had misread your intention, as my post makes quite clear. An impression is only an impression, and I can't help it if that's what comes across to me - rightly or wrongly - from the tenor of the posts.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 03:09 PM

1. how important is it to the 21 century folk revival.
2.how many other revival singers use it or find it useful
3.should it include contemporary songs[Brian informs me it does]

A1. Crucial is the first word that springs to mind. Where else is there such a comprehensive archive of English (and other) traditional song?

A2. Almost all of the revival singers I know, certainly all of the well-known English ones, have used the library's facilities, either directly by visiting or other forms of communication. For instance all of the Waterson-Carthy dynasty, The Copper Family, Shirley Collins, (no this is silly, hundreds if not thousands over the last 60 years.)

A3. This one is a matter of opinion and is more difficult to answer. However it is an interesting question and should be asked. Perhaps this one should have a thread of its own.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 03:20 PM

I am puzzled by this query. I live in Ireland, in Donegal. I am a member of EFDSS because it gives me copies of Folk Music Journal, English Dance and Song and privileged access to the Library when in London. As a member, I can have certain items sent to me via the postal services. I also have, as does anyone, access to Malcolm, Peta and Elaine by phone. I find this useful because the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library has a considerable archive of unique material which cannot be consulted anywhere else. London seems to me to be as good a place as any other, particularly with cheap(ish) flights.

However, The VWML does not hold as much Irish material as I have myself or anything like as much as the Irish Traditional Music Archive. Also Oidhreacht an Cláir in Miltown Malbay, the various National and University Libraries have vast resources of unique material concerning Irish music and its early and modern sources, as have individuals, like Len Graham and Seán Corcoran.

The sources are scattered and it is impracticable to bring them all together though ITMA is doing so in the form of surrogates. Digitization is not a complete answer to actually going to libraries, it's hugely expensive, very hit and miss (look at the appalling standard of much of Google and Microsoft's scans) and we have no idea how soon it will need to be done again because of changes in operating systems or system crashes.

Under these circumstances I think it's hardly fair to carp about the location of VWML at Cecil Sharp House in London but somewhat better to marvel that, though devoted work and inspired conservation, what is now a much under-regarded cultural treasure, is being preserved and made accessible at all. Thank the Chinese for paper and Heaven for the Malcolm Taylors of this world.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Brian Peters
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 03:32 PM

3.should it include contemporary songs[Brian informs me it does]?

Steve wrote:
"This one is a matter of opinion and is more difficult to answer. However it is an interesting question and should be asked. Perhaps this one should have a thread of its own."

I don't have a catalogue handy, but surely the VWML includes copies of 'Hard-Hitting Songs for Hard-Hit People', or 'My Song is My Own', or '100 Songs of Toil'? I wouldn't be surprised if they have Leon Rosselson or Keith Marsden songbooks there as well. However I'm not aware of an archive of modern folk songs analagous to Sharp or Gardiner's collections, nor would it be a very good use of limited space and money to fill the sound archive with singer-songwriter albums. IMO, of course.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Vic Smith
Date: 20 Jul 10 - 04:02 PM

3.should it include contemporary songs

This is perhaps the only section of the opening post which is worthy of sustained discussion.

I would be with Brian when he says nor would it be a very good use of limited space and money to fill the sound archive with singer-songwriter albums. I would add to this the fact that a great deal of contemporary song is of passing, transitory interest; much of it purposely so.

Consider - those who are old enough - the vast number of singer-songwriters who thronged into folk clubs during the boom years of the 1960s and 1970s and ask yourself What percentage of that huge output of songs has stood the test of time? In my opinion, the percentage is not very large and sometimes those who are now considered the better writers of that era were not the most popular at the time.

Now think about the collecting work that was being done by the likes of Keith Summers and Mike Yates during those same years and consider how interesting their work is now considered to be by those who have a sustained interest in the traditional cultural heritage of these islands.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:51 AM

I am entitled to an opinion, and my opinion which is based on experience of flying in and out of airports,is that transport connections to the Midlands are as good and in some cases better than they are to Camden town[ exception london heathrow].
It is as easy to get to the midlands from london gatwick, stansted london luton, AND birmingham, AND in some cases easier.
   the point is   that if it does not include contemporary songs it just becomes a museum, folk music is a living changing evolving music, it is not something that has to be preserved .
of course museums are necessary too, but should a library just be a museum piece?
it is not correct to suggest that I am suggesting it is filled with albums of contemporary songwriters cds.
including contemporary songs can be acheived in different ways other than including every singer songwriters cd.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 06:01 AM

my other point is that apart from london based singers, I am fairly sure that others are put off by the geographical location, I certainly am.
the alternative of driving through london[ that is not a pleasant experience] or an hours claustrophobic tube journey plus aten minute walk [london heathrow], is not appealing.
the midlands[imo] has much easier train connections and easier road connections and is the geographical centrE of England ,hence its name.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 06:32 AM

If the library decided to spend its time acquiring all songs written in England every year(published, manuscript, broadcasts and recording)...well, that might be a very interesting project. But it would need funding, space, specialist staff etc etc. It could probably tackle it, as long as it chucked out all that old folk stuff and got rid of Malcolm Taylor, Peta Webb etc etc.
Great idea Schweik. Let's do it.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 06:43 AM

I have to say that I'm with Good Soldier Schweik on the location issue.

It's indicative that the two posters, Manitas and Will Fly, who have voiced support for the current site live relatively nearby.

Will's example of the train time from Lancaster is somewhat disingenuous, Lancaster being on the West Coast Mainline. It's a hell a lot harder from other northern towns.

It won't change so I'll shut up.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Old Vermin
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 06:46 AM

Would there be a case for say the British Library or even the PRS logging contemporary material?


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Vic Smith
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 07:02 AM

There is so much good sense in what you say, Dick, that I am forced to agree with you. Let's straight away move the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library to Stoke (for Greg's convenience) or Crewe or Derby or Leicester or Birmingham or wherever you think would be most suitable.

I'm sure that it would be a worthwhile move. I'm sure that you, Dick, would like to head the fundraising committee to meet the costs involved. I would gladly help by arranging a detailed costing of buying new premises and arranging the careful packing and transport of sometimes priceless but vulnerable material, though I'm afraid that my initial investigation reveals that it may run into millions of pounds.
I would also make it my responsibility to convince Malcolm, Peta and Elaine that there is so much to be gained by moving to a destination of your choice.

Please could you post your planned time scale for the move along with the exact location you have in mind so that I can make progress on producing a detailed and realistic estimate of the costs.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 07:05 AM

how often is the Library used? how many visitors does it get every day? every week?
we all say its a valuable resource but how many of us use it?.
The Library must have details of visitor numbers?
I am doubtful that revival singers from North Yorkshire, Newcastle , Shropshire , are in there daily or even once a week., but I would be very happy to be proved wrong.
John Moulden, is wrong[if he is saying it is easy to fly to london and go to C sharp house, from the following london airports it is as easy [and in two cases easier] to get to the midlands.FROM london luton, Gatwick Stansted.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 07:21 AM

Dick, most people wishing to use the library will be coming from somewhere in England, or at least mainland Britain, and will not be travelling by air. Ease of access to an airport is not a priority. C# House is easily accessible by Tube from all the main London railway stations, and is outside the congestion charging zone. It's hard to think of anywhere else which would be as easily accessible from any part of the country.

I live "up North", by the way, so I don't have a London bias in this. I happen to think that the EFDSS is still too London-centric in its activities, but this is no doubt a question of resources. As a location for the VWML, and for keeping in touch with the arts establishment (essential for funding), C# House is hard to beat.

To answer your original question, I suspect that the overwhelming majority of material performed by the folk revival will have come directly or indirectly from the Library. By this I mean that professional performers are continually disseminating material from the Library to a wider audience, many of whom then adopt that material into their own repertoires. It's hard to understate the Library's importance.

As for contemporary material, if it's any good it will probably have been published somewhere, in some form, so I can see little point in devoting the VWML's scarce resources to it.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: oggie
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 07:22 AM

Groundhog Day. I seem to recall a long thread on the subject of the location of the VWML a couple of years back.

Wherever it is based there will be arguments. Far better that it stays where it is and resources put into extending. conserving and digitalising the collection rather than spending millions (because that's the sort of figures we're looking at) moving it to somewhere else.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Old Vermin
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 07:44 AM

Quote from, I think, Robert Townsend in 'Up the Organisation.'

"Two moves equals one fire."


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 07:53 AM

I live near Edinburgh. I go to London every few years. I've never been to Crewe in my life and last visited Birmingham in 1977 and Leicester sometime around 1980.

London is the one place in the UK you can get to fairly easily from anywhere else in the UK. For most other places, the public transport system forces you to go through London to get there. (I wanted to go to the Malcolm Douglas commemoration in Sheffield - it would have taken me twice as long as getting to London and would have cost much more, despite being half the distance).

I can see the point of collecting contemporary material, but only the sort that will not "stand the test of time" - football songs are the obvious example. Who else is going to preserve stuff that will never be published or commercially recorded? But someday somebody's going to want to know about it, as a mirror of the world we're living in now.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 08:02 AM

Cap'n;
Your point about the inaccessibility of the V.W.M.L. is a fair one, but one that has been made solvable by the development of the Internet.
I would recommend anybody interested in seeing how an internet can be made accessible look into how the Irish Traditional Music Archive has developed.
It has taken many years of dedication, hard work and string-pulling to get it to the stage it is now at, and it still has a considerable way to go before it is fully usable. It has happened here because people involved in the music have wanted it to happen - sometimes not the case in the UK I think.
I agree with oggie's point about digitisation, but, remembering the bitter fight over the sale of C# House, the in-fighting and ballot tampering, etc, I have my doubts about the wisdom of maintaining costly premises that are no longer fit for purpose and can no longer find space to adequately display existing holdings, let alone accept new material.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 08:04 AM

That second sentence was a little nonsensical - but I'm sure you follow my point,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 08:40 AM

Howard, I think you are missing a trick here.
the VWML needes to be accessible to everyone the library and the EFDSS needs to be promoted, but not just to people in mainland Britain, it needs to be a Heritage destination, accessible to overseas visitors.
The library does have to be big enough to accept new material.
JACK, your rail facts are incorrect everything does not go via london in fact there is a train servics from the north to cornwall via Derby ,AND BIRMINGHAM[not london][Virgin Trains
some details of many journeys that donot go through london
copied today from trans pennine express.

From:         To:         Standard from:         1st class from:         Tickets:
Blackpool         Manchester         £5.00 (single)         £10.00 (single)         Buy now
Carlisle         Edinburgh         £7.00 (single)         £12.50 (single)         Buy now
Hull         Leeds         £6.00 (single)         £11.00 (single)         Buy now
Leeds         Windermere         £11.00 (single)         £20.00 (single)         Buy now
Liverpool         Leeds         £7.50 (single)         £15.50 (single)         Buy now
Manchester         Glasgow         £12.00 (single)         £21.50 (single)         Buy now
Manchester         Edinburgh         £12.00 (single)         £21.50 (single)         Buy now
Manchester         Leeds         £6.00 (single)         £11.00 (single)         Buy now
Newcastle         Leeds         £10.50 (single)         £19.00 (single)         Buy now
Newcastle         York         £7.00 (single)         £14.50 (single)         Buy now
Preston         Manchester         £5.00 (single)         £9.00 (single)         Buy now
Preston         Sheffield         £7.50 (single)         £13.50 (single)         Buy now
there is a connecting service from stansted airport to birmingham that does not go through london
Derby station.
   Derby's central location and former importance as a 'railway town' have made it an important node of the rail network. Until recently, major carriage and locomotive workshops as well as the Research Division in the Railway Technical Centre were housed there.

The station is an interchange point between the Midland Main Line from London St Pancras to Leeds and long-distance services on the Cross-Country route from Aberdeen through Birmingham to Penzance (the zero milepost on the Birmingham-bound Cross-Country route is at the south end of platform 1, at the divergence of the two major routes). Until the mid twentieth century, the station was host to through trains from Manchester and Glasgow to London. It is still a busy station, the section to Sheffield having the highest train frequency (passenger and freight) of any line in the East Midlands.

Local services to Matlock along the Derwent Valley Line originate from Derby, and the station also sees local and semi-fast services to Nottingham and Skegness, Stoke-on-Trent and Crewe, and Birmingham, Hereford and Cardiff.

Derby station today has six platforms (all but Platform 5 are through platforms), connected by a footbridge, used as an exit to Pride Park and a new car park.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Vic Smith
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 08:51 AM

Thanks very much for the very useful costs of travelling to Derby, Dick. Now could you follow it up with the costs of the moving the library?


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 08:51 AM

"Heritage destination, "
Are you joking - have you visited C# House?
It gives the impression of an Edwardian telephone exchange and if more than a half-a-dozen people turned up at the same time the library would not be able to cope.
Unless the listening facilities have radically improved over the last 18 months more than two people would be capacity.
It no longer serves as visitor friendly - if it ever did (though one time in the dim and distant past it had a shop that catered for two people at a time - no longer, alas).
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 09:08 AM

GUEST ED says that it is southerners living near C# House who approve of its current location. Well, no, actually. I expect I am one of the more prolific users of the library on this thread, and I am delighted to say that the fruits of my researches can be heard performed by revivalist folkies everywhere. And during the period I have been seriously researching trad music I have lived in or near Lancaster, various parts of Cheshire in a boat, in Newcastle-under-Lyme and now in Stoke. And I am perfectly happy with the current location of the EFDSS in Camden. The last thing I want is it to move po Crewe(or indeed Stoke). I vote for
(1) London
(2) Ballydehob.   Nowhere else.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Vic Smith
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 09:09 AM

Jim,
What you are describing is the tired old used-to-be of Cecil Sharp House. I see its vibrancy I go there these days; loads of young people lugging banjo cases eager for their lessons; the massive turnout for Pete Cooper's weekly fiddle lessons (amongst the pupils important media people like Verity Sharp whose enthusiatic support counts for a lot on radio and television programmes), an impressive programme of library lectures that attract a wide age range, I have to pinch myself when I go there these days and say 'Is this the crumbling old edifice that I used to loathe?'

Many of the young acts in their busy concert programme are not to my taste, but I am very encouraged to see their vitality. Even five years ago, it would have been doubtful that an event such as Nowt So Queer As Folk would have taken place there. Times change and Cecil Sharp House has changed quicker than most.

You write - It no longer serves as visitor friendly - I can only assume that it is some time since you have been there.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 09:12 AM

Now could you follow it up with the costs of the moving the library?

Easily offset by the sale of a property in a highly sought after area of London....

We have however been here before. I have a sickening feeling of déjà vu


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Vic Smith
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 09:22 AM

Easily offset by the sale of a property in a highly sought after area of London....

Are we talking about moving the whole of the EFDSS Headquarters or just the library?

We have however been here before. I have a sickening feeling of déjà vu

Totally agree. Not very productive, is it? When it was being discussed as a serious issue, it very nearly tore the EFDSS apart, as Jim indicates above.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Dave Sutherland
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 10:30 AM

"connected by a footbridge, used as an exit to Pride Park"
or as we in Nottingham know it as Prideless Park ;-)


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: oggie
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 10:51 AM

"Easily offset by the sale of a property in a highly sought after area of London...."

However it is a Grade II listed building which may well limit the uses and development that any purchaser can make which again may limit the price it will fetch. However having sold (hypothetically) CS# House we now need a replacement HQ for the EFDSS. Do we also want to replace the concert halls etc and will Derby or wherever be able to support them? Tis a tangled web.

Out of interest, do any of the actual (as opposed to possible) users of the VWML feel that it is unfit for purpose?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 10:57 AM

Vic, cant you read, it was not the cost of getting to Derby.
as yet no one has replied with details of how often the library is visited, the problenm as I see it, is that C#HOUSE has become rather like a religious shrine, and periodically we get a mantra about the importance of the library, it is almost as if some people believe that if it is repeated often enough we will believe it.
The library is a collection of books, Sound archives and recordings, they are useful as long as people are using it.
I suspect that a lot of singers these days just regurgitate songs from someone elses cd.
I would like to see the library used more and have the premises to expand, I think its present geographical situation, and present building is a disadvantage.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: mattkeen
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 11:41 AM

Thanks for your opinion Dick

I personally think Manchester is far to far north
Its a good city, but its just in the wrong place - for my convenience that is.
Please price it up Vic and, if price is reasonable, have it moved to Warwickshire by the time I get back from Sidmouth

Many thanks


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: oggie
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 11:43 AM

"I suspect that a lot of singers these days just regurgitate songs from someone elses cd."

It was ever thus.

Steve


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