The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #173304   Message #4202508
Posted By: Robert B. Waltz
14-May-24 - 06:40 PM
Thread Name: Indexing: Ballad Index 6.7 Released
Subject: RE: Indexing: Ballad Index 6.7 Released
Gargoyle wrote: Your scholarship is overwhelming.

Thank you -- I think. :-)

What's funny is, to me, it's Steve Roud's scholarship that seems overwhelming. I'll never catch up with his indexing work, even though I've had help on the Ballad Index, notably by Ben Schwartz (about 20% of the books). Plus recordings done by Paul Stamler (who is responsible for probably 75% of the 78s cited). Me, I'm too likely to go off down rabbit holes.

But I'm autistic. If I go down a rabbit hole, I don't just look around and grab an empty bottle of marmelade and put it back. I open it up and do a whole chemical analysis. :-)

I'm glad it is useful.

Joe Offer wrote: For years, I have used the Ballad Index Bibliography as a buying guide for books for my own library.

I know at least one other person who did that -- claimed he had managed to gather 90% of the books in the Ballad Index in his own library, which is actually more than I had at the time! (I collect by bottom feeding, because it's what I have the budget for.)

But not everything that has gone into the Index has been all that good. Take two books in this release: The Sedley/Carthy volume Who Killed Cock Robin and the Baring-Gould Songs of the West. The latter is so irritating that Steve Roud and I spent a couple of days happily abusing it. (The texts are often dreadful rewrites of traditional songs, without real information about what the tunes were.) The former I indexed because Sedley has done good work, but it's basically pop-folk such as we would expect from Carthy.

Anyway, the point of this is, the TBI Bibliography is getting close to 500 items, ranging from the truly amazing to the ones that tempt me to throw them against the wall. Would there be any point in some sort of a Reviews entity, explaining a little about each book? E.g. describing the integrity of the songs, the quality of the notes, the fraction of tunes, things like that? There would be some books which I can no longer do it for, but it's an option, if there is demand.