The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #143842   Message #3324790
Posted By: Steve Gardham
18-Mar-12 - 05:39 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Child Ballads in 18th c. America?
Subject: RE: Origins: Child Ballads in 18th c. America?
You're absolutely right, Jonathan, but the academics are more likely to know what is available than the rest of us. I'm no academic, but I've been made very welcome on the Indiana List, which is why I've suggested it. Not everyone on the list is a folk academic.

I'm sure Brian will tell you there are very few academic and non-academic people in Britain with even a rough working knowledge of the Child Ballads. Off the top of my head the only institution in Britain I can think of that has academics attached who are involved in Child Ballad research is The Elphinstone Institute at Aberdeen University. Yes, there are a few other solitary academics out there but they are few and far between. There are I would say, as one would expect, many more in America, and possibly even more on the Continent.

Thanks for the links, John. I share your interest in early versions. Most of the Child Ballads were around before 1800, at least on broadsides if not in manuscript collections. Those that weren't are generally around the later numbers 241 onwards and Child knew that many of these were of dubious lineage/origin.

The answer to 2 can be largely gleaned from Child's ESPB itself.

And 3 is currently being worked on by the OP of this thread.