The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #163664   Message #3907373
Posted By: Jim Carroll
23-Feb-18 - 07:01 AM
Thread Name: Folklore: BBC collecting project 88 years on
Subject: Folklore: BBC collecting project 88 years on
It is now 68 years since the launch of the BBC Folk Music collecting project - high time for a re-assessment maybe?
This is the introduction to the BBC annotated index, which goes some way to explaining how it started and what its aims were
Jim Carroll

Recordings Of Folk Music And Folklore; Great Britain And Ireland; BBC Sound Archives
This Catalogue covers the BBC Sound Archives collection of recorded folk music of Great Britain and Ireland and also recordings in the related fields of folk tale, traditional custom and belief.
Although a certain number of these recordings have been made by the BBC in the course of collecting material for programmes general?ly, the majority - and this applies especially to those in Sections 1-6: (Songs and Instrumental Music) - have been collected for the   BBC under a scheme which was organised by the BBC Sound Archives in 1952-6, following two pilot schemes carried out in 1947 and 1949 by the late Brian George, then Head of Department. Under the scheme in the 1950's, a deliberate attempt was made by the BBC to seek out and record as much as possible of what remained of our    folk music heritage in the various parts of the country. Two full-time collectors were engaged on this work: Seamus Ennis (who had. had many years' experience with the Irish Folklore Commission in Dublin) and Peter Kennedy (who was seconded to the BBC by the   English Folk Dance and Song Society). Other collectors were co-opted from time to time for work in special areas, notably Sean O'Boyle, who worked with Peter Kennedy in Northern Ireland, Hamish Henderson, of the School of Scottish Studies, Edinburgh University, and Emrys Cleaver in Wales. Fred Macaulay, of the BBC's Gaelic Department in Glasgow, was enabled to spend some weeks' collecting in his native Island of Lewis. Bob Copper, of Rottingdean, whose own family songs were already recorded, collected for the BBC in 1955 in Sussex and Hampshire and has published an account of his adventures in Songs and Southern Breezes. Members of the BBC staff have also contributed recordings made in the course of programme preparation and in addition, the BBC has acquired recordings (with broadcasting rights for itself) from a number of private collectors.
Most of the annotation in the catalogue is based on information provided by the collectors concerned and for this we are greatly indebted to them, especially to Seamus Ennis and Peter Kennedy, the latter having given a great deal of help in the preparation of the catalogue and the subject index in its preliminary stages. We are also very grateful to Professor Seamus Delargy who, on retirement from directing the Irish Folklore Commission, kindly agreed to cast a critical eye over Section 2 (Songs in Irish Gaelic)