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Bodleian Broadsides - Harkness MS

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Grimmy 28 Mar 07 - 07:22 AM
Matthew Edwards 28 Mar 07 - 11:30 AM
Grimmy 28 Mar 07 - 12:28 PM
Matthew Edwards 28 Mar 07 - 12:56 PM
Grimmy 28 Mar 07 - 01:18 PM
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Subject: Bodleian Broadsides - Harkness MS
From: Grimmy
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 07:22 AM

Does anyone know if the online Bodleian collection contains ALL the Harkness broadsides, or just a subset?

I'm being lazy actually cos the library here in Preston (where John Harkness worked) has the collection on CD. Trouble is I have to reserve a PC in order to view it, which is a pain. I won't need to do that if the Bodleian has the full set. Any ideas?


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Subject: RE: Bodleian Broadsides - Harkness MS
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 11:30 AM

I don't think that the Bodleian actually claim to have the whole collection of the Harkness ballads, although they certainly have a large selection. There are some gaps in the numbered series among the Bodleian's collection (though its possible that not all of the numbers were actually published in the first place). Some of the sheets are not numbered, although they might still be part of the series.

However the Preston Harris Library say only that they possess "many" of the broadsides printed by Harkness; while the Madden collection claims to hold "the almost complete numbered series of the Preston printer, Harkness".

In short I don't know if any single institution holds all of Harkness's output.

If you are cataloguing Harkness I'd love to see more of his version of Barbara Allen which apparently begins "In Liverpool town, where I was born...".


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Subject: RE: Bodleian Broadsides - Harkness MS
From: Grimmy
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 12:28 PM

Thanks for that Matthew. I went to the library earlier today and, although I didn't see the collection itself, the index states merely that it contains "several hundred (Harkness) broadsides".

I'll bite the bullet and reserve a PC for half a day sometime soon. I'll be happy to look up Barbara Allen for you.

I'm also interested in finding out more about the man himself. Although born in Carlisle in 1817, Harkness spent most of his life here in Preston, but there's almost no biographical info about him at all. He deserves a bloody statue - as it is no-one is even sure when he died (sometime between 1885 and 1890).


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Subject: RE: Bodleian Broadsides - Harkness MS
From: Matthew Edwards
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 12:56 PM

Good luck with your searches, Grimmy. I'm interested in some Liverpool broadside printers and here too biographical information is extremely scarce. I'd agree that John Harkness deserves some greater recognition.

The Roud Broadside Ballad Index at the VWML Online shows 2170 entries for Harkness under 'Printer'. As the Roud Index omits the Bodleian catalogue it should (theoretically!) be possible to compile a nearly complete index of Harkness's broadsides between the two. However there are still a number of collections out there which have yet to be fully catalogued and indexed - there is a good collection in Liverpool Central Library, for instance.


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Subject: RE: Bodleian Broadsides - Harkness MS
From: Grimmy
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 01:18 PM

Right then. I'd better make a start!

If there's a comprehensive index of the Preston Harkness, then I'll make a copy. If there isn't, then I'll compile one. We can then compare with the other collections. This could be the start of something big!

Cheers Matthew, I'll keep you informed.


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