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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
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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
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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
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oggie 21 Jul 10 - 11:43 AM
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Jim Carroll 21 Jul 10 - 01:04 PM
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greg stephens 21 Jul 10 - 01:42 PM
GUEST,Eh? 21 Jul 10 - 01:48 PM
greg stephens 21 Jul 10 - 02:28 PM
oggie 21 Jul 10 - 02:41 PM
Jim Carroll 21 Jul 10 - 02:46 PM
The Sandman 21 Jul 10 - 02:47 PM
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Steve Gardham 21 Jul 10 - 04:30 PM
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Jim Carroll 21 Jul 10 - 04:53 PM
GUEST,Ralphie 21 Jul 10 - 05:04 PM
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oggie 21 Jul 10 - 05:28 PM
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greg stephens 22 Jul 10 - 07:23 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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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: mattkeen
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 11:53 AM

Whats wrong with learning a song from a recording?

Regurgitating the same is a different matter
But many people learn from CD's (Voice of the People anyone?) then work on a version of their own


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 11:55 AM

Of course club floorsingers and occasional semi-pros regurgitate songs from someone else's CD, they always have done. However in a great many cases the professionals making those albums have obtained those songs and tunes from sources in the VWML. That is what I meant in my earlier post about the material being disseminated throughout the folk scene. There are probably a great many singers who, without realising it or having visited it themselves, rely on material from the Library. I include myself.

People repeat the mantra about the importance of the Library because it is true. Have you any reason to think people aren't using it, or that the drawbacks you describe actually cause problems in practice?

I can't comment on the suitability of C# House for the Library. I share the view that the building is now out of date. However disposing of the site is not without problems - not just planning, but I seem to recall there are conditions in the trust. But even if the building could be sold and capital released, both EFDSS and VWML would have to be rehoused.

Any alternative HQ for the EFDSS would have to be in London in order to be able to lobby the arts establishment and funding organisations - although some people would prefer to believe otherwise, it has to be involved with the arts world and that is the only way it can have any influence or obtain significant funding.

Likewise, London is the most accessible location for most people coming not only from around the UK but overseas. No location will suit everyone, but the idea that Camden Town is difficult to get to does not bear scrutiny.

Derby is 1 1/2 hrs from London by train. Because I would need to change at least once, it takes a similar time from where I live in Cheshire, which is only 40 miles away - Euston takes only 20 minutes more.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 12:34 PM

HOWARD, it must be much quicker for you to drive to Derby.
"Any alternative HQ for the EFDSS would have to be in London in order to be able to lobby the arts establishment and funding organisations - although some people would prefer to believe otherwise, it has to be involved with the arts world and that is the only way it can have any influence or obtain significant funding."Quote
WHY whats wrong with birmingham OR manchester or the midlands,for lobbying arts establishment for funding.
I used to live and run a folk club in suffolk, and i lobbyed for funding from EASTERN ARTS :successfully.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 01:04 PM

"I can only assume that it is some time since you have been there."
Hi Vic,
It is a little over two years since I was there last, when a gang of us from Ireland did a Traditional Song Forum day on Irish song.
I don't know what has happeed since and would be interested to learn.
Is there more user-space in the library; is there space to accept collections and display them or are they either turned down or locked in cupboards; are there now acceptable listening facilities or do you still have to crouch over that long cupboard top?
I'm not in any way disputing what you say - I want to know.
One of the strongest arguments for selling the House was not its location - wherever it is located is going to cause problems for somebody.
The main argument was that the building was unsuitable for all-round use, the hall dominated the premises, was not really suitable for concerts due to its lousy accoustic and was really only usable for the dancers; its high ceiling meant it cost a fortune to heat, which was a severe drain on the Society's resources.
The space in library was totally inadequate (filled to capacity over twenty years ago) and not able to be moved upstairs as was once planned because the floor there was incapable of supporting the weight.
The main argument for keeping it, as I remember, was that it was a shrine to Cecil Sharp and should be cherished as such - which led to a plaque to him being placed on the front of the building (is the entrance in the front - it always confused me?
I do know the building well as I carried out a great deal of electrical work there.
I have to confess that my relationship with the Society has blown hot and cold down the years, but now that I am preparing our own personal archive for depositing for 'posterity' I confess that, despite its shortcomings, it is by far the greatest asset that British folk music has and has to be respected and developed as such, and if a building gets in he way - tough.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 01:39 PM

For obvious historical reasons, the country's transport system radiates from London. It's a fact that it's easy to get to London from Exeter or Bristol or Manchester or Carlisle or Newcastle or Crewe or Derby or Norwich or whatever(or Cardiff and Glasgow and Edinburgh). What is not easy is to get between most of these subsidiary centres. That's why C Sharp Houise is best placed in London. Obviously, the very best solution would be if the whole of London was moved to Stoke-on-Trent, but that is not going to happen. Or not in the immediately foeseeable future.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 01:42 PM

Re Jim's remarks about the library being very cramped. This is undoubtedly true; but it is also true that in all the years I have been researching there, I have never yet failed to find space to spread my stuff out and work.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: GUEST,Eh?
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 01:48 PM

This discussion started with the following question: 'The VWML is situated at C Sharp house in London, how important is it to the 21 century English folk revival?'

Apart from the thread providing more information about the UK's railway system than anyone really needs to know, I'm puzzled by the phrase '21st century English folk revival'. OK, the OP didn't exactly write that, but what does it mean?


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: greg stephens
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 02:28 PM

Well, there is a folk revival happening, and this is the 21st cewntury. I imagine that is what the Good Soldier meant.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: oggie
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 02:41 PM

There is perhaps one "relatively" simple solution but it has it's own problems. Does the EFDSS need the main concert hall and some of it's other spaces in their current form? Would it be practical to remodel the interior into an enlarged Library and education space with practice/teaching studios?

I don't know, I suppose it depends how central to the EFDSS running events at C# House is (and the income from hiring out space). I accept that this doesn't answer the location question raised by GSS but given the importance of the VWML it might allow for further expansion both of it and the education work of the EFDSS.

Just a random thought :)

Steve


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 02:46 PM

Greg
"I have never yet failed to find space....."
With respect, I rather think that this is due to the miniscule people who use the library, (not unconnected to the building itself), rather than there being adequate space. I also spent a great deal of time working there, as an electrician, as a researcher and as a volunteer working to improve the sound collection.
My point that there is inadequate space to house manuscript and book collections and less than adequate listening facilities surely are vital ones to any specialist library of this type.
The argument for sale of the building at the time was that the administrative side of the Society's work could easily be carried out from a small office, the library could be housed elsewheer (I believe there were a number of educational institutions interested at the time, and premises the recrational side activities could be easily acquired at the price the building would fetch on the market.
I still don't know if my assessment of library and soun space still applies.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 02:47 PM

"Re Jim's remarks about the library being very cramped. This is undoubtedly true; but it is also true that in all the years I have been researching there, I have never yet failed to find space to spread my stuff out and work."quoteG Stephens[for fecking JACK Campin sake]
1.could it be because there was no one else there.
2. how often have Howard Jones and Greg Stephens used the library in the last year, are you in there every week?


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 03:04 PM

I have never yet failed to find space.....
With respect, I rather think that this is due to the miniscule people who use the library


The only place I've seen a library like that was the one at the Scottish Mining Museum (I'm not sure where it's gone, they had to sell the building). It was laid out to suit people who were used to working in four-foot seams. You couldn't get at half the stock without ducking under something to reach it.

I don't think any of the suggestions have been radical enough to meet GSS's requirements. Obviously what the VWML needs to do is make the library itself come to the users. Mount it on a train, garaged in Crewe or Darlington, and have it do weekly tours of England all the way from Penzance to Carlisle via Ipswich and Hull.

Or alternatively mount it on a canal boat based on the Bridgewater Canal and touring England on a schedule lasting a few months. They'd need to get one seaworthy enough to serve users in the Isle of Wight.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 03:16 PM

Sorry - just noticed "due to the miniscule people who use the library" - it was not my intention to be rude to small people (being around 5'8" myself)
I should have written 'due to the miniscule NUMBER of people who use the library, of course.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Howard Jones
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 03:28 PM

I haven't been to C# House for many years, but the reason hasn't been the difficulty of getting there.

Don't get me wrong, I don't think the building is suitable, and I have no sentimental attachment to it. However when I start to think where else it could be situated, then there seems to be no realistic alternative to London. Most other locations would be even more difficult to get to for the majority of people, many of whom would have to go via London anyway (you mentioned Suffolk: Ipswich to Derby takes more than 3 hours and goes via London St Pancras).

Dick, for me Derby takes about as long by car as it would by train. Just because the Midlands are in the middle of the country doesn't mean they're accessible to everyone.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 03:59 PM

In 1987 Malcolm Taylor (VWML librarian), Pat Mackenzie an I travelled to Dublin to the opening of the Irish Traditional Music Archive, opened by the then Irish President, Mary Robinson. To say that all three of us were gobsmacked would be a drasitic understatement - a magnificent Georgian listed building (minus a floor retained by the previous tenants) in the heart of Dublin - more than adequate to fulfil the needs of the recently fledged society.
In a fairly short time the society had outgrown the premises and in 2006 Pat and I were invited to the opening of the new premises,, five minutes walk from the old one also in a listed Georgian house, this time custom adapted for the archive and this time opened by the Arts Minister, John Bruton, Derek Schofield was also in attendance.
A couple of years ago we attended the launch of the project to make available the holdings of the archive on the internet.
Since its inception, the ITMA has benefited from and been an invaluable assistance to the disgustingly healthy Irish music scene - one has been an inseperable part of the development of the other and one would not be where it is without the other.
Whatever direction EFDSS, the VWML or the UK folk scene takes, in order for it to be lasting and effective, it has to be a joint enterprise.
Later on this year the Traditional Song Forum will be holding its meeting at ITMA in Dublin - can I recommend that anybody interested in seeing what can be achieved and prepared to listen to and discuss the subject with some of the people involved, join them.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 04:30 PM

Jim,
With all due respect, folk music archives in Ireland and Scotland are reasonably well funded and valued by their governments and a larger percentage of the population than in England. As has already been stated the EFDSS is largely and traditionally funded by its membership. The current managers have done wonders in obtaining the unprecedented funding in the last two years and much of that funding has gone on placing song archive material on the internet and funding education projects around the country, not just in London. (Take 6)

I for one visit the VWML regularly and often meet people there with a common interest, and I live in Hull. The Roud index is online. Take 6 is on line. No doubt more will be as and when funding becomes available. The EFDSS publish books of folksongs taken from these archives. I'd love to live next door to the BL, but I'm happy it is in London and even more accessible than the VWML, though I could easily walk from one to the other though Regents Park.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 04:39 PM

What folk music archive in Scotland are you thinking of?

Compared with the School of Scottish Studies library in Edinburgh, the VWML is a palace. Everything else in Scotland is in closed stacks (with very helpful librarians in the case of the NLS, but still not browsable). And most of the SSS's stock is in the upstairs room that only the director's friends ever get to go into.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 04:53 PM

Steve,
"With all due respect, folk music archives in Ireland and Scotland are reasonably well funded"
This is a comparatively recent development and certainly does not predate the setting up of ITMA.
Irish music was treated with contempt up to twenty years ago by the media (diddly-di music); now you can hear traditional music in all its forms on radio and television vitually seven days a week.
In the past we've seen people carrying musical intruments ejected out of pubs, now musicians are being paid to run sessions.
The only organisation that received money CCE, who played the political game and got their president elected onto the Senead as a senator, and they squandered the money they were given on on dancers in little green dresses.
The change was fought for and it was won by dedicated people, and not by those who wrung their haands and said "things are different over there" in order that our music can continue bumping along the bottom.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:04 PM

This thread is becoming annoying.
Face it Dick Miles.
The EFDSS and the Library, etc are not moving anywhere. Deal with it.
If you want it to move ....open up your chequebook and pay for it.
If you're not prepared to stump up the several millions of pounds to facilitate such a move, then shut up.
Why don't you just carry on your arguements with Jim Carroll about Irish music, and leave us English people alone. (You don't live here anyway).
The majority here are perfectly happy with the way things are, and are very respectful of Malcolm, Peta, and everyone else who are striving to keep the society going.
Oh, and Yes... I have heard your latest CD.......No Comment


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:19 PM

"and leave us English people alone. (You don't live here anyway)."
Oh dear -
"Wrap the flag around me mother,
For I'm to be Queen of the May".
I would guess both Dick and I have done more for English folk music than you've had hot dinners Ralphie.
Look it up.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: oggie
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:28 PM

The problems with housing the VWML within an academic library are twofold. One is access, try getting into most academic libraries in the UK without a whole host of paperwork and references. Secondly the specialist knowledge of the collection which the current librarians have would almost certainly be lost as the bequest becomes but a small part of the academic library.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:28 PM

Ooh Seem to have touched a nerve. Good.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 05:55 PM

Ralphie,I assume you are referring to me not Jim Carroll
I really do not understand what relevance my last cd has.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 06:06 PM

Oggie;
Couldn't agree more - the Irish Folklore Society housed, at Trinity is not particularly user friendly, but my attitude regarding the situation in the UK is 'needs must when the devil drives'.
Our own collection is housed at The National Sound Archive at The British Library, which is far from ideal, but better than nothing.
"Ooh Seem to have touched a nerve. Good."
For your info Ralphie - born and brought up a Brit, spent nearly sixty years of my life there, forty years involved in folk clubs, thirty recording traditional singers and some time attempting to set up a national folk music archive in London.
And there's me thinking 'Little Britain' was a sit-com. You never stop learning - do you?
Life may be ideal in your little corner of the British Empire, but some of us think differently and would like to help.
But never mind, keep the flag flying and the natives in their place - chin-chin,
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 21 Jul 10 - 07:12 PM

Cross posted
"I really do not understand what relevance my last cd has."
Cap'n - don't bother - you're straying into real 'prat territory',
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: mattkeen
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 04:55 AM

QUOTE Dick
HOWARD, it must be much quicker for you to drive to Derby.
"Any alternative HQ for the EFDSS would have to be in London in order to be able to lobby the arts establishment and funding organisations - although some people would prefer to believe otherwise, it has to be involved with the arts world and that is the only way it can have any influence or obtain significant funding."Quote
WHY whats wrong with birmingham OR manchester or the midlands,for lobbying arts establishment for funding.
I used to live and run a folk club in suffolk, and i lobbyed for funding from EASTERN ARTS :successfully. "

That is a tiny plop in the ocean of the funding required for VWML to move.

Irrelevant

Not that I know anything mind having personally raised over £2million for arts projects in and out of London


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Vic Smith
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 06:25 AM

Clearly Cecil Sharp House has its drawbacks as a location and that the library space is too small in undeniable, I would like to see the library in a space that is at least three times bigger than it is currently. This could actually be achieved internally by a change of useage within the building itself. I don't know the building details intimately enough to make concrete suggestions, but there are several other halls there that might accommodate the library and offer it expanded space with the current library room perhaps becoming a smaller recital space.

The main change at the EFDSS in the last few years has been one of human resources and attitude rather than building fabric. Younger people have found it an more attractive place to go because of the more adventurous programming of events - concerts, dances, teaching and talks. Malcolm Taylor now seems to be a more centrally important figure in the EFDSS and remains a powerhouse of good ideas. Sam Lee in his three years as Education Officer was innovative in his thinking and a real go-getter for his creative ideas. He attacked the problem of audience creation for the traditional arts with a zest that is far from typical with the EFDSS. Katy Spicer needs more time to prove herself fully as a CEO, but the signs are good. On her own admission, she is still on a learning curve, but I have been very impressed with her performance at meetings I have attended and she brings a wealth of experience in arts administration and funding that were not previously available to the organisation. Derek Schofield is proving to be an excellent editor for English Dance & Song. I've had fewer contacts with the chairman, Mike Norris, but he strikes me as a steady hand on the tiller. The choices of Shirley Collins and Eliza Carthy as figureheads strike me as being inspired choices, appealling as they do across the generations.

At last, the EFDSS has its structure full of what seems to me to be the right people and it is this that has made me join after decades of being a severe critic.

Against this major achievement, the arguments/discussions about the suitability and location of his headquarters seem to me to be rather less important.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 07:23 AM

A point that has not been raised is that any serious researcher into traditional music is probably, sooner or later, going to end up in the British Library, and in Cecil Sharp House. Now, at the moment they are conveniently close to each other. This would no longer be the case if they are redistributed round various unpreposessing midlands towns. Now if they were both in Tamsworth that might be fine, but you try persuading both lots of owners to relocate simultaneously.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 07:41 AM

any serious researcher into traditional music is probably, sooner or later, going to end up in the British Library, and in Cecil Sharp House

And the Smithsonian. Are you suggesting that should be moved to London?


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 07:44 AM

good points Vic,
Greg, you make a good argument there about the proximity to the Britsh library[ALTHOUGH IT IS STILL NOT ON THE SAME UNDERGROUND LINE], but then a similiar argument could be made for it to be housed in Sheffield close to Doc Rowes collection, or alternatively, if the library needed to expand for some of the collection to be housed in Sheffield.
The remark about unpreposessing midland towns is exraordinary and insulting,Nottingham Derby Leicester,Sheffield are cities[not towns] and is far from unpreposessing.
lets face it Cecil Sharp House is unpreposessing, or to be fairer is impressive in its ugliness and in its resmblance to an Edwardian telephone exchange.
The expansion of the library does need consideration , as does the suitability of the present building for expansion, the suggestion of using the dance hall might be worth considering, but would understandably upset dancers.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:15 AM

Moving the Smithsonian to London: a brilliant idea. Let's do it. That will make up for Cecil Sharpe House going to Ballydehob.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:26 AM

RELATIVELY UNIMPORTANT POINT OF ORDER

Camden Town (Bank Branch) to King's Cross is a direct tube line. However, in view of the 10-minute walk from 2 Regent's Park Road to the station and a further 10-minute walk from King's Cross to the British Library it is probably quicker to walk all the way.

There are two others apart from me who are occasional contributors to this forum who worked under the traumatic "Not-So-Goode" era at the EFDSS. Yes, of course it's got better in recent years and Katy Spicer is doing an excellent job etc etc. But it's all a matter of emphasis. Yapping on about which provincial location to move VWML (with or without the attendant administration) is a complete nonsense the moment costs and logistics are considered. Yet, way back then the EFDSS, however distanced from "normal" society, maintained half a dozen regional offices scattered throughout the land, co-ordinating educational work and social dance (mainly).

What is important is whether strategies and tactics transform into actions beneficial to the tradarts and which audiences are actually enthusiastic about. Not where the building is in which this blue-sky thinking occurs.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 08:47 AM

Borchester can you provide us with the costs, since you appear to have considered them.
if the library is to expand it needs to re locate, or partly relocate as it seems unlikely planning permission[ it is a listed building is it not] would be granted at the present site for an extension.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 09:44 AM

With respect folks, some of this conversation does remind me of the people who complain (often in green ink) when a steam loco is painted in the wrong colour. Ask them to put their money where their mouth is and they disappear into the undergrowth.

Anyway, just what exactly is remote about Camden? I can get there in no time from my unprepossessing Midland town. I do have to spend money though.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 10:08 AM

so Ed , in view of the likely need to expand the library perhaps you think it could be relocated in Mayfair os some other expensive part of london,
The advantage of relocating away from the capital, is that in the midlands property prices are a little cheaper.the other alternative is the library does not expand but becomes a museum


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: greg stephens
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 10:13 AM

The walk from C Sharp House to the British Library is very pleasant and many interesting routes can be taken.
Re unpreposessing midlands towns: I know all about them. I live in Stoke. And very nice it is too. But no, I do not want C Sharp House transported here, as I have made very clear!


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Jul 10 - 02:21 PM

All of this was discussed at length, aye and costed, in the recent troubles and talk of selling the House. I wonder why it's still there and thriving!


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 01:05 PM

Sorry - away,
Vic;
"This could actually be achieved internally by a change of useage"
Sorry - not the case.
I was assured that as far as space was concerned, the only practical place to move the library was upstairs and that was not possible on safety grounds.
"What is important is whether strategies and tactics transform into actions beneficial to the tradarts and which audiences are actually enthusiastic about. "
I agree with 'er.
"I wonder why it's still there and thriving!"
Can a music library that has no room for all its books, can't take in new ones and is unable to provide an adequate listening system, be described as 'thriving' I wonder?
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: brezhnev
Date: 24 Jul 10 - 01:32 PM

it is a bit odd that no-one has supplied figures yet for the library's use. they'll be in the efdss library director's report for 2009, received and reviewed at a board meeting in january this year. anyone got that in front of them?

In my very limited experience the librarians are really helpful in sending stuff by email. for free.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Vic Smith
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 06:03 AM

In my very limited experience the librarians are really helpful in sending stuff by email. for free.

Every enquiry that I have submitted by email to the VWML has been promptly and helpfully dealt with. These have often been requests for scans of photos, book covers etc, for use in multimedia shows that I am involved with.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Jul 10 - 06:30 AM

I'm no expert on the Memorial Library, but I did spend many, many years before retirement from the day job, as a librarian at the BBC and in universities. The problem of space is not unique to the VWML - it's a fact of life for all libraries with any kind of budget and an acquisitions policy - i.e. where material regularly accrues to the collection.

For many of us working in the then pre-digitisation age, there were some stark choices to be made when the shelves started to overflow:

- new premises (often an impossibility for logistical or financial reasons)
- rented, off-site stack areas for remote storage of archival or lesser-used material
- co-operative schemes whereby libraries transferred specialist stock to agreed centres and disposed of duplicated material
- disposal of out-of-date material (not always easy for some collection types)

With digitisation, there is now another option - also time-consuming and expensive, but still an extra option - of digitising certain materials, or creating access to digital materials such as journals, and disposing of the originals or retaining them in remote storage. The remote storage option creates space in the working building. This was not always popular in pre-digitisation periods, given the sometimes diifficult logistics of retrieving material for the user. Retaining computer files to remotely housed materials not only saves space but widens access to users online. Some university libraries, such as Cranfield, were actively following a policy of converting their journals collections en masse to digital format and losing the paper originals. Not an option I favour, personally, but an option nevertheless.

There's far more to it, obviously, than I can write here, but at least the opportunity is there - as long as appropriate and sufficient funding is made available - for the VWML to retain its premises, utilise space efficiently and make its resources more widely available. The Take 6 project shows the way.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Billy Weeks
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 06:24 AM

Ignoring all the sleep-inducing stuff about moving from London, this thread raises two vital points (and I'll add a third) that seem call for policy decisions or statements. If the society has already given these matters mature thought and published its findings, I apologise, but I think I'll go on a bit on the assumption that there are still decisions to be taken.

There is the question of whether CSH is suitable for the many purposes it now serves, and

Whatever the answer may be to (1), what should be done to provide the library with the additional space that it clearly needs.

As to (1), I take it for granted (as some may not) that leaving the present building is not a realistic option. The possession of a big, sturdy building on a first-rate site in a high rental area in the capital is something that no newly-founded society could hope for today. This is the society's greatest (only?) capital asset and disposing of it would make no more sense now than it did in those awful days when there was a serious proposal to sell it off to 'solve' (ha!) the society's desperate financial position . Unbelievably unwise. If that had been done the society would not exist today. The building was part of the solution, not the problem.

The fact nevertheless remains that CSH, for all its apparent generous size, is splitting at the seams. There is no doubt that, when it was first built, provision for dance was seen as the overriding priority. The most that song would ever need (and that only occasionally) would be a little recital room with a piano. It should be remembered, too, that housing the CS and other donated collections was unlikely to be seen then as a major problem. A not uncommon belief eighty years ago was that practically all the collecting that could be done had already been done.

If a society committee were to be considering the building of an HQ today, the brief to the architect would undoubtedly be quite different from what it was in the thirties. But we are where we are. What is needed now is a new kind of brief to a different kind of architect - one skilled in dealing with existing buildings, rather than creating new ones.

I feel sure that, if the society had the wherewithal (and, of course, the will) it would be possible to rejig CSH into a better shape for present requirements, but it would call for a professional, comprehensive design approach, examining every possibility for every space (including the roof) and not an amateurish 'let's colonise this broom cupboard' attitude.   The brief for any such project will be complicated by the fact that the largest single space is going to be jealously guarded for dance and also, in its present state, it represents a source of regular income for the society.

Coming now to (2), it seems to me that, however cunningly the spaces might be re-allocated, the library not only needs better provision now, it is also going to go on growing in the future. It is essential that it should do so but, even with vastly extended digitisation of material over coming years and a measure of judicious outhousing, the library will be the one occupant of CSH that will continue to push against the walls.

The shape of the site and the original design of the building may make extension difficult, but that is a course that has to be considered and, in this connection, let's dispose of the hoary old myth that listing freezes a building forever in it present state. It doesn't. But it does mean that alterations and extensions have to be designed with great sensitivity. I can't for example, see consent being given to a steel and glass building obscuring the main elevations or a lumpy extension above the parapet or internal alterations that leave no space for the mural, but conservation problems like that are there to be solved by professional knowhow. A gift of additional space like, say, one of the big Regents Park Road houses, would help a lot. Crazy idea? Does the society really have no wealthy members able to bequeath a valuable property? No? Oh.

The trouble with embarking on this kind of consideration, of course, is that it does assume that money will be forthcoming for some kind of Great Project. The cash certainly can't come from membership subs and sure as hell it won't come from government agencies. But something of the kind must happen eventually if CSH is not to slide into being nothing better than a crumbling memorial to CS and an inadequate tent over the VWML.

And that 'crumbling' brings me to the third point.

(3) Returning to the House after a break of decades, I was sad to see how much it had deteriorated over the years. Maybe this is a superficial impression and maybe the society spends regularly on maintenance, but I'd like to be reassured about that. No matter how much one has to put up with in the way of lack of resources for capital improvements, existing capital assets must be safeguarded by steady, consistent maintenance. The society is more exciting and effective today than it has been for many, many years. The tired look of the house misrepresents its importance and its achievements.

Now somebody in the society please tell me how wrong I am.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 02:25 PM

A gift of additional space like, say, one of the big Regents Park Road houses, would help a lot

Former staff member Roy Guest used to live in the house next door on the Gloucester Avenue side. No idea though whether he actually owned it or if it's bequeathed to his heirs.

More hopefully, Ursula Vaughan Williams used to live just around the corner in Gloucester Crescent. Anyone know what happened to all her assets and dosh? Worth asking probing questions, I'd say.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 02:54 PM

Billy,
Many thanks for that important overview from a longstanding member.

Although Billy has not been an active EFDSS member for many years, he has a deep knowledge of listed buildings having been involved in the preservation of music hall theatres around London. As many on Mudcat will know he also has a great knowledge of Music Hall history and as such has bequeathed his extensive collection of Music Hall sheet music and street literature to the VWML which has accepted this. Having seen Billy's extensive collection the VWML must know they have the space to house all of this or they would not have accepted it.

Much of the archive material in the VWML is quite rightly housed in basements in temperature contolled conditions and even more could be kept in this way removing it from the library itself. I'm sure there are plans for this once the said material has been digitised and placed online, freeing up more of the library for book space and researchers. Personally on my frequent visits I have never felt crowded in any way. For a specialised library like this, of international importance, the dozen or so people who visit every day can be easily accommodated as more than half of them have queries which can be dealt with fairly quickly leaving the 4 or 5 researchers to spend their full day or more beavering away at the archives.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: brezhnev
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 04:11 PM

Good Soldier Schweik: there's your answer, then - "a dozen or so" people visit the library every day, more than half of whom have quick queries.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 04:40 PM

Steve Gardham lives near Goole, Yorkshire,
Steve have you been informed by someone at The House/EFDSS, or are you guessing?


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 26 Jul 10 - 05:22 PM

I'm going by my own experience and averaging out. For my work on 'Marrowbones' I spent 2 whole weeks in the VWML at separate times from opening to closing time and have done similar stints on other occasions for my own personal research. These are average estimates. Some days 20 people might call in, some days just me and Malcolm D all day. But rest assured the phone is constantly going, and emails are coming in and being answered all the time.

Not all querists are folkies of course. There are journalists, music buffs, people with marginal interests, foreigners who just want to see what goes on at EFDSS headquarters.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 08:29 AM

2 weeks is hardly a fair way to evaluate its usage, six months would give a better picture.it could be that youare under estimating its usage.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 01:35 PM

I was just giving 2 examples, Dick. I have frequently spent full days in there. I'm sorry, as much as I'd love to be able to stay in London and the VWML for 6 months my pocket won't let me.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 01:39 PM

100, yah boo lead fingers


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: johnadams
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 04:11 PM

Billy Weeks wrote

I feel sure that, if the society had the wherewithal (and, of course, the will) it would be possible to rejig CSH into a better shape for present requirements, but it would call for a professional, comprehensive design approach, examining every possibility for every space (including the roof) and not an amateurish 'let's colonise this broom cupboard' attitude.   The brief for any such project will be complicated by the fact that the largest single space is going to be jealously guarded for dance and also, in its present state, it represents a source of regular income for the society.

...and other relevant stuff.

Such a plan was hatched not so long ago during my stint on the NC. It involved colonising the drive and extending downwards as well as upwards. The architects plan was really fantastic and I have copies somewhere in my archives.

The then projected cost of something a little more than 5 million pounds was an ambitious target but achievable with external funding given certain basic hurdles successfully leapt during an initial stage.

Then we got the Limpics!


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: TheSnail
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 05:12 PM

For the sake of clarity, is the VWML a wholly owned subsidiary of the EFDSS or does it have an independent existence?


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: oggie
Date: 27 Jul 10 - 05:41 PM

It is an integral part of the EFDSS, it is not an independant body.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 07:54 AM

"It is an integral part of the EFDSS, it is not an independant body."
Is this true (asking, not challenging)? - I understood that at one time it was part of The Vaughan Willimas Trust - though I might have that wrong.
I gather from the above that there is no ready answer to the library's problems and thet it must remaiun as a 'thriving' entity that can't expand or provide a decent listening system - pity.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: johnadams
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 08:36 AM

As I understand it, there are 3 trusts bound together and people who are elected to the NC automatically become trustees of the Society, trustees of the House and trustees of the Library. The Vaughan Williams Trust is a separate organisation to the trustees of the VWML and provide support for the library as well as overseeing other aspects of Vaughan Williams' legacy, in the classical music world.

The main developments for the library are with regard to digital access and this is what most people have been carping on about these past few years. If there is similar money available for improving the physical entity of the library then no doubt the society will be applying for it, although if they are successful, the carpers will then be asking why there's money being spent in something that only Londoners can benefit from from easily.

As far as I can see from the outside but with the benefit of a decade of experience getting things sorted out on the inside, the society is playing its limited cards pretty well at the moment and more power to their elbow!


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 09:00 AM

I am quite sure that all the trustees are doing their best and are in a far better position than any of us to make the right decisions....but it's fun to speculate.

I was just wondering whether it was possible to separate the issue of the possibility or desirability of selling Cecil Sharpe House from the problems of the library. Does the VWML need to be in C# House? Could it relocate to more suitable premises and the space be used for other, possibly profitable, purposes? Retail outlet, recording studio, rehearsal rooms....


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Sandman
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 09:18 AM

Interesting points, Snail.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 09:25 AM

. . . colonising the drive and extending downwards as well as upwards

I wonder if anyone consulted the current occupants of No 39 Gloucester Avenue (where, as I said before, Roy Guest used to live)? This sounds very disruptive and obtrusive unless, as I also said before, No 39 is acquired as well.

Retail outlet, recording studio, rehearsal rooms

These being other suggested used for space occupied by VWML (which really isn't very much at all). There used to be a shop in the entrance hall, now taken up by a useless reception desk and a coffee table. Storrow can be (as was for years) used as a recording studio and Trefusis was used as a rehearsal space by TV production companies and the like.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: greg stephens
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 09:51 AM

The best solution, and I am surprised it hasn't been tried, would be to bombard the neighbours with incessant vastly amplified recordings of Jinky Wells' fiddle playing, day and night. They would hopefully vacate their premises and sell up for peanuts to the EFDSS, and bob's your uncle.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Old Vermin
Date: 28 Jul 10 - 01:38 PM

Or apply to the EHO for an Enforcement Order, and make trouble about the licence.


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Subject: RE: Vaughan Williams Memorial Library & its importance
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Apr 18 - 09:48 PM

Take note that volunteers are needed to work on the Folk Song Subject Index Project:

    We are pleased to announce an exciting new project to create an online subject index for folk songs along with a thesaurus of keywords. Thanks to generous funding from the National Folk Music Fund and the Marc Fitch Fund, this important resource will be made freely available via the VWML’s website alongside existing indexes and catalogues.

    Background

    In recent years there has been great progress indexing, cataloguing and making available our folk song heritage. The Roud Folk Song indexes and VWML online make it possible to search for songs by title, first line, place, singer, and classification numbers (such as the Roud number) helping us to bring together multiple versions of the same song. Yet there is a big hole in our achievements so far - approximately 30% of the enquiries which are received by the VWML are for songs by subject or by type (e.g. harvest songs). It may be thought that full-text searching is the answer to this problem, but the words of folk songs are not usually couched in standard natural language - they are poetical, allegorical, and imaginative. So, for example, there are many songs which feature a suicide, but none of them mention the word because the character in question 'throws herself into the briny deep' or 'falls on his sword'. Therefore, starting in May 2018, the VWML is to undertake a one year project to create a subject index for folk songs along with a related thesaurus of approved terms.

    The subject index will be a publicly accessible online index to aid the finding and retrieval of traditional folk songs based on subject keywords. This index will also function as a master index, devoting a record to each song and including a brief synopsis of the song, notes on the history, and a sample text where possible. This master song index will then link to variants of the song as found in the VWML and Roud folk song indexes.

    The subject index will be supported by the creation and use of a hierarchical thesaurus. The thesaurus will identify authorised keywords used in the subject index, along with their synonyms, and broader and narrower related terms. Deciding authority terms is important because it indicates to users the preferred terms on which to search, e.g. coal miners instead of colliers, etc., and will therefore make for more accurate and efficient searching.

    These two resources are to be made freely available to the public via the VWML’s website (www.vwml.org). No other index like this is currently in existence, and although this project will by no means create a comprehensive index, it will at least lay the foundation for an important addition to the study and research of folk songs across the English-speaking world.

    Get Involved

    We are looking for volunteers to assist with the indexing of folk songs. If you are a folk song enthusiast and are able to dedicate a few hours a week to this work, then we’d love to hear from you. Please download the job description below for more information, or get in touch with our Subject Index Project Officer, Natalie Bevan, at [deleted email address]


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