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Vaughan Williams Memorial Library


The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) was founded with the opening of Cecil Sharp House in 1930. Originally called the Cecil Sharp Library, it originally housed Sharp’s collection of approximately 1,000 books, which he bequeathed the English Folk Dance Society. Its first librarian was Sharp’s daughter, Joan.

Dancing in the Kennedy, Cecil Sharp House (EFDSS)

Dancing in the Kennedy, Cecil Sharp House (EFDSS)

The amalgamation of English Folk Dance Society and the Folk-Song Society in the early 1930s, plus the subsequent bequests, donations and purchases since that time, saw the library grow considerably over the years, most notably with the addition of other media, including sound, audio visual, moving image, pictorial and manuscript collections of many of the most eminent folklorists and collectors of the twentieth century.

Today, VWML is a truly multi-media library and archive and achieved the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council’s designated status in 2011 in recognition of its renown as England’s principal folk arts collection.

The library is now named in honour of the composer, song collector and President of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), Ralph Vaughan Williams, who died in 1958.

To access the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library please CLICK HERE

To search the online catalogue; CLICK HERE. We’ve added in the search term “sword” for you, easy to remove.


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