English Folk Dance and Song Society to Create the World’s Biggest Online Portal of English Folk Music

The English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS) has procured £585,400 in funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to archive, conserve and digitize materials from six archives containing some of the country’s most important folk music collections. The project will allow free public access to 58,400 digitized collection items through a new web portal.

The Full English project will bring together the collections of Harry Albino, Lucy Broadwood, Clive Carey, Percy Grainger, Maud Karpeles, Frank Kidson, Thomas Fairman Ordish, Cecil Sharp, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Alfred Williams for the first time, to create the most wide-ranging searchable database of British folk songs, tunes, dances and customs in the world.

Katy Spicer, Chief Executive of EFDSS, said: “The Full English is the single most important development for these collections that together make up a unique reflection of a major aspect of the cultural heritage of England.

“This is a far reaching project that will enable people from across the world to access English folk music, songs and dances via the internet, and the conservation work will preserve the original collections for generations to come.

“Working in partnership with cultural and education organizations will allow us to deliver a range of community and school activities, introducing folk music to a new audience.”

Katy added: “We are very grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund for the funding which will safeguard the future of these important collections and bring folk music to a generation that may otherwise never had heard of it.”

The Full English will also be EFDSS’s biggest learning and participation program to date, and in each of the nine regions of England will:

– Work in partnership with education organizations, to increase awareness and knowledge of folk in education by training music educators and teachers, provide educational resources, regional learning events, and creative projects in primary and secondary schools and the wider community
– Partner local cultural organizations to deliver community projects comprising of participatory events and concerts, archive and history projects
– Carry out essential conservation work to the collections, preserving them for generations to come, and training volunteers in archive and conservation work
– Provide training and volunteering opportunities to up to 223 individuals and involve around 20,000 people in activities, performances and events

The cultural partnership organizations are: Cecil Sharp House, London, where EFDSS is based; Sound Connections in London; SoundLINCS and Lincoln Drill Hall in Lincolnshire; Cambridge City Council/Cambridge Folk Festival; Folkworks/The Sage Gateshead; The Met in Bury; The Stables in Milton Keynes; Colston Hall/Bristol Music Trust in Bristol; mac (the Midlands Arts Centre) in Birmingham and Opera North in Leeds.

More at www.efdss.org

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