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English Ballad Archive, 1500-1800

Online archive of ballads from the Samuel Pepys collection.

“Dedicated to mounting online extant ballads published in English from 1500-1800, the English Department’s Early Modern Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara has begun by archiving the 1,857 ballads in the Samuel Pepys collection…The Pepys ballads became the first priority of the EMC’s Ballad Archive because full access to these ballads has until now been extremely limited. Due to their fragility, the Pepys Library has restricted access to the originals. As consolation, it published in 1987 a facsimile edition of the five volumes of Pepys’s ballad collection, which has proved invaluable to scholars. But since most of the ballads are in black-letter or gothic font (a thick print type that bleeds into the poor quality ballad paper), the printed facsimiles are very difficult—at times, impossible—to read. Very few of the ballads, furthermore, have been mounted on the web.” (From the project’s home page.)

Starter Link: The Early Modern Center of UCSB’s English Ballad Archive, 1500-1800.

  eswanstrom2, 01.05.07

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