Vaughan Williams Memorial Library Launches Online Catalogue
Friday, January 21, 2011
Posted by: Timothy Lloyd
The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) of the English Folk Dance
and Song Society (EFDSS) is launching an online catalogue at midday on
25 January 2011. This is the first phase of an on-going programme to
enable anybody around the world to access information about items held
by the library and even browse a library shelf. The catalogue will be
found at http://koha.efdss.org.
first phase will make available the Leslie Shepard Collection. The
Shepard collection was chosen as a pilot project to test and tailor the
system to meet the needs of our unique library. Following this pilot,
VWML will continue to convert and upload existing electronic data, as
well a converting its card catalogues and add new additions directly
onto the system.
The Leslie Shepard Collection
Shepard (1917–2004) was a passionate collector of books and printed
ephemera on a variety of subjects, including folk song and broadside
ballads. Born in East London in 1917, Shepard moved to Ireland in 1969,
settling in Dublin where he died in 2004. He was a world authority and
prolific writer on street literature, early moving images, the
paranormal, and many other subjects. Towards the end of his life and
after his death, Shepard’s books and printed items were dispersed. His
Bram Stoker collection was given to the Dublin City Library. He donated
material of Irish interest to the Irish Traditional Music Archive
shortly after its foundation, and his books relating to the subjects of
broadsides and printing, folk music and street literature were kindly
bestowed on the VWML in 2002. With the help of several volunteers, this
extraordinary collection of 1,471 items was transported to London,
organised, labelled, and catalogued in an internal database.
2010, with the support of Arts Council England, a project to migrate
the Library’s internal databases to a fully integrated web-based library
management system was begun. Cataloguer Elaine Bradtke and IT expert
and EFDSS trustee Doug Kingston collaborated on implementing Koha, an
open-source system which was developed in New Zealand (http://koha-community.org/).
The literature collection was deemed the first priority and VWML will
continue to convert and upload all existing electronic data, which
currently amounts to an additional 13,500 items. In due course,
catalogues for all media will be made available online.
Vaughan Williams Memorial Library
Vaughan Williams Memorial Library houses a unique multi-media
collection of material on traditional arts and culture, including books,
manuscripts, off-prints, pamphlets, periodicals, serials, press
cuttings, broadsides, prints, paintings, line drawings, photographs,
slides, artefacts, ephemera, records, reel-to-reel tapes, phonograph
cylinders, videos, cine films, CDs and audio cassettes. Along with
various other recent initiatives (e.g. VWML Online and the Take 6
Archive, both accessible through the EFDSS website at www.efdss.org),
this web-based catalogue is part of an ongoing project to bring
information about the contents of this library to a wider audience and
make them more accessible. It represents a major change in the library’s
working methods and is the first step in converting the catalogue to a
more user friendly and accessible system. The Leslie Shepard Collection
itself is a significant contribution to the library as it augments and
supports the existing subject areas and collections.
information about the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library or the launch of
the online catalogue, please contact Jo Breeze, Marketing Manager at
the EFDSS, on firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7485 2206 x.38.