Between March and July 2023, there is a vacancy for a freelance Project Associate, to write and design an accessible guide to the digitised online collections of Gypsy and Traveller music at the The Vaughan Williams Memorial Library (VWML) . The resource should be aimed at Gypsy and Traveller users but will be accessible to anyone via the library website.
VWML is collaborating with researchers from the University of East Anglia and the University of Sheffield to curate and develop awareness about the library’s collections of Gypsy and Traveller songs and music.
The Gypsy and Traveller collections held by the library consist mainly of private collections that have been given to the library; most relate to Romani Gypsies but there is also material relating to Irish and Scottish Travellers. Many have been digitised and are available on line but the library collections also include written and audio publications with Gypsy and Traveller songs and music that can be seen in the library and collections in other places.
There is currently no single register of Gypsy and Traveller material in the collections and some inside knowledge is required to find the right entries.
The Project Associate will write and design an accessible resource to the digitised online collections at the library. The resource should be aimed at Gypsy and Traveller users but will be accessible to anyone via the library website. Lived experience of, and/or deep connections with, Gypsy and/or Traveller culture and a passion for community access to culture and heritage collections are listed among the essential experience of applicants.
The project “Gypsy and Traveller Voices in UK Music Archives” is led by Dr Hazel Marsh (University of East Anglia) together with Dr Esbjorn Wettermark (University of Sheffield) and the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library at Cecil Sharp House, London (English Folk Dance and Song Society). The aim of the project is to create resources that make the Gypsy and Traveller collections more accessible, particularly for Gypsy and Traveller people seeking engagement with their cultural heritage. Through collaboration we will highlight the richness and importance of Gypsy and Traveller music collections for communities themselves and the wider English folk scene.