MS Eng 1478
Chappell, W. (William), 1809-1888, compiler. W. (William) Chappell English
ballad index collection: Guide. Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138
© 2004 The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Last update on 2010 March 3
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University
Call No.: MS Eng 1478
Creator: Chappell, W. (William), 1809-1888, compiler.
Title: W. (William) Chappell English ballad index collection, ca. 1800-1899.
Quantity: 7 volumes (.75 linear ft.)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Manuscript transcripts of indexes to English ballad collections, all copied
under the direction of William Chappell.
Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt
Gift of various donors at various times. See individual items for full acquistion
There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.
W. (William) Chappell English Ballad Index Collection (MS Eng 1478). Houghton
Library, Harvard University.
William Chappell (1809-1888) was the eldest son of Samuel Chappell, one of the
founders (1810) of the London firm of music publishers, concert agents, and piano
manufacturers known as Chappell & Co. After Samuel Chappell's death in 1834,
William continued running the business with his mother and brothers. William was
noted for his interest in early music and in 1840 he founded (with Rimbault,
Macfarren, and others) the Musical Antiquarian Society. He left the family firm in
1843 and went into partnership with Cramer and Beale, as Cramer, Beale &
Chappell where he remained until his retirement in 1861. He took principal part in
the founding of the Percy Society, the Ballad Society, and in 1874 he assisted in
founding the Musical Association. He is especially know for his publication of
A collection of national English
airs (1838-1839), and Popular
music of the olden time (1855-1859). It has been said that the modern
revival of interest in English folk-songs owes much to the work of William Chappell.
Arranged in former call-number order.
This finding aid brings together a number of manuscript transcripts of English ballad
indexes that were "copied under the direction of William Chappell." Some of the
volumes include notes in the hand of William Chappell, but the predominant copyist's
hands are identified in a letter from Chappell to Child (1875 May 29) as that of
Chappell's young daughters. A few volumes are annotated by Harvard ballad scholar
Francis James Child. Most of the indexes list ballad text by first line.
Collection includes transcripts for ballad indexes to the collections of: Pepys
Ballads; Pepys' collection of "Penny merriments"; Ballad collections of Richard
Heber, John Bagford, and Anthony à Wood; Ballad collection of Francis Douce; and
Ballad collection of Richard Rawlinson. Original collections are at the Bodleian
Library (Oxford University) and Magdalene College (University of Cambridge).
- f(1) Index to the Pepys Ballads,
Magdalene College, Cambridge, I-V : Ms
transcript, undated. 3 v.
5 volumes of content bound as 3 v., paged continuously, ff.54, 1113.
Contents of volumes:
- Vol I: alphabetical index of the first lines of ballads and
manuscript transcript of Pepys vol I.
- Vol II: manuscript transcript of Pepys vols II and III.
- Vol III: manuscript transcript of Pepys vols IV and V.
Vol I includes autograph annotation by Francis James Child:
"Copied under the direction of William
Chappell, Esq. from an index made with his own hand. The rest
of first lines was made by Mr. Chappell expressly for this library."
Transcribed from the original volume: Pepys, Samuel, 1633-1703. Index of the first lines [and
titles] of ballads in the Pepysian Library at Magdalen College,
Vol I also includes text: "This collection was commenced by the illustrious
Selden and continued by Samuel Pepys . . . These
ballads are all printed in broadside. - i.e. upon one side only of a sheet
of paper. The paper is of the coarsest description, but usually has woodcuts
upon it, at the head of the ballads. They were universally sold for one
: Purchased with the Subscription fund of 1858; received: 1875
Recataloged from: 25241.3F*
- f(2) Index to Pepys' collection of
"Penny merriments" : Ms transcript,
3 volumes of content bound as 1v.
Transcribed from the original volume: Pepys, Samuel, 1633-1703.
[Index to the] Pepys
collections of "Penny merriments" (i.e. garlands of songs in ballads
chap-books etc.;) [at Magdalen College Library, Cambridge, Eng.]
: Purchased with the George W. Wales fund; received: 1876 June 6.
Recataloged from: 25241.4F*
- f(5) Index to the Rawlinson ballads,
Bodleian Library, Oxford : Ms transcript,
undated. 91ff in 1v.
Transcribed from the original volume: "A catalogue of 218 black-letter ballads being the
Rawlinson collection of ballads, in the Bodleian Library, at
Oxford; the reference being '4 to Rawl.566.' To which is added
an alphabetical index of the first line of each ballad in that volume; and
occasionally the burden. To this index references are added for other
editions, or other copies of the same edition, in other collections in the
Bodleian Library, especially to the Anthony Wood, and the Douce collections.
With marginal notes as to the Roxburghe collection as most accessible
through its republication by the Ballad Society of London."
Includes autograph annotation by Francis James Child:
"Copied, under the direction of Wm Chappell, Esq., from indexes
made for his use while editing the Roxburghe Ballads."
[Collection of Richard Rawlinson (1690-1755)].
: Purchased with the Subscription fund; received: 1875 July 26.
Recataloged from: 25241.8F*