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MS Eng 1486

Transcripts and notes concerning the "Brown manuscript" of Scottish popular ballads, 1793-1920: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: f
Call No.: MS Eng 1486
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Transcripts and notes concerning the "Brown manuscript" of Scottish popular ballads
Date(s): 1793-1920
Quantity: .5 linear feet (5 volumes)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Transcripts of the original manuscript of Scottish popular ballads that was furnished to William Tytler by Anna Brown in 1783.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

This material was acquired from various donors, at various times. See individual items for full acquisition information.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt
This material formed part of the Harvard College Library Treasure Room "ballad" collection and the items were selected based on likeness of topic and reclassified in April 2005.

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Transcripts and Notes Concerning the "Brown Manuscript" of Scottish Popular Ballads,1793-1920 (MS Eng 1486). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

The original ballad manuscript was produced in 1783 for William Tytler (1711-1792), who was a Scottish antiquarian, lawyer, and historian. The information for the original transcription of ballad text was furnished by the singing and dictation of Mrs. Anna Gordon Brown (d.1810), of Falkland and recorded by her nephew, Robert Eden Scott (1769-1811). Anna Brown was the wife of the Rev. Andrew Brown (d.1805) and the daughter of Professor of Philosophy, Thomas Gordon (1713-1797) of Kings College Aberdeen. Robert Eden Scott was a philosopher and his mother was Elizabeth Scott, daughter of Thomas Gordon and sister of Anna Gordon. The current location of the original manuscript is not known, but for many years, it was in the hands of the Fraser-Tytler family. [See item (5) below for additional information concerning the genealogy of the families involved with these manuscripts].
Some of these transcripts were produced for and collected by American philologist and Harvard professor Francis James Child for his research for: The English and Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898). Many of these materials were organized and annotated after Child's death by his protégé, George Lyman Kittredge.


Arranged in chronological order.

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