Ballad of Chetham’s Library

Chetham’s Library has rich collections of rare items in the form of printed single sheets, such as ballads, broadsides, proclamations and sheet music. These have been acquired in various ways over the years, and some items are loose, some pasted into scrapbooks and guard books, the odd one even being framed.

We identified several of these collections as being of particular importance and interest to scholars, musicians, and readers in general, and thanks to a grant from the Arts Council we were able to undertake a programme of work to make digital surrogates of these items freely available, to link them to our catalogue to help people find them, and to hold a series of events with interested parties to make them better known and more widely used.