EBBA mounts online surviving but difficult-to-access early ballads printed in English, with priority given to black-letter broadsides of the seventeenth century--the heyday of the printed broadside ballad. The database currently holds over 1,800 ballads from the Samuel Pepys collection at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and over 1,500 ballads from the Roxburghe collection at the British Library, London, and we are in the process of adding the early ballads from the University Glasgow and the Huntington libraries. EBBA makes these ballads fully accessible as texts, art, music, and cultural records of the period. We provide online images of each ballad in high-quality facsimiles as well as "facsimile transcriptions" (which preserve the original ballad ornament while transcribing the black-letter font into easily readable white-letter or roman print). In addition, we provide sung versions of the ballads, background essays that culturally place the ballads, TEI/XML encoding of the ballads, and search functions that allow readers easily to find ballads as well as their constituent parts/makers.
Patricia Fumerton, Director of the English Broadside Ballad Archive, Department of English
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA. 93106.